TOPIC: How to properly record and mix guitar tracks.

How to properly record and mix guitar tracks. 1 week 5 days ago #22670

Hey there,

New S-gear user here. I'm planning on recording on Reaper and I have always thought that some things are still unclear for me regarding recording and mixing in a DAW. After a (quick) search in the forum I couldn't find the answers to my questions, sorry if they've been answered elsewhere.
To the point: When I feed my (mono) guitar signal into, say, a cleanish S-gear preset, I get a tone which might have, say, stereo delay or reverb or mod (or all of them.). Is this a mono track with stereo information? What is the usual way of treating such a track mixing-wise? If it stays as it is, won't it clash with eg another guitar track? If a mix is busy, is it better to turn it to completely mono and pan so that it doesn't occupy other tracks' space? Are presets record-ready regarding panning?
As you can realise, although I've been playing for a long time, these things are very confusing for me. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot.

How to properly record and mix guitar tracks. 1 week 5 days ago #22671

Hello John,

I will venture a few opinions.

The guitar is a single point sound source so to me it sounds most natural when you can locate it in the mix. Delays, reverb, etc. give a sense of space but do not necessarily modify the location but instead are usually there to provide an environment for the guitar to be located in.

But there are no natural laws that need to be followed in music so recall the opening to AC/DC s "Hells Bells". It begins with two guitars panned hard left and right but as the riff gains momentum the guitars grow until they dominate the whole sound field and then collapse again for the singer. Very dramatic. Can't get enough of it.

I haven't really answered your question, but maybe some food for thought. There is a ton of fun to be had with a modern DAW (I'm 70) :)

Regarding your question about Mono/Stereo. My own preference is to place S-Gear in a Stereo Audio Track even though my guitar is plugged into only one of the input channels. This allows soloing in a stereo context and the final destination is a stereo mix. This works for me.

Let me add a few words of context for the last two words. From the perspective of someone who has been around the block more than a few times our current situation is borderline miracle type stuff. My computer has a simulated multi-track recording studio with more simulated gear and effects than any of the professional studios during most of my life. I have more simulated iconic amps and cabs to chose from than I ever could have dreamed of. So my point is that with Reaper and S-Gear you are stocked with a lot to explore.
Last edit: 1 week 5 days ago by Ts. Reason: clarification

How to properly record and mix guitar tracks. 1 week 5 days ago #22673

Thanks alot for the reply Ts. Yes, definitely a lot to explore.

How to properly record and mix guitar tracks. 5 days 18 hours ago #22679

Here's the way I do guitar tracks in a DAW
- set up a preset in your guitar sim (S-Gear) close to how you want it to sound (for inspiration when playing)
- use the processed guitar sound for monitoring only (you'll be recording the guitar without processing)
- record your guitar dry on a mono track (how you set this up will depend on your studio setup)

- apply your amp sim and any effects to the dry track. Effects can be stereo or mono as needed
For example: S-Gear amp & cab sim -> eq plug-in -> compression plug-in -> stereo reverb and delay bus

How you treat your guitar track in your mix depends on the song and how prevalent the guitar is. Listen with headphones to some of your favorite songs or songs similar to the song you are creating. Focus on how the guitar sounds, where it sits in the track, if it is double tracked, if it has stereo effects, etc. Then copy!
Newest album "Strange Tales" now available! S-Gear used throughout the production.
Last edit: 2 days 19 hours ago by soundog.
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