First off, please double track guitars. If you're doing modern rock/metal/alternative or something similar, double-tracking is the bare minimum for a good sounding mix. Before you even THINK it: "A great song and a bad mix is better than a bad song and a great mix" is about 100% obvious. The whole purpose of recording advice is to give recording advice, not opinion on whether or not a song sucks, whether or not the tone is in your fingers (wtf?), or whether or not <insert highly subjective argument here>. Granted, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you may want a warm, overdriven guitar on the left and a driving keyboard on the right - there is no one-size-fits-all for this. If your song wants to go out of the norm, do it, but most songs SHOULD stick to the multitracked guitar scheme. Double-tracking will make your mixes sound 99% better and fuller. In addition, it makes you a much tighter player.
However, there is the question of whether or not one should double-track or quad-track. Quad-tracking is harder to do. Much harder. Just as double-tracking makes you a tighter player, quad-tracking makes you an even tighter player. Quad-tracking is also credited with giving fuller-sounding guitars and mixes. While these are usually true, it is not always worth the time and trouble. It could be worth it to practice quad-tracking when you aren't feeling creative (write a simple riff, re-record an older song), but I recommend sticking to double-tracking for when you are just wanting to lay down some tracks.
Here is a guide regarding whether or not you should double-track or quad-track.
Originally posted at: sevenstring.org
Original thread: Should I quad the guitars or not ? (Amon Amarth impersonation)
Original post: Should I quad the guitars or not ? (Amon Amarth impersonation) - POST 2
- If you can play the part four times with 95% tightness, go for it!
- Lower the gain on all tracks. You'll still get a full sound, and it'll be more dynamic.
- Try to make each track slightly different
- EQ differently
- Use different tones on amp sims
- I'm referring to tonestack. Turn the knobs around a bit...
- However, use the same amp sim. Or, at least, similar amp sims (multiple Marshall, or ENGL sims). The tones should sound similar, or else it will sound unbalanced.
- Use different impulses or filters for cabinet simulation
- Different cabinet
- Different mic
- Mic position
- Mic angle
- Pan the four tracks at 100L, 80L, 80R, 100R or something similar
- If you cannot play the part tight enough, stick to double-tracking.
- Pan these at 100L and 100R. I wouldn't really go much narrower.
If I remember, I'll update this with any new thoughts, advice, or information. If you post below, I WILL integrate it into this post. I will also credit you for your help.
Kenneth R. @ Cockos Confederated Forums