I’m now in the habit of doing at least 6 guitar tracks for a song and panning them differently.
I know there’s a way for me to channel them all into a single channel and then I can delete the individual tracks. This would make the whole work site a lot neater and clutter free.
What’s this technique called ? Is there a good youtube clip showing how to do it ?
What you’re doing is called “doubling”—where you play the same part over again on a separate track,
Doubling can be done over and over—which is how you’re doing it. This a classic technique—Queen would often end up with 50-100 vocal tracks on some of their hits!
What you want to do is called “bouncing down”—where you turn any number of tracks into one stereo track (often including the inserts or sends processing).
This is extremely easy to do in Cubase.
There are two main ways to do this, all using the FILE>EXPORT>AUDIO MIXDOWN dialog.
Make sure your locator start and end points are set to include all the GTR parts you want to bounce.
- Solo the guitar (GTR) tracks, and export the main stereo output bus to a WAV file with the same settings as your project settings. Choose “project audio folder” as the location, and tick off “import to audio track.”
You’ll end up with one stereo track of all the guitars, to do whatever you want with (maybe even do a whole other round of doubling x3, then bounce those, to double your double)!?
You are running limiters/maximizers/console/bus/tape emulators etc. on your output bus—in which case, you’d want to bounce the GTR tracks as they are before they go to your output bus.
2) make a Group Channel. Name it “GTR”. Route all the guitars to the Group. In the Export Audio Mixdown dialog, choose “Channel Batch Export” and select only the GTR Group. Use all the other settings as step 1).
You’ll end up with one stereo file of all the guitars, ready to go through your main output bus and its plugins.
Let us know how it goes.
Wow! Big thanks!
I’m partially inspired by artists like Queen, the smashing pumpkins and stuff that cake a track with a load of tracks and the listener gets hit by a sonic wall.
I didn’t expect to get actual instructions!! I’ll give them a go tonight!
Ha ha, no worries, man. That’s what this forum is for (as well as endless complaining)!
Another tip: after you’ve bounced your tracks, unless you’re trying to save disk space, just disable the original tracks and store them in a “DISABLED” folder track—that way, you can go back to them if anything goes wrong. Or go back and try different tricks with them.
(Disable tracks by right-clicking on the tracks and choosing “disable track.” This takes all the processing offline—saving CPU, while saving all the setting in the channel).
Basically, I don’t delete anything. Ever. It’s saved my ass more times than I’d care to mention.
Queen doubled and bounced so much, that their tapes would actually start shedding the magnetic oxide. They’d have to copy the 24-track tape to another, new reel—several times—in order to complete their tracks! Nowadays, we don’t have the slightest worry about such things. So go nuts!
An extremely accurate assessment! (sorry for the OT post.)
I remember how Queen use to play with their cassettes so much that they would go clear from the constant replaying.
The tune ‘I’m not in love’ by 10CC is another really good example of mega layering.
With my new ‘channel’, am I somehow able to pan the guitars uniquely ? So I’ve got 6 guiars. One is Left 12, another is Left 30, another is Left 35 and onwards…
Well, there’s the rub with bouncing down. The resulting stereo file is printed with the panning the way it was when you bounced. And there’s no way to change that after (though you can always just delete it and try again with different panning if you don’t like it).
If you like how it sounds, just print it and move on—and get on with the next step in your soon-to-be-amazing mix. No need to overthink it.
Another tactic is to think in doubles—track a hard-left and a hard-right panned GTR. Then track two straight up the middle. If you think you need more, track a 50-left and a 50-right. Keep these organized by pairs in folders and named accurately. Repeat until happy!
Not near my studio yet.
When I bounce it down, does it get panned how it originally was laid down. So I record it and set it to hard left, does it get bounced that way or dead centre ?
The bounced WAV will reflect exactly how you panned it in the original tracks. But it’s permanent once bounced.
Ok. Once again thanks. I’m getting better at panning stuff.
I’ll probably spend a few hours playing with it and work out tricks of the trade.
I’ve recently started to use ‘folders’ which makes the work site near and tidy!
Possible pointless update now.
I’ve recorded 10 guitar tracks (6L and 4R) and I’ve worked out that I didn’t stay in line with the metronome all the time. I’ll lay some sample drums onto it so it sounds more ‘full’…when it’s ready I’ll chuck it on soundcloud and link it here…
One thing I always recommend to friends that are getting in to mixing is. Take a copy of the project, and mix it again but only pan LCR (Left-Center-Right) no in-between pan. It is very educational, and you will often end up using less tracks and still get a massive sound. After that go back to your original project and listen again.
I’ve historically done panning attempts of L, L95 L85 and so on. I’m not really sure if that method is needed when laying down the same guitar parts - as opposed to fully Left.
I’m glad this sort of hobby isn’t a race!
No your right I had the whole mix in mind.
I did a mix for a band that where a little stuck, just to help out letting them hear another perspective and I did a LCR mix. I ended up using only 3 of the 6 guitar parts, that mostly where playing the same anyway. Reading your thread I was just reminded, a thought I would chime in with a “simpler is sometimes better” happy recording
I often fall under the spell of analysis paralysis, other times I complicate things because I’ve got quite a mechanical mind. For example when in the gym I think about which muscles are working, movement patterns and stuff.
Recording 30 guitar parts would be interesting - but im unsure of it’s usefulness.
At some point, you hit a wall. Adding more parts doesn’t do much besides make it sound a bit louder. And you’ll start getting situations where some of the tracks are too similar sonically, and will start “phasing out” (sounds thin/swirly). With 30 tracks, how do you troubleshoot that?
To avoid that, you could record in pairs—changing the amp/guitar/tone with each pair.
Still, it’d be whacky. You should try it and see what happens!