Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

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twitchmonitor
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Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by twitchmonitor » Fri Oct 01, 2004 8:39 am

I did a record with a dirty rock n? roll band a while back. They had two excellent guitar players who played the songs through with rhythm tracks. Then they recorded their leads and lead breaks as overdubs. We had a bit of trouble fitting these in with the rhythm tracks in places?.they were always too loud or two quiet. Jack Endino ended up remixing the record and he did a great job of shoehorning the leads in.

But last night I caught this band?s live show and I was blown away by how good the songs sounded with the guitar players just playing their regular parts, i.e., rhythm guitar for rhythm guitar sections, and leads and breaks thrown in where they belonged. Suddenly the songs seemed to breath more?seemed more fluid, had more energy and just plain sounded better. So I got to thinking: should I have encouraged them to record their ?regular? parts? I guess Thin Lizzy?s Jailbreak springs to mind as a good example of two Les Paul/Marshall guitar players laying down one pass each.

How do you guys handle situations like this?

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:46 am

well i know what you mean about one pass of each sounding better and more natural....that said, i'm definitely a fan of contrasting rhythm parts panned hard left and right (and turned up LOUD hehe) with the lead down the middle. i find that compressing the lead a bunch (and maybe cranking the mids as well) really helps to fit it in with everything else, and can make it sound more aggro to boot....

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by swingdoc » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:50 am

I suppose if you have mute capabilities you can record the rythym parts under the leads, then during mixdown play it both ways and let the band decide. Or perhaps have two mixes, one with and one without.
Personally I like little to no rhythm behind the lead if thats the way the band plays it live. If they do want the rythm there, I try to get them to tone the parts way back, like light arpeggios, or 2 note chords accentuating the 3rd and 7th of the chord changes just for direction. Whatever it is, I think it (the rythm part behind the lead) should be sparser and a clearly different vibe than the rest of the song...thats my take.

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by twitchmonitor » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:53 am

swingdoc wrote:I suppose if you have mute capabilities you can record the rythym parts under the leads, then during mixdown play it both ways and let the band decide. Or perhaps have two mixes, one with and one without.
Personally I like little to no rhythm behind the lead if thats the way the band plays it live. If they do want the rythm there, I try to get them to tone the parts way back, like light arpeggios, or 2 note chords accentuating the 3rd and 7th of the chord changes just for direction. Whatever it is, I think it (the rythm part behind the lead) should be sparser and a clearly different vibe than the rest of the song...thats my take.
I don't think doing two passes and muting would work...I think the beauty of one pass is that it's "real" or "live" performance. The energy is completely different when played as an overdub.

I feel like it's probably and either/or situation.

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by Devlars » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:53 am

From the stand point of capturing a good performance then yes by all means. If they sound better breaking from their rythmn bits to do the lead bits then common sense would tell you what the answer is as for how to record it. "But what if they screw up a bit and have to redo the take?" heaven forbid we should expect people to actually give a good performance to record huh. Unfortunately recording has become, "can you make me sound like/more/as if etc.____________" to too many pepole. :shake:
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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by swingdoc » Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:48 am

twitchmonitor wrote:I don't think doing two passes and muting would work...I think the beauty of one pass is that it's "real" or "live" performance. The energy is completely different when played as an overdub.

I feel like it's probably and either/or situation.
Right , you could one pass record with them playing the solo, then overdub the background rythym part if they think that needs to be inplace. Then during mixdown, could show them the two versions..

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by andyg666 » Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:24 pm

if the band is tight and they can pull it off and the amp doesn't go "CLICK!!!!!!" when they switch to the lead channel, i'd say capture the live feel. but then again, some songs just don't call for that. a jammin' rockin' joint with improved solos and interplay between instruments and lots of dynamics and such--i like to go live. if it's a more intimate song with layers and acoustics and such, i think it's safe to get a little bit of "studioitis" and go the overdub route. have fun!

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by jmligt » Sat Oct 02, 2004 4:25 pm

I like to lay down my guitar tracks in separate takes. If only because it allows me to throw in some other little riffs and pickup notes into the solos that I usually can't pull off live. Then again we end up having these recordings with four or five guitar tracks and when we play the songs live after recording they sometimes sound a little "empty" to me....

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by @?,*???&? » Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:23 pm

Question arises frequently. On projects I produce and engineer, the solo rules. My aesthetic is that the disc must sound like the band live. Usually, 2 guitars, bass, drums and vocal. Do the John Alcock/Thin Lizzy thing, split the solos into a separate fader and run them up the middle or slightly in an opposite channel. Spread the solo out. Make it god-like and omnipresent. Showcase it in a 'theater of rock'. Wow.

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by twitchmonitor » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:52 am

Jeff Robinson wrote:Question arises frequently. On projects I produce and engineer, the solo rules. My aesthetic is that the disc must sound like the band live. Usually, 2 guitars, bass, drums and vocal. Do the John Alcock/Thin Lizzy thing, split the solos into a separate fader and run them up the middle or slightly in an opposite channel. Spread the solo out. Make it god-like and omnipresent. Showcase it in a 'theater of rock'. Wow.
I'm a bit confused (seems to be my M.O. today...). Are you suggesting that for the Alcock/Lizzy thing I should track the two guitarist playing rhythm all the way through, then have then both play leads and then bring the leads in up the center while the rhythm parts play L and R? I guess I just don't see how that would make it "god-like," but I assume I'm missing something...

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Re: Adding rhythm guitars behind leads

Post by metalsapphire » Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:22 am

Personally, I make my decisions for lead tracking, based on the type of music it is and the feel the band is trying to create. I usually prefer to have rhythm on both parts constant. I've found that this works well in almost any type of music (particularly heavy metal). I Like this because I can bring the solo up somewhere in the center, and depending on the kind of solo (either super shreddy or slow and melodic) I can work with the verbs and delays to give it a soaring effect over the rhythm. Keeping both rhythm guitars, to me, keeps the momentum consistent. When the band plays live, odds are (unless you added a TON of extra guitar tracks) the audience won't notice the rhythm dropping out because usually they are focused on the solo. To me it is easier to set your rhythm tracks up in Land R how you like them, and just slide the solo in and out where you would like it to be.
Does it sound good or not?

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