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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Double Tracking



I'm starting to be very glad that I started this new blog, as it's leading to some pretty cool discoveries. Before this I was pretty complacent about recording, resigned to the "fact" that whatever I taped was the best I could hope for. Now, with a little bit of research, I'm finding all new ways of improving my finished recording at zero cost.

After sorting out my "noise" problem in Reaper (which turned out to be a combination of DC offset and mic hiss), last night I had a go at a) recording my acoustic in our downstairs toilet and b) double-tracking.

Recording in a small, tiled room really added brightness to the sound. Unfortunately, the toilet is REALLY SMALL, which meant that I had to hold the guitar shotgun stylee and, as the extractor fan comes on with the light, I had to play in the dark. Nevertheless, I definitely found that the tonality of the recording was improved. Step 2 is probably to try and stretch cables to the upstairs bathroom...

And then there's double-tracking. Apparently, recording acoustic parts twice then panning each take left and right is quite de rigeur in the pro recording industry. The subtle (or in my case massive) differences between takes really adds depth and interest to the rhythm section. Ding! Eureka moment! Today I've been reading up more on the technique and someone suggested not only double-tracking, but using different chord voicings etc on each part. A simple way of doing this would be to use a capo, for example, if you play a C in the regular open position, try capoing the guitar at the 3rd and using an A-shape or at the 5th with a G-shape etc. Worth trying out!

4 comments:

  1. Listen to Running in the Shadows on my reverbnation site. Acoustic is with a capo on third fret but the electric is more moving barre chords about... worked for me

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  2. Hi from Barcelona.
    I didn't dare to join the pc or mac forces, I was afraid to spend the rest of my days lookin' for plug ins and weir dupdates instead of playin' guitar or writing cool riffs, solos, songs, etc, so that I stuck to an amazing Tascam DP008 (8 track digital recorder) amazingly easy to use.
    I strongly recommend you give it a try.
    Love reading your stories!

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  3. @Mr F! I'll have to check it out. Haven't been near a non-locked computer yet!

    @Toni. Thanks for stopping by. Had a quick look at the Tascam. Looks like a great little gadget. I looked at something similar a while ago, before I discovered sequencing.

    At the moment I'm just trying to get into recording without spending any more money! but maybe in the future I'll get one. None of my mobile solutions are exactly great right now! The PC thing is definitely a pain to set up and, as you say, once you play with the settings, everything can go crazy! I know Mr F uses something similar (a Boss?) with good results.

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