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- Panning thick "nu-metal" guitar tracks... theories?

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Anonymous
November 2, 2004 9:32:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks (those
big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally not panned
hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first listen - but
rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.

Is there a "proper" way of panning twin rhythm guitar tracks that are
particularly thick, loud and full on the low end?

My first instinct would have been to keep them away from the kick drum and
bass, which are dead center. That would mean hard-panning them to the two
extremes. But I keep hearing that this is a mistake... that nothing with any
decent amount of low end in it should be panned to both extremes in the
stereo spectrum. Low end, no matter how many tracks of it you have, ought to
stay near center.

Is there somekind of "mixing for dummies" webpage that would cover inane
questions like this one?

Thanks.
Anonymous
November 3, 2004 3:44:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
news:lKUhd.43454$t45.1707619@weber.videotron.net...
> I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks
> (those big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally not
> panned hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first
> listen - but rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.
>
> Is there a "proper" way of panning twin rhythm guitar tracks that are
> particularly thick, loud and full on the low end?
>

They may not be as thick, loud and full as you think, at least on their own.
Trying to combine a bunch of thick full sounds in the low end will usually
just give you mud. The trick is to thin them out or complimentary EQ them so
that when combined they don't get in the way of each other.
November 3, 2004 1:03:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message news:<lKUhd.43454$t45.1707619@weber.videotron.net>...
> I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks (those
> big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally not panned
> hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first listen - but
> rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.


I always pan double tracked guitar hard left hard right. It seems to
have more punch when each speaker is only delevering one guitar. And
though a lot of folks around here will groan, in my experience heavy
limiting is just about unavoidable when trying to achieve a nu-metal
sound.
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Anonymous
November 3, 2004 3:59:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the advice, but what of the panning? (see original question)

"Ricky W. Hunt" <rhunt22@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D SVhd.356891$D%.98304@attbi_s51...
> "Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
> news:lKUhd.43454$t45.1707619@weber.videotron.net...
>> I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks
>> (those big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally
>> not panned hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first
>> listen - but rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.
>>
>> Is there a "proper" way of panning twin rhythm guitar tracks that are
>> particularly thick, loud and full on the low end?
>>
>
> They may not be as thick, loud and full as you think, at least on their
> own. Trying to combine a bunch of thick full sounds in the low end will
> usually just give you mud. The trick is to thin them out or complimentary
> EQ them so that when combined they don't get in the way of each other.
Anonymous
November 3, 2004 5:07:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ryan" <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:D ea39397.0411031003.1aa833d2@posting.google.com...
> "Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
> news:<lKUhd.43454$t45.1707619@weber.videotron.net>...
>> I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks
>> (those
>> big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally not
>> panned
>> hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first listen -
>> but
>> rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.
>
>
> I always pan double tracked guitar hard left hard right. It seems to
> have more punch when each speaker is only delevering one guitar. And
> though a lot of folks around here will groan, in my experience heavy
> limiting is just about unavoidable when trying to achieve a nu-metal
> sound.

Hard limiting? Like, an flat and radical cut? Or more like compressing to
the tilt?
Anonymous
November 4, 2004 1:00:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
news:%W8id.65787$t45.2115243@weber.videotron.net...
> Thanks for the advice, but what of the panning? (see original question)
>

There is no hard and fast answer. Personally I usually don't like TOTAL
separation (hard panned) especially when trying to build one big cohesive
sound. It's not a very natural sound.
November 4, 2004 2:55:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message news:<TW9id.65819$t45.2128682@weber.videotron.net>...

> Hard limiting? Like, an flat and radical cut? Or more like compressing to
> the tilt?

I should have been more specific. Hard limiting and then a subsequent
rasie of the gain.
Anonymous
November 4, 2004 8:28:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Ever hear the guitar in Disturbed's "Stupify"?

I am just in awe of that rhythm guitar sound each time I hear it. What kind
of gear do you think would be necessary to recreate it? A lot of us are POD
users... could the POD do it? Or is a specific and expensive amp/mic setup
required to come anywhere close?

It's loud, and heavy, but also "luscious" (can't think of a better word for
it). It's so rounded... big, yet not at all abrasive in the high end... I
can't figure out how much drive/distortion they've got going on there. It
seems like lots on first listen, but could be deceptive.



"Ryan" <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:D ea39397.0411032355.1317ab87@posting.google.com...
> "Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
> news:<TW9id.65819$t45.2128682@weber.videotron.net>...
>
>> Hard limiting? Like, an flat and radical cut? Or more like compressing
>> to
>> the tilt?
>
> I should have been more specific. Hard limiting and then a subsequent
> rasie of the gain.
November 5, 2004 12:23:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

It's not a dumb question.

Some of the other people brought up good points that the guitars might
not always be as low as you think. Some of mixing is creating an
illusion. Kind of like a chick with a push-up bra.

I'm not saying the nu-metal guitars are as thin as a little R&B
funk-ditty riff up at the 9th fret, but they don't swamp the low end
like crazy either usually. Or if they do, not for the whole song.

Something interesting for you to do would be to take a guitar track
that is playing by itself in the song for about 5 seconds before the
band kicks in. Put that clip up on a graphic waveform analyzer and
study the wave shape.

Panning is only one thing among many to try to get what you want.
Also, nu-metal has enough diversity in sounds that it would be hard to
give you a recipe without listeing to a particular example you are
trying to emulate.

One thing characteristic of nu-metal music in general is that mix
engineers often clip the digital converters. They will intentionally
get a few overages at times.

I remember one mix engineer saying how he felt the Panasonic
converters clipped better than most. I heard a mix of his, and it
definitaly had "that sound" that you hear on K-rocks heavier tracks.

Just some food for thought.
November 5, 2004 2:44:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message news:<o_xid.271$ab.172486@weber.videotron.net>...
> Ever hear the guitar in Disturbed's "Stupify"?
>
> I am just in awe of that rhythm guitar sound each time I hear it. What kind
> of gear do you think would be necessary to recreate it? A lot of us are POD
> users... could the POD do it? Or is a specific and expensive amp/mic setup
> required to come anywhere close?
>
> It's loud, and heavy, but also "luscious" (can't think of a better word for
> it). It's so rounded... big, yet not at all abrasive in the high end... I
> can't figure out how much drive/distortion they've got going on there. It
> seems like lots on first listen, but could be deceptive.

I'm not sure what they're using. Perhaps Les Pual through Marshall.
One should always keep in mind the player themselves contributes much
to the sound, the amount of pressure of the fretting hand, the attack
speed of the pick. The size of the strings comes into play,
bigger=fuller, more bassy, less harsh. The gutiar, Gibsons are
smoother, Fenders are more acidic and sibilent, Jackson's have another
sound. I am confident the pod can emulate the sound of any amp, but
to get the sound of a spefic song by a specific player takes more than
that.



My advice, get a full sounding guitar (brand name really doesn't
matter, use your ears) put at least .10s on it, set your pod through a
marshall emulation, gain at say 7 o'clock, add a bit of reverb, a
setting of maybe 2, instruct the player to ease up a bit with his
fretting hand and pick a bit farther up the neck, somewhere between
the bass pickup and the 22cnd fret. You may have to double track, if
so, make sure the double has a different setting on the pod, and a
different guitar if possible. Have the guitarist bring his practice
guitar, or borrow a friends. It would be better to use a good guitar
and a POS guitar (2 different guitars) than the same one tracked
twice. Using the same guitar twice often leads to a weak smushy
result. Try making one of the double tracks almost completly celan
and the other almost completey fuzzed out. The pod has a setting for
this, it's one of thier line6 settings, can't remember the name, you
could find out online or in the manual.

Then after you get that right, selective negative eq is applied to
"cut the fat." A low cut should be used, set it as high as possible,
at least 100hz. Depending on how smashed the levels already are
(tubes and emulators run at full gain have a tendency to be quite good
compressors in their own right)some limting may be applied.

After the mix of the whole song is done and absolutly finished, to get
it "radio quality" (for some a good thing, for others worse than
death) smack it with a good compressor, like the L1, or an 1176 (or
emulator of one) somewhere between 1:1.1 and 3:1 ratio, onset speed of
0 secs, release 0-700ms. Use the makeup gain if it has this feature,
if not turn up the level of the track in your DAW.

That's about all I can offer. If you make any breakthroughs be sure
to let us know!
Anonymous
November 5, 2004 4:05:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Anyone? (sheepish look)

"Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
news:o _xid.271$ab.172486@weber.videotron.net...
>
> Ever hear the guitar in Disturbed's "Stupify"?
>
> I am just in awe of that rhythm guitar sound each time I hear it. What
> kind of gear do you think would be necessary to recreate it? A lot of us
> are POD users... could the POD do it? Or is a specific and expensive
> amp/mic setup required to come anywhere close?
>
> It's loud, and heavy, but also "luscious" (can't think of a better word
> for it). It's so rounded... big, yet not at all abrasive in the high
> end... I can't figure out how much drive/distortion they've got going on
> there. It seems like lots on first listen, but could be deceptive.
>
>
>
> "Ryan" <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:D ea39397.0411032355.1317ab87@posting.google.com...
>> "Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com> wrote in message
>> news:<TW9id.65819$t45.2128682@weber.videotron.net>...
>>
>>> Hard limiting? Like, an flat and radical cut? Or more like compressing
>>> to
>>> the tilt?
>>
>> I should have been more specific. Hard limiting and then a subsequent
>> rasie of the gain.
Anonymous
November 5, 2004 7:38:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ryan" <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:D ea39397.0411051144.5e3b98ee@posting.google.com...
>
> My advice, get a full sounding guitar (brand name really doesn't
> matter, use your ears) put at least .10s on it, set your pod through a
> marshall emulation, gain at say 7 o'clock, add a bit of reverb, a
> setting of maybe 2, instruct the player to ease up a bit with his
> fretting hand and pick a bit farther up the neck, somewhere between
> the bass pickup and the 22cnd fret. You may have to double track, if
> so, make sure the double has a different setting on the pod, and a
> different guitar if possible. Have the guitarist bring his practice
> guitar, or borrow a friends. It would be better to use a good guitar
> and a POS guitar (2 different guitars) than the same one tracked
> twice. Using the same guitar twice often leads to a weak smushy
> result. Try making one of the double tracks almost completly celan
> and the other almost completey fuzzed out. The pod has a setting for
> this, it's one of thier line6 settings, can't remember the name, you
> could find out online or in the manual.
>
> Then after you get that right, selective negative eq is applied to
> "cut the fat." A low cut should be used, set it as high as possible,
> at least 100hz. Depending on how smashed the levels already are
> (tubes and emulators run at full gain have a tendency to be quite good
> compressors in their own right)some limting may be applied.
>
> After the mix of the whole song is done and absolutly finished, to get
> it "radio quality" (for some a good thing, for others worse than
> death) smack it with a good compressor, like the L1, or an 1176 (or
> emulator of one) somewhere between 1:1.1 and 3:1 ratio, onset speed of
> 0 secs, release 0-700ms. Use the makeup gain if it has this feature,
> if not turn up the level of the track in your DAW.
>
> That's about all I can offer. If you make any breakthroughs be sure
> to let us know!

Will do, many thanks!
Anonymous
November 8, 2004 3:26:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

There is a bit of a summed quality when you pan stuff to 9 and 3 or
50% that makes the intruments jsut a little fatter than hard panned.
The mix gets a little more contrast when hard panned.

Try not hard panning for a while, but ultimately you're going to have
to take into account what's going on in the rest of the mix. Are your
drums mono or wide? If they're mono put the guitars wide. IF you've
got stereo room mics that ou've got panned wide, you might wnat to
pull the guitars in a bit. Also, consider automating - narrow for
verse, wide for chorus.
November 9, 2004 2:37:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 2 Nov 2004 18:32:36 -0500, "Jon J. Yeager" <nospam@please.com>
wrote:

>I've heard from two different sources now that nu-metal guitar tracks (those
>big, thick repetitive chords we all love to hate) are generally not panned
>hard-left and hard-right as it would originally seem on first listen - but
>rather, that they are more like 50% L and 50% R.
>
>Is there a "proper" way of panning twin rhythm guitar tracks that are
>particularly thick, loud and full on the low end?
>
>My first instinct would have been to keep them away from the kick drum and
>bass, which are dead center. That would mean hard-panning them to the two
>extremes. But I keep hearing that this is a mistake... that nothing with any
>decent amount of low end in it should be panned to both extremes in the
>stereo spectrum. Low end, no matter how many tracks of it you have, ought to
>stay near center.
>
>Is there somekind of "mixing for dummies" webpage that would cover inane
>questions like this one?
>
>Thanks.
>
I think the technique for a while was to split the guitar signal
through a xformer box to 3 different amps each with different eq
settings. Double tracking with different guitars using less distortion
and stacking it is commonly used still. (I was subjected to RockRadio
while trapped in a small pickup only today). Try different chord
voicings. Strangely, adding an acoustic mixed real low and dumping
some monster amp tracks made me happiest. Try listening a lot,
intently, in a quiet place with headphones to the cd release you're
trying to learn from and figure out where the panning is. Also, I
notice there is a LR channel delay obvious in some FM stations and in
some cheap radios that you don't find on the cd contributing to the
"oh my God, it's nut crushing!" radio sound. Good luck, s.
February 17, 2009 12:04:24 PM

here's a trick anyone might try... record your guitar part, no delay or reverb, triple that track by either playing it again or cloneing the track (as in sonar), pan one 55% to 75% left, one center, and one 55% to 75% right. Now, take the right track and add about a 20 to 25 ms. delay with a 50/50 dry to wet signal (maybe also a small detune) Now play this back and see what you think. Adjust the balance between the center and right/left channels to get what you want. You will probably have to send all three track to an auxiliary buss to eq out some of the low end because it builds up too much.You can also adjust the delay and /or detune to less or more "stereoizing". Good Luck!
!