View Full Version : To Pan or not?

07-31-2015, 04:25 PM
Just wondering if I should record from pan left and do another take for pan right or can I do it all in one sitting. TY

08-01-2015, 01:31 AM
Separately. Otherwise it's not double tracked, it's stereo recorded. That is a fine thing to do, but understand that they'd not give you the same effect in the end. You need to decide for whatever instrument this is, if you want a stereo track of it or if you want 2 separate tracks (like electric guitar) to hard pan L/R for a bigger sound.

08-05-2015, 02:59 AM
Yeah multiple tracks are the best.

I've heard of examples of doing quad tracks, but that's for a more extreme wall of guitar sound.

If you're recording with a live amp set up it may pay to tweak the amp setting slightly and positioning the mics slightly differently. That will also help to creating a wider sounding sound.

Although, you don't necessarily have to pan to extremes either.

If time is limited and it comes to the choice of laying one track down in its entirety versus multi-tracking just a small part, like a verse or a chorus, go for recording the single track for the whole duration.

The trouble is different days means different performances and just different sounds, it becomes more problematic trying to stitch it together in a more consistent, fluid way. Recording the whole track the same day will mean much more in terms of consistency.

The other upside is that recording your alternate takes on different days will also contribute to a different sound, making for a better stereo image.

08-05-2015, 06:37 AM
Hey bud, Last month's Recording Mag has a great article on this exact idea. There are multiple ways of doing double tracking, and if you're doing heavier music it's a necessity.

You don't really need to make any changes on you amp when you run through your second take. The chances of playing the exact same way, with the exact same timing, exact same intonation are extremely unlikely.

If time is of the essence, that you can in fact 'cheat', but I've always found just playing it again sounds better. You can take the exact same track and copy it, but you have to nudge it by 10 - 30 ms to shift the timing. Not too far though, remember that phase thing I talked about.

For heavy guitar sounds, you'd be surprised that many times it doesn't mean having the gain turned up all the way and the amp cranked. If you get you tone with a nice grit and double it up you'll get that heavy sound. Remember, the low end comes from the bass...so DON"T crank the bass up on your guitar it's just going to muddy your tone.


08-05-2015, 09:56 AM
In fact, I'd say if you have outboard EQ, shelf the low end on the way in. Really fat guitars sound great in the live room, but have no place in a mix (unless the bass cuts out, or if there is no bassist in the ensemble).

Clients ask me why their guitar doesn't sound so big and boomy on playback (like it did in the room). Jeez.

Then again, I'm not quite sure how I'd capture that big boomy Jack White or Black Keys guitar tone if I needed to...

08-05-2015, 07:37 PM
You don't have to change the amp of the much positioning, it's just another tool at your disposal.

It's an old school technique, its how they did things on analogue.