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Two Les Paul's in the mix

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by i_got_a_mohawk, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. This is the other problem we have had with recent recordings. Both guitarists use LP's and tend to dominate the mix by forming a mush :scowl: (they both like their own setups, which are practically identical and bass heavy).

    Any suggestions on good ways to have a couple LPs in the mix without them dominating?

  2. Beyer160


    Dec 20, 2008
    Try EQing out the low end of the guitars- remember that the way something sounds on its own and the way it sounds in the context of a mix are two different things. With your bass filling in the lows and low mids, the guitars don't need much in that area. Unless you're doing a lot of noodling on the high strings, anyway.
  3. I know that, sadly they don't!

    The recording gear is mine, so I could probably do that side of things when nobody is around. I dare say it isn't just a question about getting the bass to sit well in the mix, it's how to get the guitars clearly independant in the mix aswell. I need to convince one of them to play a tele or something :p

    I usually pan each guitar to L or R to try and seperate that way, but that only helps so much.
  4. Beyer160


    Dec 20, 2008
    You don't have to EQ on the way in, you can do it during the mix stage if that makes it easier. Panning guitars helps separate them, you can also EQ the high mids differently to make them sound different- nothing radical, just a little 2db boost to one or a cut to the other, something like that. Try panning them both center while you're EQing them- if you can tell them apart that way, you're all set.
  5. Thanks !

    I'll give that a go :)
  6. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Try panning them each hard L & R, then run the bass down the middle
  7. That's how i've done it usually, it helps, but only to a certain extent. Cheers tho :)
  8. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    start putting DI's on the guitars perfect solution to mush, start adding a touch of DI to bring in some note clarity to amp mud. This will also give you a track to reamp if necessary.
  9. I'll try duplicating the tracks (it's all recorded direct through a clean mic preamp on my firepod), and adding a clean track too, cheers!
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think some pass-filtering would be a big help. Do what I do when mixing...DON'T TELL ANYONE what you do to make it sound good. ;) I always end up EQing the hell out of the guitar, drums, etc.

    What hits tape vs. what we're used to hearing live are very different.
  11. put a high cut on the guitars at about 150 hz. or at very least, somewhere around 80. they dont need frequencies lower than their instruments produce. try to do the same thing we often do with bass; cut sub lows and add low mids. if they want 250 hz roar.. let them have some, but they dont need to be dominating the mix with a flood of 100hz.

    the real trouble here is that music with bass heavy guitars often has the bass mixed nearly out. see "...and justice for all" and most modern metal albums.

    like someone said above.. take out little bits and scoot your bass into them.

    what kind of setups are we talking about here? the fact that they are LP's and not strats means little to me.. as ive seen hardcore bands bring the heavy with tele's
  12. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Mixing single coils with humbuckers and panning hard is always the classical approach. I remember noticing that bands with one guitarist on a Les Paul would usually have one with a Strat. Or one with an SG would have a Tele. But for some reason I rarely saw Tele's with Les Pauls or Strats with SG's. Go figure.

    If you can't do that, and they won't change how their amps are set up, it gets complicated, because they've already demonstrated that they are less interested in how the band sounds in the final product that in how they personally sound.

    I like the EQ approach already mentioned here by Sonic Assassin. I've used it too. The good news with that one is you can use it without telling them,
  13. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Deep high-pass starting at 80hz. Low shelving EQ with the corner at 160-200hz. Bring that down until the bass reappears. Or, take a look at the bass in an FFT analyzer, find the dominant frequencies, and cut those down on the guitars. That'll bring the bass back up in short order.
  14. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Trying to do it "secretly" will simply piss people off.

    The problem is one of arrangement. The guitars simply cannot be playing the same parts in the same tones. If they insist, fire one of them.

    This is why a producer is needed.
  15. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    To hell with the guitars. Throw them both in one channel and the bass in the other. If they want crap tone, let them be known for it - don't let them drag you with 'em.

    The guitar player in my band likes to use low-end to shape his guitar tone, but after a few conversations we've worked out that whenever we record anything he's getting high-passed, same if we ever play through a P.A.

    A guitar player with reasoning skills? :eek:
  16. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Which pickups are they using? If they're just on their neck pickups, get at least one of them to use both or just the bridge pickup. The leader/rhythm guitarist in my band has a really cool old Guild with twin 'buckers that's similar to an SG, and he typically solos the neck pickup. That's usually OK in rehearsal, but it's brutal for a recorded mix. So on Saturday the lead guitarist and I convinced him to change, and his guitar sounds much better in the mix.
  17. Cheers for the options guys,.

    What I'll probably do is end up leaving one track pretty much untouched then have a bash at a copy of it using some of the EQing methods you guys have described and let them hear for themselves.

    It's a pest when they use similar guitars with similar amps and similar settings, but hopefully could get them to see it sounds like mud in comparison to what some EQ-ing could do.

    In all honesty im not sure what pickup position they are using, Im sure both are using bridge pickups, but thats still pretty meaty from a LP. I'll see what can be done with the tracks I have saved (somewhere).

    Next time we get together, I'll see if one of them will use a tele (one of the guitarists has a tele that he used to use). Going to try re-amping aswell, so I might get one of them to run through their JCM and the other to run through my TE Speedtwin to give a different tone.

    Cheers guys, especially with the specifics on EQ's :)
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Doesn't sound to me like the guitars are the problem, sounds like the people are. It's not terribly difficult to EQ and pan 2 Les Pauls and have them cut in the mix, but it could be impossible if everybody is insistent on getting exactly what they want their instrument to sound like. Bass included. Everyone has got to understand that the important thing is the overall mix and not focus on their particular instrument. What all of you are looking for in individual sounds may not (and most likely won't) work for the best outcome of the recording.

    It's always a challenge to have more than one person mixing. Especially if the people are not too experienced and as thickheaded and egotistical as most musicians are. :) It's completely doable though if everyone stays open minded and works towards what's best for the song.
  19. MindSpark


    Nov 27, 2008
    you probably meant high pass ?
  20. MindSpark


    Nov 27, 2008
    Very well said ! :bassist:

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