You must log in or register to post. Registration is free! [ Register ]

The Recording Project Forum Index -> Live Gear

FAQ Search Photo Album!
 Acoustic guitar duo
View previous topic :: View next topic 
Post new topic  Reply to topic
Author Message
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject: Acoustic guitar duo Reply with quote

I've co-written 12 songs with another acoustic guitar player.
During the process, we'd record everything we'd do and leave each guitar panned off left and right. The recordings sounded better than I'd thought considering the gear used (we'll record them properly in the next month). We've just started to play these songs live, but I've noticed that if I center both guitars, the sound becomes a bit mush. The more I pan, the clearer the sound becomes but I'm concerned that a person sitting off to the left will only hear that one guitar.
Is there another way I can approach this problem? Since there are only two guitars, it's really important that they're both present in the mix, but the clarity is important too.
FYI One guitar is an old Larrivée and the other is a Taylor 710. They are somewhat different but technically I guess they share the same general sonic space.

_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Lt. Bob Offline
On a Break


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 12390
Location: America's Wang
Age: 66


PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well that is a problem.
First off ..... stereo in a live situation is usually crap because of the very thing you mentioned.
At home where you sit somewhere near the sweet spot, you hear both sides easily and get the benefit of the stereo spread.

But at a gig ..... people on one side of the room simply only hear that side of the stereo spead and don;t hear the other side well or even at all.
I think you're gonna want to come up with distinctive equalization to set each guitar off from the other ...... make them easier to differentiate.
But there's a limit to what you can do.
I recently say BelaFleck and Chick Corea doing a duo gig and at times you simply couldn't tell which was which. The banjo sound and the piano sound were surprisingly similar and there were many times I simply could not differentiate between the two.

So there's gonna be a limit to how much you can seperate them without EQ'ing one to not be what you ideally want it to sound like on it's own.
The only other thing I can think of is to put the two stereo sides close together ....... like in the stage center pointing out a bit to each side. That way you could pan them but the soundsources would still be where each side could hear them

_________________
Of course your take on me, is going to be different than my take on me --- GT
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping you'd chime in on this one Lt!
It's an issue that's been in the back of my mind for a while but I figured some sound guru would have a simple answer. When mixing down, I've tried duplicating the fully panned track, stereo flipping it and dropping the volume so at least if you're stuck listening to mostly one channel, the song still works, but it's still not as nice as the simple left and right tracks.

_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Lt. Bob Offline
On a Break


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 12390
Location: America's Wang
Age: 66


PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you'll probably want to experiment with the various eq'ing and such at home while listening in mono to replicate what it'll be like live so you can try different things in a controlled environment and won't be under the pressure of gigging.
That using the stereo mix and flipping it to use it twice essentially sounds like an interesting idea. But wouldn't that end up being essentially mono?

_________________
Of course your take on me, is going to be different than my take on me --- GT
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm headed off shortly to set up so I'll give that a go Lt.
Thanks for your thoughts.

_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Porter Offline
Head Honcho


Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 2507
Location: Sydney, Australia
Age: 38


PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be going off on the wrong tangent here... would changing the guitar parts a bit help.. ie different frequencies, actually not change.. voice the guitars differently.. ie capo one guitar.

Just a thought..

Daniel

_________________
Ahh the heroes of the internet. I just never thought one of them would be named porter Wink ~pdk
Back to top
View user's profile Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We both play different parts on all the songs Porter. There's something about the sound of panning them off to each side that's so nice IMO.

I tried panning each guitar about 15% with the speakers both pointed straight forward. That part seemed to be ok. What really screwed up was me dammit.
There was photographer from a local newspaper who decided to do a story on the music scene in my home town there last night. Before the first song, she parked three feet in front of me with this giant freaking camera and started flashing away. I was so rattled, I total f(*&ed up the first song and didn't do much better on the next three. Shit!

_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Lt. Bob Offline
On a Break


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 12390
Location: America's Wang
Age: 66


PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cam wrote:

There was photographer from a local newspaper who decided to do a story on the music scene in my home town there last night. Before the first song, she parked three feet in front of me with this giant freaking camera and started flashing away. I was so rattled, I total f(*&ed up the first song and didn't do much better on the next three. Shit!

That's why I always gig blind drunk!



Just kidding; before everyone jumps in to say they don't recommend getting drunk before a gig.

But the flashes wouldn't have made you play worse!

_________________
Of course your take on me, is going to be different than my take on me --- GT
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm basically an ameteur but I have a few very accomplished musician friends. I notice that they take stress and make it work for them. They just wail away more on a lead or throw in more drum flourishes. In my case, I forget chords and lose all dexterity. It really pisses me off. It seems like not giving a shit can be a reall asset.
_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Treeline Offline
Giant Member


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 3116
Location: The smoke filled back room where it all really happens
Age: 61


PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cam wrote:
I'm basically an amateur but I have a few very accomplished musician friends. I notice that they take stress and make it work for them. They just wail away more on a lead or throw in more drum flourishes. In my case, I forget chords and lose all dexterity. It really pisses me off. It seems like not giving a shit can be a real asset.


You've picked up on something important. The pros do give a shit - that's why they're pros. But they don't get rattled easily and recover well from a gaffe. So remind yourself when you play that the audience wants you to have fun. Because the more fun you have, the more of that rubs off on your audience. If you stress out, the audience finds itself watching someone stress out - which is not why they go to hear a live performer. So find ways to turn the energy that comes out as stress, around to come out as a more neutral energy.

I've battled stage fright / adrenalin for years and the only thing that overcomes it seems to be time on a stage. But at least if you remind yourself that these people are your friends and they want you to do well, you can help them to avoid stressing for you by exercising your sense of humor. If I start a tune in the wrong key (forgot the capo, whatever), I'll do the Eric Clapton thing. Remember his Unplugged concert? "uh.. hang on, hang on.... heh... ok" Needed to retune or something and just went with it.

Get someone to take pictures of you when you're playing (and practicing). Look at the expression on your face. I'm awful with that - it looks like I just heard a friend had died or something. So a big grin and a flash of the eye can help an audience. And then just let it all happen. You'll get cranking before you know it and then you're cooking.

About the live sound, I agree with trying to rearrange stuff so each guitar has a different sonic space at any given moment. Another thing to try if your mixer has enough channels is a trick sound guys do with delay effects, especially with rockabilly bands where a vocal slapback can be part of the show. Sometimes we will take a return from a completely wet reverb or delay signal and re-route it into a separate channel - and then slap the fader up and down momentarily to apply an instant of slapback.

You can do something like this by panning eq on each guitar. The idea is to dupe a track with its own unique eq and pan setup, only do it live. All you need to do is assign an aux send from each guitar channel to its own new input channel. Then on the new channel, do something different with the eq and let it back into the mix. If you're running a stereo main mix, play with panning the secondary signal differently from the primary and so forth. Experiment with pre- and post- fader sends to see what you like. By doing this you can establish more and differing acoustic spaces for each guitar.

I almost never run stereo live mix as it causes more problems for me than it solves. I'll run a mono mix to one active cab and daisy chain the line level signal to the other. But maybe a stereo mix could work for you if you get this kind of thing under your belt.

_________________
Shut up, she explained.

HERE THERE BE MOOSIC
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Lt. Bob Offline
On a Break


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 12390
Location: America's Wang
Age: 66


PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Treeline wrote:
Cam wrote:
I'm basically an amateur but I have a few very accomplished musician friends. I notice that they take stress and make it work for them. They just wail away more on a lead or throw in more drum flourishes. In my case, I forget chords and lose all dexterity. It really pisses me off. It seems like not giving a shit can be a real asset.


You've picked up on something important. The pros do give a shit - that's why they're pros. But they don't get rattled easily and recover well from a gaffe. So remind yourself when you play that the audience wants you to have fun. Because the more fun you have, the more of that rubs off on your audience. If you stress out, the audience finds itself watching someone stress out - which is not why they go to hear a live performer. So find ways to turn the energy that comes out as stress, around to come out as a more neutral energy.

I've battled stage fright / adrenalin for years and the only thing that overcomes it seems to be time on a stage. But at least if you remind yourself that these people are your friends and they want you to do well, you can help them to avoid stressing for you by exercising your sense of humor. If I start a tune in the wrong key (forgot the capo, whatever), I'll do the Eric Clapton thing. Remember his Unplugged concert? "uh.. hang on, hang on.... heh... ok" Needed to retune or something and just went with it.

Get someone to take pictures of you when you're playing (and practicing). Look at the expression on your face. I'm awful with that - it looks like I just heard a friend had died or something. So a big grin and a flash of the eye can help an audience. And then just let it all happen. You'll get cranking before you know it and then you're cooking.

About the live sound, I agree with trying to rearrange stuff so each guitar has a different sonic space at any given moment. Another thing to try if your mixer has enough channels is a trick sound guys do with delay effects, especially with rockabilly bands where a vocal slapback can be part of the show. Sometimes we will take a return from a completely wet reverb or delay signal and re-route it into a separate channel - and then slap the fader up and down momentarily to apply an instant of slapback.

You can do something like this by panning eq on each guitar. The idea is to dupe a track with its own unique eq and pan setup, only do it live. All you need to do is assign an aux send from each guitar channel to its own new input channel. Then on the new channel, do something different with the eq and let it back into the mix. If you're running a stereo main mix, play with panning the secondary signal differently from the primary and so forth. Experiment with pre- and post- fader sends to see what you like. By doing this you can establish more and differing acoustic spaces for each guitar.

I almost never run stereo live mix as it causes more problems for me than it solves. I'll run a mono mix to one active cab and daisy chain the line level signal to the other. But maybe a stereo mix could work for you if you get this kind of thing under your belt.
excellent post ..... read it twice
_________________
Of course your take on me, is going to be different than my take on me --- GT
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Cam Offline
Amazing Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 886
Location: Montreal

MSN Messenger

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I played the same gig again last week but things were completely different. The set list was loose, the sound system behaved and the pesky photographer wasn't there. We chilled out a bit, talked with the audience, laughed and had a great time. The last time I played there, I'd quit smoking that week which didn't help at all.
There are four of us who share the stage. My wife and a 25 year old girl (both great singers) and another guitarist (pro).
We played a number of our original songs with great applause (that felt good).
I'm sure the pros do give a shit Treeline. I had put a huge amount of weight on playing the songs I spent all winter writing and holding up my side of the duo. My statement was meant to convey that I should lighten up a bit as opposed to not caring what you're doing.
I think I'll have to re-read your post a few times about re-routing the channels. I sort of get the gist of it.
Thanks for your post!
Cam
Here's a recording of one of the songs from last Thursday.
http://netresult.ca/emo/Waiting.mp3

_________________
This space for rent.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:    View previous topic :: View next topic 
Quick Reply      
Use this form to post a quick reply without having to go through the normal reply process.    
     
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Recording Project Forum Index -> Live Gear All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum