Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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RocknRollShakeUp
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Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:31 pm

I’m trying to come up with tones for a home recording project I’m trying to get going for like forever.

Here is a short clip of a generic chord progression and a lead to catalog some good clean and punchy tones and also to see how stereo and mono sum tracks sound individually and together, so I could figure out how I’ll approach things.

For the lead I was trying to go for a fat but glassy punchy sizzle clean by using a tonebender type fuzz with the volume rolled down about half way.

I used my CS Wildwood 10 JM with a maple neck. I have all sorts of other guitars, but I can do everything I’m interested in with that Jazzmaster...I just have to admit it, I’m just a Jazzmaster feller when it comes down to it 8) :-*

The first part is stereo recorded to one track. Second is two mono sum tracks panned -20/+20. Third is the stereo track with the two mono summed tracks mixed together.

The lead was routed as a stereo patch in my interface but output 1 and 2 were recorded to its their own tracks simultaneously. This way I could hard pan them R & L and get a full stereo effect, or pan both dead center for a summed type sound. I ended up panning them to around -47/+47. It seems to me that the mix is weighed a bit to the Left so I must have had my Interface mix just a bit off.

There are a few moments in the lead where I wank a bit and sort of ruin the vibe but I wanted to see how that tone comes across when playing fast passages.

Please listen with headphones:

https://soundcloud.com/user-131768017/s ... 3aJydoNqyL

Thoughts?

How do you all approach stereo recording? Any tips on recording stereo tracks?

Based on my results above I think I’ll probably record stereo but with each output to its own track for maximum mixing versatility.

Recording stereo to one track seems useful for certain contexts but then one is stuck with that given hard stereo mix..however having that type of stereo track mixed with two panned mono sum tracks quickly creates a full and lush tonal landscape...

So yes, tips, pearls and tricks please!

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:57 pm

Sounds pretty good. I would go for a little more subtle overall. Less modulation, more dry signal, etc..

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:18 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:57 pm
Sounds pretty good. I would go for a little more subtle overall. Less modulation, more dry signal, etc..
Thanks , yeah I agree, I made it especially wet to hear the ping ponging of the delay effect, but a lesson was that you can’t really hear that anyway when continuously playing !

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by windmill » Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:19 pm

thought that sounded ok.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by jorri » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:02 pm

No major tricks. Output from reverb or delay.

You can use reamping, through the same amp for each channel. Sometimes these effects sound better direct (so either DI or a post-mic outboard?)

I can bring up a dual panner in reaper, (shift the pan of a single channel) or use a standard pan (lowers volume of a channel). Either can sound best.

Mostly panning i cant say ive totally mastered. Only that its still stereo if you use something like left+centre to pull something to one side.
Or use 'hass effect' in basic terms delay one side a tiny amount to shift the signal direction, but i rarely find use for it.

Biggest thing seems to be then to think of some instruments as the middles and some stereo ones as the sides and separate them that way. Sometimes ive had a dry doubled mono rhythm part at the sides, and the stereo verb almost collapsed to the middles, but also vice versa as youd expect.

Another thing to remember is whils stereo produces size in a way having 100% pans also is quite close and enveloping. Often sounds better around 85%-90%. Sometimes you may want distance effect, which would mean a narrower image (much like objects look smaller far away, right). Just need to pull in the width a lot, and its something mono cant quite do since there is no stereo information in a mono signal.

Other than that? Check sounds with mono monitoring and the crossfeed of speakers. Anything sounds great on headphones, but it may not be phase coherant thus disappears on speakers or systems having 'less stereo' playback.
Thats the main advice i always hear about stereo and mixing of any regard.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:14 pm

RocknRollShakeUp wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:18 pm
marqueemoon wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:57 pm
Sounds pretty good. I would go for a little more subtle overall. Less modulation, more dry signal, etc..
Thanks , yeah I agree, I made it especially wet to hear the ping ponging of the delay effect, but a lesson was that you can’t really hear that anyway when continuously playing !
Yeah, for recorded reverbs (and mixing in general) I tend to think visually. There needs to be a foreground and background, and I like things to make sense in terms or being in a real or imagined physical space. It can get pretty far out there as long as there’s some kind of internal logic to it.

Of course there are forms of recorded music like modern hip hop that throw these conventions out the window and make for great listening too.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:59 pm

jorri wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:02 pm
No major tricks. Output from reverb or delay.

You can use reamping, through the same amp for each channel. Sometimes these effects sound better direct (so either DI or a post-mic outboard?)

I can bring up a dual panner in reaper, (shift the pan of a single channel) or use a standard pan (lowers volume of a channel). Either can sound best.

Mostly panning i cant say ive totally mastered. Only that its still stereo if you use something like left+centre to pull something to one side.
Or use 'hass effect' in basic terms delay one side a tiny amount to shift the signal direction, but i rarely find use for it.

Biggest thing seems to be then to think of some instruments as the middles and some stereo ones as the sides and separate them that way. Sometimes ive had a dry doubled mono rhythm part at the sides, and the stereo verb almost collapsed to the middles, but also vice versa as youd expect.

Another thing to remember is whils stereo produces size in a way having 100% pans also is quite close and enveloping. Often sounds better around 85%-90%. Sometimes you may want distance effect, which would mean a narrower image (much like objects look smaller far away, right). Just need to pull in the width a lot, and its something mono cant quite do since there is no stereo information in a mono signal.

Other than that? Check sounds with mono monitoring and the crossfeed of speakers. Anything sounds great on headphones, but it may not be phase coherant thus disappears on speakers or systems having 'less stereo' playback.
Thats the main advice i always hear about stereo and mixing of any regard.
Jorri that’s a lot for me to think about! I’ll have to study your post for a spell or two! It makes sense what you say, even via a vis my more superficial understanding of the whole thing.
Maybe compounding the issue a bit is that I have to track and mix via headphones as I have an untreated room and no monitors.
That was recorded direct with my pedal board through a DSM Simplifier, in stereo, with Eventide H9’s in its stereo fx loop.
I can also simultaneously run a Thru out, and run that into another channel of my interface and record a dry/thru signal, for reamping later, though I don’t think I need to do that unless I want a specific gainy/cranked amp tone...plus I’d then have to figure out how to re-amp exactly!
But yes I need to ponder your many interesting points .
Last edited by RocknRollShakeUp on Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:00 pm

windmill wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:19 pm
thought that sounded ok.
Groovy, many thanks for your feedback !

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:04 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:14 pm
RocknRollShakeUp wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:18 pm
marqueemoon wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:57 pm
Sounds pretty good. I would go for a little more subtle overall. Less modulation, more dry signal, etc..
Thanks , yeah I agree, I made it especially wet to hear the ping ponging of the delay effect, but a lesson was that you can’t really hear that anyway when continuously playing !
Yeah, for recorded reverbs (and mixing in general) I tend to think visually. There needs to be a foreground and background, and I like things to make sense in terms or being in a real or imagined physical space. It can get pretty far out there as long as there’s some kind of internal logic to it.

Of course there are forms of recorded music like modern hip hop that throw these conventions out the window and make for great listening too.
That’s a good way to think about it. I guess I see it more like a sonic soup and it’s easy for me to chuck too many ingredients in there ! :D

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by øøøøøøø » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:01 am

I very, very rarely ever record electric guitar in stereo. If I do, it's usually when there is a true stereo effect being printed (DI before an H3000 or something like that, or very rarely a full "stereo guitar rig" with two amps).

I very often record two mics on one guitar cab, or get sent multiple-mic'd guitar tracks to mix. The vast majority of the time, I either:

1) choose the one I like best and mute the other
2) decide I like the blend of the two and use both together as a single mono source.

On the rare occasion that a stereo rig with two amps is being recorded/mixed, I almost exclusively hard-pan them.

If placed conventionally (close to the amp and in-phase), two mics on a single speaker (or on two different speakers) of a normal mono guitar amp provides scarcely any useful time-of-arrival information (or intensity differences). It's not a stereo source. You won't get any "imaging" per se (though you may hear some slight image instability due to the discrepancies in response between the two individual microphones).

In the context of the mix, this is generally not an especially-useful thing (to me). It's also not "stereophony" in the truest since (in fact, nothing we've talked about so far is "stereophony" in the classical sense!)

However, we can place a pair far back in a good-sounding room and get stereo information in the form of reflected room sound. This is mostly useful if you're in a really great hall or big live room whose sound you want to capture. In this instance, you're not getting a stereo recording of a guitar amp--you're getting a stereo recording of a guitar amp in a space.

This will create an image/panorama if done properly, and is actually "stereophonic recording" as Alan Blumlein himself would've defined it.

But even this is rarely as useful as I hope in the context of a mix with other things going on. Most rooms just do not sound better than other ways of generating stereo reverb/space. Lots of people record room mics for guitar, and they're almost always an afterthought and don't sound very good, so while I always try to use them, I generally find myself muting them.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by jorri » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:33 am

I'd never hard pan mics on same speakeror bother with bi-amping stereo. For me is all about "teh shoegaze" stereo verbs.

There is however a trick Albini does which is dual miccing i use, and when doing so leaving 5-10% nudge of the pan to give them separation.

And like room sounds. In stereo. On bass often. I feel its usage is almost as "mix glue" or warmth, as in it gives what many try and get from their vintage compression and saturator modules. Of course, I more recently find the compression/saturation etc sounds better. I find the former easier...or authentic?

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:04 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:01 am
I very, very rarely ever record electric guitar in stereo. If I do, it's usually when there is a true stereo effect being printed (DI before an H3000 or something like that, or very rarely a full "stereo guitar rig" with two amps).

I very often record two mics on one guitar cab, or get sent multiple-mic'd guitar tracks to mix. The vast majority of the time, I either:

1) choose the one I like best and mute the other
2) decide I like the blend of the two and use both together as a single mono source.

On the rare occasion that a stereo rig with two amps is being recorded/mixed, I almost exclusively hard-pan them.

If placed conventionally (close to the amp and in-phase), two mics on a single speaker (or on two different speakers) of a normal mono guitar amp provides scarcely any useful time-of-arrival information (or intensity differences). It's not a stereo source. You won't get any "imaging" per se (though you may hear some slight image instability due to the discrepancies in response between the two individual microphones).

In the context of the mix, this is generally not an especially-useful thing (to me). It's also not "stereophony" in the truest since (in fact, nothing we've talked about so far is "stereophony" in the classical sense!)

However, we can place a pair far back in a good-sounding room and get stereo information in the form of reflected room sound. This is mostly useful if you're in a really great hall or big live room whose sound you want to capture. In this instance, you're not getting a stereo recording of a guitar amp--you're getting a stereo recording of a guitar amp in a space.

This will create an image/panorama if done properly, and is actually "stereophonic recording" as Alan Blumlein himself would've defined it.

But even this is rarely as useful as I hope in the context of a mix with other things going on. Most rooms just do not sound better than other ways of generating stereo reverb/space. Lots of people record room mics for guitar, and they're almost always an afterthought and don't sound very good, so while I always try to use them, I generally find myself muting them.
Many thanks for your response! I'll be contemplating this as well!

In a more simplistic fashion though, what if you were recording direct guitar, using stereo delay and or reverbs, for example, to one track, or recording the R to one track and the L to another track. How would you approach that type of scenario mixing/panning wise?

And how would you mix two Mono Sum tracks with summed delay/reverb into the above scenario?

I am a total chump understudy to this stuff, so I hope my questions aren't off base or too simplistic!

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:07 am

jorri wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:33 am
I'd never hard pan mics on same speakeror bother with bi-amping stereo. For me is all about "teh shoegaze" stereo verbs.

There is however a trick Albini does which is dual miccing i use, and when doing so leaving 5-10% nudge of the pan to give them separation.

And like room sounds. In stereo. On bass often. I feel its usage is almost as "mix glue" or warmth, as in it gives what many try and get from their vintage compression and saturator modules. Of course, I more recently find the compression/saturation etc sounds better. I find the former easier...or authentic?
Even with the direct recording I'm doing now I have noticed how panning the R and L sides of a Stereo recording with a 5-10% separation sounds very cool. But when you mention Albini's dual mic'ing do you mean using two amps or two different mics on the same speaker?

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:09 am

RocknRollShakeUp wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:04 am
In a more simplistic fashion though, what if you were recording direct guitar, using stereo delay and or reverbs, for example, to one track, or recording the R to one track and the L to another track. How would you approach that type of scenario mixing/panning wise?
In the vast majority of cases, stereo effects are designed to be hard L-R, and that's where I put them. Otherwise, depending on the effect and how it was printed things can sometimes start to get a little weird due to comb-filtering.

If you have a stereo effect and you're only recording one side, you have a mono source that you can put anywhere. Put the wet opposite the dry, put them together as a mono source, whatever works.

Most often if I'm recording an effected direct guitar, I'll record the (usually stereo) output of the effect (called the "return") set to 100% wet. Then I'll also record the dry, mono guitar. In other words, I'm capturing three audio tracks (or one "mono track" and one "stereo track").

The stereo track (100% wet effects return) will be hard L-R and I control the wet/dry blend by balancing the mono dry signal with the stereo 100% wet signal.

I can pan the dry signal while leaving the effect signal hard L-R; I can mute one side of the effect signal, and (rarely) I can collapse the panning of the effected signal from "L-R" to "L-C" (which is fraught with risk of things sounding weird in many cases). Almost always, for me, the effect stays full L-R regardless of what I do with the dry.

And how would you mix two Mono Sum tracks with summed delay/reverb into the above scenario?
Not positive I completely understand what you're asking here, but there are many ways reverb can be handled on a recording.

The "old school" way (which I find myself using most often, still) is to use what's called a "send." Set the reverb device (or plugin) up, using an "aux" input and returned to a pair of channels on the console (or an "aux input" or equivalent within the DAW).

Then, you can send a little bit of signal from any channel(s) you want, and they all go to the same reverb. Control the wet/dry mix either with the send or with the fader level of the aux return.

This can be either mono or (usually) stereo, and the stereo return is almost always 100% hard L-R (sometimes with mono reverb returns, the reverb will be panned opposite the source... something that was more common 70 years ago as stereo and artificial reverb were both new, but still an interesting effect at times).

In the DAW era, many people still treat reverb this way, but others will use reverbs as an "insert" effect instead... placing it directly on the desired channel, just like you would use a compressor or EQ. This has some disadvantages and perhaps the advantage that you can get some sounds this way that you wouldn't by using the traditional "aux send" method.

That might be confusing, but I hope it helps somewhat.

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Re: Woodshedding stereo recording tones with Jazzmaster

Post by RocknRollShakeUp » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:16 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:09 am
RocknRollShakeUp wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:04 am
In a more simplistic fashion though, what if you were recording direct guitar, using stereo delay and or reverbs, for example, to one track, or recording the R to one track and the L to another track. How would you approach that type of scenario mixing/panning wise?
In the vast majority of cases, stereo effects are designed to be hard L-R, and that's where I put them. Otherwise, depending on the effect and how it was printed things can sometimes start to get a little weird due to comb-filtering.

If you have a stereo effect and you're only recording one side, you have a mono source that you can put anywhere. Put the wet opposite the dry, put them together as a mono source, whatever works.

Most often if I'm recording an effected direct guitar, I'll record the (usually stereo) output of the effect (called the "return") set to 100% wet. Then I'll also record the dry, mono guitar. In other words, I'm capturing three audio tracks (or one "mono track" and one "stereo track").

The stereo track (100% wet effects return) will be hard L-R and I control the wet/dry blend by balancing the mono dry signal with the stereo 100% wet signal.

I can pan the dry signal while leaving the effect signal hard L-R; I can mute one side of the effect signal, and (rarely) I can collapse the panning of the effected signal from "L-R" to "L-C" (which is fraught with risk of things sounding weird in many cases). Almost always, for me, the effect stays full L-R regardless of what I do with the dry.

And how would you mix two Mono Sum tracks with summed delay/reverb into the above scenario?
Not positive I completely understand what you're asking here, but there are many ways reverb can be handled on a recording.

The "old school" way (which I find myself using most often, still) is to use what's called a "send." Set the reverb device (or plugin) up, using an "aux" input and returned to a pair of channels on the console (or an "aux input" or equivalent within the DAW).

Then, you can send a little bit of signal from any channel(s) you want, and they all go to the same reverb. Control the wet/dry mix either with the send or with the fader level of the aux return.

This can be either mono or (usually) stereo, and the stereo return is almost always 100% hard L-R (sometimes with mono reverb returns, the reverb will be panned opposite the source... something that was more common 70 years ago as stereo and artificial reverb were both new, but still an interesting effect at times).

In the DAW era, many people still treat reverb this way, but others will use reverbs as an "insert" effect instead... placing it directly on the desired channel, just like you would use a compressor or EQ. This has some disadvantages and perhaps the advantage that you can get some sounds this way that you wouldn't by using the traditional "aux send" method.

That might be confusing, but I hope it helps somewhat.
Thank you very much for the detailed and informative answer! I have to think about this for a while and let some of this stuff sink in for sure, but I believe I am following what you are saying.

Regarding my question regarding mixing Mono Sum signals, I over complicated it, although it produced the good by product of your great explanation of how reverb can be handled.

I'll try a simpler way of asking: if you have a hard panned stereo effect, like a ping pong delay that you record, and then you decide for whatever reason to take this stereo signal and sum it so that it is basically mono now, and you record two tracks of this [summed] mono track, where in the mix would you be tempted to put them? Panned -40/+40, or -20/20, -10/+10, etc.?

But as I ask that, I am now asking myself, if decide to mix in two other mono tracks why would I do that with summed mono tracks of the original stereo track, wouldn't it be better to use just reverb, or maybe a different type of delay?
And in such a busy guitar mix, where would the bass go? Two mono bass tracks squeezed somewhere between the guitar tracks on the R and L?

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