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Old 01-25-2012, 01:02 AM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
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Originally Posted by DarkestDreaming View Post
I was always trained to record stereo as two mono tracks so all this is new to me.
Sure, you can do that, too. But in digital systems, most plugins are designed to work on a stereo track, so for example, if you want to EQ your stereo track, you'll have to EQ the left track and then also EQ the right track. That's ok, too, you could even argue that it's more flexible. It sounds like Rick, with his analog console, would have no choice. But it's not needed in Logic, which is what I use, because stereo tracks work great. There's no right or wrong here, but I think most computer-based systems support stereo tracks because it's a convenient way to work. Beyond effects, it's easier to edit, and do other operations that need to be done on both channels. But if you prefer to work with two mono track and pan them however you like, that's perfectly fine, and all systems I know of support both.

If you record it as a single stereo track, and 'pan' that track, you are essentially making L louder than R and vice versa, yes? As opposed to sending a bit of left's signal to the right?
Correct, as both Rick and I have been saying, a "pan" control on a stereo track is a balance control. If you turn it to the right it has no effect on the right channel, but turns down the left channel. Exactly like the L/R balance control in your car stereo. I think I'm sounding like a broken record :-)

And one of the reasons you do this is to avoid phase issues.
Well, that's an aspect, but the real point is that when you record in stereo with stereo micing techniques, the entire point of the mic setup is to create an appropriate stereo image. There's no need to "pan" if you set up the mics right, and you are to some extent destroying the math behind the way stereo micing works.

Of course, that's ok, too. The bottom line is what sounds good. If you get the best sound by putting up two mics, recording them to separate mono tracks and panning them however you want, the results speak for themselves! Do what sounds best. What sounds best to me, so far, is recording a stereo track and getting the sound I want by mic placement. Therefore the need to "pan" simply never comes up. But there's a reason they call recording an "art". You can do anything you like, if you like the results, it's great.

You asked about mixing solo guitar, and the examples I posted show how I did it in a couple of cases. It's not the "right" way, it's just what I do, so if you like the results, you might experiment with the same approach. If you don't think it sounds good, avoid my techniques. I do think that the basic approach I use is pretty common among solo fingerstyle guitar recordings, which is why I brought it up. I didn't invent any of this :-) I came up with what I do by studying lots of fingerstyle recordings, talking to lots of recording engineers and other guitarists, and so on. I hope it's helpful, but if it doesn't make sense to you, that's ok, too. There are tons of ways to do things, if it sounds good, thats what counts.

Last edited by Doug Young; 01-25-2012 at 01:16 AM.
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