#53: Doubling Guitars And Vocals (Why, When And How To Record Doubles)

#53: Doubling Guitars And Vocals (Why, When And How To Record Doubles)


Doubling Guitars And Vocals (Why, When And How To Record Doubles) 

Many people seem to be confused or unsure when it comes to why, when and how to record doubles.

  • Should you record doubles at all? 
  • Throughout the whole song? 
  • Only certain parts? 
  • One double or more? 
  • Can't I just duplicate the main take? 
  • What about doubler plugins/effects - is that the same?
  • Guitar doubles using the same rig or a different one?
  • How do I do it properly? Anything specific to watch out for?

Listen know and learn how to properly record guitar and vocal doubles, so your choruses can be big, your guitars wide and thick and your vocal arrangements as exciting as possible.

This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 053 - Doubling Guitars And Vocals (Why, when and how to record doubles)

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] It's going to be one of those episodes where we can give you a clear framework or a clear like method you can use to decide if you need a double, how to actually do it, what to watch out for. And so you will be prepared for all these, for these situations. Yeah. This is the self recording band podcast.

The show where we help you make exciting records on your own, wherever you are, DIY style, let's go.

Hello, and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Ben at the time, and I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm. Oh, and flat. How are you, Malcolm? 

Malcom: [00:00:37] Hello? I'm great, man. 

Benedikt: [00:00:38] How are you? I'm great. Thank you. Awesome. It's. It's freezing in Germany. We have like minus 20 or so. And it's um, but it's like, yeah, pretty normal winter for where I live.

Right. It's still like, yeah, you got to limit it time outside a little bit. 

Malcom: [00:00:57] Yeah. I think last week I was braking [00:01:00] about. Being in, like t-shirts having a beer on the beach and now it's like a snow storm here changed suddenly. I hope we don't lose power through this, but yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:01:11] yeah, yeah. Yeah. Does that happen regularly or.

Malcom: [00:01:15] Losing power or snowstorms losing power. Losing power. Yeah. Yeah. Like, so the, the downside of having such great weather very often is that when bad weather does come, we're never ready for it. And it just wipes us out. It's like all hell breaks, loose and people can't drive and it's yeah, it's a disaster.

Benedikt: [00:01:33] Okay. Yeah. I can see that. Yeah. Yeah. Germany's the same thing where I always laugh when I, when I watch like TV and see the news. And when. Yeah, everything like goes, go South when there's like five centimeters of snow and like chaos, you know, and we have, I don't know, one and a half meters here and still doing fine, but 

Malcom: [00:01:57] yeah, that's funny.

Yeah. That [00:02:00] is exactly what it's like, but it's been a good week otherwise, like, um, honestly having the snow over the weekend really forced me to just relax and not work and chill out and it was awesome. I had an amazing weekend. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:02:12] That's good to hear. Yeah. Yeah. We had a good weekend as well. Like our daughter had birthday on Helen Friday.

That was cool. And then, Oh yeah. 

Malcom: [00:02:20] Congratulations. That's 

Benedikt: [00:02:21] pretty cool. Thanks. Yeah. Crazy to think. She's now six years old, like that's so I always used to say like, Oh, everything changed when, when I, when we get kids, you know, and like, I, I need to take things seriously. Now I need to start thinking about some stuff.

And like, and I realize I have had kids for six years now. I'm not starting now. You know, I shouldn't have my shit together, but I always tell it to sell. So yeah, like things used to be easy. But now that I have kids, I need to do this and that, but like, it's been six years, 

Malcom: [00:02:55] right. Well, my cat Beasley has turned one, so that's exactly the same, [00:03:00] right?

Benedikt: [00:03:02] Yeah. I mean, it felt, it felt similar when I got a cat, when we get a Casper, like we, yeah. Our cat was our first cat was somehow like, Similar to our first kid 

Malcom: [00:03:16] had 

Benedikt: [00:03:16] kids. It felt that way back then. Now I realize it is not the same, but 

Malcom: [00:03:23] yeah. I always say that stuff just to like annoy my friends who have kids now.

Yeah. Yeah. I 

Benedikt: [00:03:27] totally see that. Well, Yeah. Two kids, three cats, two ducks. Yeah, my case. So it's a lot going on. So yeah. Other than that, the weekend was what's cool here as well. A little bit of work a little bit. Yeah. Relaxing. It was cool. 

Malcom: [00:03:43] Yeah. Right on. Well, let's get back into the music world. 

Benedikt: [00:03:46] Yes. Um, so today we're going to talk about, about doubling, um, like double tracking, which is something that comes up frequently with projects that I work on as a mix engineer.

Um, [00:04:00] And I'm sure it's the same for all mix engineers who get sent stuff. And the reason is that people are a little bit, or seem to be a little confused about this topic because they seem to be unsure when to double, when to record doubles, how to do it properly. How many of those to record how to know like, how to make that, those decisions?

It's, it's basically always the same kind of questions that come up. And we're doing this episode to answer those questions because it's not as complicated. Like there's a bad way too. We both have like a system, a somewhat systematic approach to it. And it's, I think it's going to be one of those episodes where we can give you a clear.

Framework or a clear, like a method you can use to decide if you need a double, how to actually do it, what to watch out for. Um, and so you will be prepared for all these, for these situations. So, yeah. 

Malcom: [00:04:57] Absolutely. Yeah, I'm a big fan [00:05:00] of the doubled sound. I like the wall of sound mixes. That's kind of my alley.

Like that's where I live generally. And, and by double tracking, that's like a really great way to get to that result. Um, very nice symmetrical sound in mixes that really just kind of smash out of speakers. Right. So I'm a huge fan of it lately hilariously, but the timing of this episode, I've been purposely using less, um, kind of as an experiment, but also realizing that as with most things in music, It's what you don't do that makes the parts that you do it more effective.

Right? So like, I think this is a really good, good timing for this episode because it's, it's stuff that I'm experimenting with right now. So it's very fresh for me. Um, cool. So maybe we should start by talking about what are things that are Doubletrack most. Yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:05:53] I think the two biggest ones are vocals and guitars.

For me. And [00:06:00] you can basically do whatever you want and double anything, but like vocals or guitars is the, all of the common things. And there's two ways I approach it. Like on the one hand, there are the stubbles that I do to just fill up the. Stereo image whenever I think there's something lacking or the, the, the mix would lean on one side and I need something on the other side.

So that's one situation where I would do doubles. And the other one is like more creative sound design sort of thing, where I want the sound of a double. Thing. And that can be mano sometimes, but like one is basically yeah. For, for stereo image reasons that the other one is for sound reasons. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:06:41] So I like to think of things in like old school LCR mixers, which that means left center.

Right. For people that didn't come up in that train of thought, I guess most people probably didn't get trained in that way, because most people have learned in digital workstations, which I did as well, but it was just. How am I, like when [00:07:00] I got an internship, this is how it was explained to me. And it really worked well for my brain.

Um, so obviously when you pan something in a doll you have more than just left to center or right. You have all the in-betweens as well. Um, but for a moment here, let's pretend you didn't. That you could only put things all the way left all the way, right. Or all the way up the center. So they're evenly split between your left and your right.

That is a really nice way to kind of visualize your mix, even in pre-production I'm thinking about that kind of stuff. Like where is this melody that the one guitar player is going to live? Because if he's playing this really busy little melody and the lead singer has an important, like verse lyric melody going on at the same time.

And it doesn't go with that to me. It's not going to work if they're both coming up the middle. Right. So I'm going to have to choose what goes up the center and where that other element goes. Um, and that normally means moving it out to the left or the right. But now is our mix [00:08:00] lopsided, right? Is it leaning towards wherever we place that?

Do I need to balance it out by getting a double of that other element so that it's happening on both sides and it kind of like, yeah. Now it's balanced out symmetrical. Um, or is that gonna make it even busier? You know, you have to the way these things and, um, we're, we're talking about doubling, but a quick note is that just so people are aware.

You can balance something out with a totally different element, right? Um, example being, if there's a loud, like hi-hat groove going on on one side, you can use a tambourine to balance up the mixed on the other side or something like that. That's a very common thing to do. Um, and I mean, that's not a rule of thumb, but it's just like, you can get away with using other elements.

But what we're mostly talking about in this episode is repeating the same performance of the same instrument. 

Benedikt: [00:08:49] Yes, exactly. And I think that's actually a great way to start immediately from the first thing you record. Think of the panning. That the final thing [00:09:00] we'll have, even if you're not mixing yourself, just like when you start recording the drums, start panning the individual elements out left, and right when you record the drum, the bass, keep it in the S in the middle.

When you record guitars, think about the final image. What it's got to be, where each guitar is going to sit. And like commit and define that. I mean, the mixer can obviously change that if, if thing, another method would work better, but do your best to define that and to intentional needy intentionally place elements left right.

And center during tracking. So that's, I agree is a great starting point because that will lead to. Automatic, like automatically lead to logical decisions that you're going to make when it comes to doubling. For example, the classic for me is with the balancing out left and right thing. The classic for me is, for example, you have two guitars and you have a verse, for example, in both guitars, all playing.

Courts or Palm Utes or whatever. And it's simple things that the same thing basically. And then you go into, and when one is left and [00:10:00] one is right, and then you go into the chorus and one of the guitars starts to play like octaves or some lead melody in the background or single notes, something like that.

The other guitar keeps on playing courts. Then the chorus that's probably supposed to sound bigger, will sound smaller than the worst because one guitar is not playing chords anymore. And it's like these thin single notes sort of things. And if you just stick with the left and right thing, it will sound like the real band with two guitar players, but you probably oftentimes don't want that.

So you need to. Get something in the spot where the second court guitar was in the verse and move the lead guitar or the single notes to the middle behind the vocal, for example, or double both of them and have like two wide chorus guitar court guitars, and a doubled lead on top of that left and right.

Or something like that. But you want to make sure that the chorus is actually bigger than the worst and oftentimes. That's not the case. If you don't [00:11:00] double it because the verse will, might end up sounding fuller than the chorus. That's a classic for me where I just move the, the lead to the center. And then there's a hole on one side and I have to fill it in with a double 

Malcom: [00:11:11] right.

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Just sticking with this left of center, right. Concept for awhile. This might surprise some folks that haven't been doing this for very long, but a lot of people strictly mics like that, they literally will not go anywhere other than hard left hard right center. And like, I mean, 90% of my mix is probably land on that.

I do break through actually, that's not true by, Tom's never go hard after, right from me. 

Benedikt: [00:11:35] I mean, they have, but. I was about to say everything except the times almost every time 

Malcom: [00:11:38] for me. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And lately I've been getting away with vocals, like less than hard pans, like when it's like a, um, some harmonies or something I've experimented with that more kind of thing.

But like, 

Benedikt: [00:11:51] I have a rule for that as well. I've got to get to that when we come to it. 

Malcom: [00:11:54] Yeah. Um, but, uh, that, I think really surprises people because when I get rough mixes from bands and you [00:12:00] know, you're a DIY recording band and you've sent me your rough in this. Kind of what you've been working with.

That's, that's really cool, but I, I immediately noticed that things are either all up the middle, um, like except for like one guitar or something, you know, it's like really Moto, um, or, or there is like this nobody's panned enough kind of thing. It's like the guitars are like a little bit out, but the drums are way wide and it's like, okay, this just sounds weird.

Um, so I think why people shy away from the LCR thing is because. On headphones, which a lot of DIY bands are working on. It sounds pretty shocking in a bad mix when you've got things hard pan, because it's coming out of one year only and you see your other, your can't hear it at all, but when you're on speakers, that's not how it actually works.

If you hard pan something, your right ear still hears it. Right. It's still gonna get there eventually. Um, so it's different with headphones and. It sounds weird if your mix isn't very balanced, but once a mix has done [00:13:00] really well, even with it hard pant, it actually does work out even with that. 

Benedikt: [00:13:03] Yeah. And also I completely agree.

And also what people don't realize I think is yeah, because they will, they will, uh, say that they want a little bit of the one guitar also on the other side, because it sounds more natural or whatever, or like, because of the headphones thing, but what they don't realize is. That we are very likely to do things in mixing that solve the problem.

Because as soon as you add a little bit of like a room, um, re not even the reverb, just like a small amount of room on a guitar or a small delay on the opposite side or something, that's not perceived as an obvious river, but just something that adds that information to the other side, that problem is solved.

You can, you have hard pan guitars? But still some information on the other side, and then you don't feel weird when the solo guitar on one side is playing for example. 

Malcom: [00:13:51] Absolutely. Yeah. That's, that's a very good point. Yeah. So. I think it's a great rule of thumb to start with LCR and try and make that [00:14:00] a rule while you're tracking.

It'll just keep things very neat and, and make, like you said, Benny, it helps you make decisions because it has to live in one of those spots. And if it doesn't sound good in either of those spots, you have to figure out if you have to add more and what that more is 

Benedikt: [00:14:14] tons of your favorite records have probably been made that way as Montgomery already said.

And some of it just because there were no other, there was no other way because there are. Large format consoles, like Neve consoles, and really expensive stuff that don't have a pan up, but just an LCR, like an LR button or LCR. So you could choose left right. And center. That's it? I think Andrew Shep's mic still mixes LCR in the box for that reason, because he used to mix on his knees and that's, those were the options he was given, you know, so, yeah.

So it definitely works and it's good to limit yourself to that. Some 

Malcom: [00:14:45] elements. Yeah. I've been told that speakers actually prefer that. Um, like, because they're not trying to reproduce the same thing, it's easier for them to do their job. Yeah. It makes sense. Um, like, yeah, cause it's, if it's [00:15:00] over partway to one side, they're both trying to reproduce that, but at different levels while also trying to reproduce the motto elements.

So it's like, it's a really challenging job for a speaker to actually pull off. So. Maybe your missile just sound better, actually, it probably will sound better if you just go LCR. 

Benedikt: [00:15:15] Yeah. Well, it makes thinking off the arrangement so much easier. So I would just do that even if like you ended up doing something else in the mix, but when you start in plan, the doubles, just think of it as LCR and that's it.

And then you can always make things narrow or wider or whatever, but so like map it out like 

Malcom: [00:15:31] that. Yeah. And quickly just because you mentioned Neve quick, uh, rest in peace to Rupert Neve. Oh, absolutely. What a legend, what a legend, the legend 

Benedikt: [00:15:42] pass this week. 

Malcom: [00:15:43] Yeah. So literally what we do would not sound the same without that man.

Yep. Pretty crazy. Yeah. All right. So. Well, should we talk about artificial doubles as well? 

Benedikt: [00:15:54] Um, we should, but at first I think we should go through the common, like, um, [00:16:00] scenarios. So we have the left-right thing where you basically map out your song and then you decide, okay, is it lopsided? Does it is actually every part that's supposed to be big.

Is it bigger than the part before? That sort of stuff. So that would be the first step also sometimes intentionally not doing a double as the right thing. So sometimes verse or a quiet bridge or whatever, you might have one guitar doing, um, some quarters and the other guitar doing some single notes, but that's totally cool.

And you want that left and right. And leave space in the middle. And you don't want that wall of guitars. So being intentional, this is all there is to it. And if you want to a part to be very big, make the part before that smaller. And then, you know, the basic principles apply here, but just map out your songs that way in think of it as LCR.

Um, also consider when there is no vocal in a part. If there is an element that sort of replaces the vocal in that part. So sometimes it can be like, octave sound the guitars. Sometimes it can be a solo or a melody, elite melody or [00:17:00] something like that, or a synth or whatever. So if, if that's the case, you probably want to move that to the middle because it takes the spot of the vocals in that part.

And then again, you need something on the side where this element used to be. So you've got to do a double of whatever it was, is on the other side. So just go through your songs and map that out. Absolutely. And then, yeah, so I think that's, that's basically it then. I think we should, before we go to artificial devils, we should go to vocals first and talk about the real doubles and finished that.

Um, because both guitars for me, That's basically it, unless you want to add the artificial doubles thing to the guitars. 

Malcom: [00:17:38] I don't know. Uh, I mean, we can, we can always circle back. So that's cool. Um, I just wanted to reiterate, enforce what you kind of just said is that whatever is up center is the delete and focus thing probably right.

Almost 99% of the time that's going to be your lead vocal, right? Yeah. So like you said, what's going to fill that hole when it goes away. Um, and that's, [00:18:00] if you're unsure, if the lead guitar part needs to be doubled, That's a pretty good indicator. Is there a vocal going on? Right. Um, so if, if there isn't, it's probably a solo and it can go up the middle and kind of take that spot.

Um, if there is a vocal going, I kind of differentiate between a lead part and a solo. So if there's vocal, it's a lead part and that's probably going to be out to the sides, um, to some extent. And then if it's, uh, No vocal, it's a solo of some part. So then it's going up the middle, not to say that double solos.

Can't be cool. They definitely, yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:18:33] exactly. That's the that we get, we get to that when we talk about like the, um, artistic choice of doing a double as a sound, um, yeah. 

Malcom: [00:18:41] Choice. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, for now we're talking about arrangement decisions and this is a. I was reading some mixed notes, um, for, I wish I could remember his name, but the fellow who mixed the intervals song lock and key.

Um, and Sam Glenna. Yes. Yeah. Cool. Read a great production. [00:19:00] Um, and, and to get in, to look at those multi-track recordings really fantastic work, um, from everybody involved there sounded amazing before it was mixed. Yeah. Um, But, uh, in, in his notes, he said that he doesn't do much automation because he thinks that the band kind of does it in their performances.

And, and that the production kind of does that as well. And I, I do that as well. I'm like the, the course should sound bigger without me turning up the guitars. Generally. Right. So what's making that happen, right? So like you said, if there isn't a double tracked verse guitar and then it comes in on that course, it's already getting louder there.

So if your mix is not sounding like it's not emotionally hitting those marks of like getting big and smaller and spots, this is how you control that. Yeah. So don't, don't expect it to just happen because somebody's going to turn up a fader later. It should already be happening. I think 

Benedikt: [00:19:50] I totally agree.

And that again comes down to after we, we we've. Uh, finished the fill in the gaps thing that comes down to like creative [00:20:00] decisions. When you add a layer of doubles to just make the, make it sound bigger or wider or whatever. So I, I totally agree. I love doing that. And I love when I get sent things and I almost always kind of assume that I need to do a lot of automation because it's, it's the case most of the time, but whenever I get a project and I just listened to the song and I'm wondering why, like, have I done enough automation?

If it feels weird, if I didn't do it, but sometimes I just don't need it. And I love those projects. And it's just, those sounds sort of mix themselves because as you said, when the chorus hits. It's just there, because maybe there is an additional layer of Doubletrack guitarists beneath it with a slightly different tone or whatever.

And I just don't need to move fighters as much. So exactly. I love that. And I always kind of doubt myself when that happens, because I'm always thinking I was too lazy maybe, and I should add more automation, but sometimes you just don't need to, because of that. 

Malcom: [00:20:48] Absolutely. I've had like some of my best mixes have like.

Almost none. 

Benedikt: [00:20:52] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cool. Yeah. So with vocals, I think it's a little different because [00:21:00] you don't, you have the left right thing. That's not as much as with guitars, but with like, in the sense of that, if there is one left and one, right, and you need to fill in the holes, but still a big mistake that people make.

And I think you even got it in our outlines here, Malcolm is that. People, if they double vocals, they just do it because they heard of that. You need to do it probably, but they just do one double because they think, yeah, let's do a double and they don't really know why. When instead they should probably do two of them so that you can pound the doubles left and right of the center of Oakland, not always the right thing, but you can always mute one if you don't need it.

But more often than not, I find myself using doubles to make the vocals wider in a chorus. 

Malcom: [00:21:41] Yeah. Yes, absolutely. Um, that, that is definitely one of the most common things when getting DIY tracks and mixes that they weren't doubled enough. Um, because one vocal. Like, if you have a lead vocal and then one track of a double, it's pretty limiting what you can [00:22:00] do with it, really.

Um, and we're going to talk about that creative effect, which this is good for and, and artificial doubles, which you can kind of fake the effect you want, but generally. When we talk about doubles, it's two new performances. So you've got your lead one up the middle and then a left and a right one. So there's three of that performance going on at the same time.

Um, and that's how we get that wide effect. Yeah, totally. I would argue that a doubled vocal layer is actually less distracting than a single one in a weird way because it balances out. Do you know what I mean? 

Benedikt: [00:22:35] Yeah. I, I sort of agree. And that brings up a point that I was, I was wanting to talk about. And that is when it comes to the LCR thing.

I I'd love to have like doubles hard left and right. If they are done well, the only time I can't do that is when they are not really in sync when they are not aligned. Well, not edited well, Enough or the performance is not just good. It just not good [00:23:00] enough. Then I find myself making them a little narrower because it gets, I agree.

It's, it's less distracting if they are perfect and just left and right. And it's just one wide vocal. That is what it's perceived as, but when they are not really aligned, it's super distracting, especially with like S um, sounds and stuff like that, that are coming from left and right. You know, when you get that S.

Bouncing left and right thing. That's just super distracting and annoying. So if that's the case, I'll either ask them to edit it again or I'll do it. Or, um, if, if none of that works or whatever, then I just have to make it a little narrower, just so it's not so distracting. So the only case where I typically find myself making doubles, not a hundred percent left and right, is when I finally, when I find them to be too distracting when they're super wide.

I agree. 

Malcom: [00:23:48] Yeah. Uh, That's one more tip for you. If you're new to the double world, whatever you think. Is tight enough. It's probably not tight enough. 

Benedikt: [00:23:57] Also another reason to do the LCR thing, [00:24:00] because that way you really here, if you don't do it, you might be, you might yeah. Betray and you think it's tight enough, but once you pan it out and you clearly hear, especially in headphones, you immediately notice if the S's and T's and all that are really aligned or not.

Malcom: [00:24:13] Can I hijack this a little bit and talk about a process for getting doubles done. Of course it applies to both guitars and vocals. Um, but pretty much say you're doing vocals. We use that example when you are getting set up to get ready to record, make your, how I do it anyways is I make a tracking. Track.

So there's a track that I'm recording on. And then I make all of the tracks that I'm going to need to fill. So my lead vocal and my left double my right double. I also have a center, double track just sitting there and then I've got my harmonies and all that below it as well. And there is all an order stacked below the track that I'm recording on two and we nail apart.

I drag it down onto the lead vocal one. And then. It depends on the vocalist, but often I want to double right away, um, because it's fresh in their mind and they're going to be able to get the timing really tight because they know what they just [00:25:00] did. And then we double it. I just drag that down onto the double track and then we do it again and I drag it down onto the other double-check and now we've got our center and they're already panned, like I've got the panning of those tracks and the volume set, how I want already.

So. Then three takes, click, play, listen back. We can hear the center and the left and the right. And if it's good, we move on. If it's not, we figure out what wasn't good. And we do it again. That's kind of the process. The only bit of advice is you have to know your vocalist. Um, if I'm at all worried about them losing their voice, I'm going to do the whole, the vocal before I touch anything else, because it's not doubles.

Aren't worth. Blowing out a voice on that lead vocals. It's going to be way more apparent in the mix. So, um, a lot of the times it's get the lead vocal then attack doubles. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:25:46] I totally agree with everything you just said. It's a great method. And, uh, yeah, I agree with the. Voice thing as well. It's good.

If you can do it right away, but not necessary. If you risk ruining 

Malcom: [00:25:57] the voice, I do that for guitars as well, but it's, [00:26:00] it's all about having those tracks, just sitting there. So you can just try it out even like, if you're not sure if you want to double in the verse or, or whatever, you can just have it there, be like, okay, sing it one more time, drag it down and listen, and be like, okay, that doesn't really do what I want or, yeah, this sounds awesome.

Or that sounds good, but we also need to right side, like we need it to be. The doubled doubled thing. 

Benedikt: [00:26:20] Yep. Yeah. But with guitars, I always kind of like, yeah, I always do it immediately just for tuning reasons. 

Malcom: [00:26:28] Oh yes. Guitar. Definitely. Absolutely. And 

Benedikt: [00:26:30] don't, don't like little cite notes. You don't tune between doubles with a guitar, like do tune between the real take.

And as soon as you nail it, like do tune for every, before every real take basically, or every two or three takes at least. And then. Once you nail it immediately do the double without tuning that way. It will be really in tune. Uh, if you tune before the double, both might be in tune themselves, but not exactly the same way.

So you might get a weird phasing phasing thing. So don't tune before doubles and do them right [00:27:00] away with a guitar, uh, doing doubles later might cause tuning problems. So 

Malcom: [00:27:05] yeah, it almost definitely will. Um, yeah. So as a side story, I've started making educational recording. Content on Tik TOK, just like over the last week, just giving it a shot.

And I haven't like a lot of fun with it, but I made one about relevant, uh, relative tuning about what you were just talking about, how it is hugely beneficial, the tune once for a pair of doubles rather than in between them, because your guitar needs to be in tune with itself. Not necessarily. Having to differently into guitars, you know, like it's just gotta be relative.

And, uh, my God, I pissed off a lot of old blues players. I don't know. 

Benedikt: [00:27:39] Yeah. I mean, yeah, it's such a diff like, yeah, we don't need to get into that, but I can totally see why they would be pissed off. And I agree with, if you're doing blues chairs, whatever. It's not about perfect tuning and everything. We know that obviously, but if you talk about modern rock production, it's a completely different thing.

So absolutely. Yeah. Apples [00:28:00] and oranges, but yeah. Um, can we plug your tick-tock handle real quick? So 

Malcom: [00:28:04] at Malcolm Mon flood music. Awesome. Yeah, I'm sure I'm only mocking one flight on 

Benedikt: [00:28:08] there. Yeah. You are the only Mac on flood period. I'm pretty sure everywhere. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Um, so, uh, yeah, tuning relative pitch doubling right away.

Where we, where did we start this? Yeah. With the vocals exactly. With your method of doing vocal devils. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:28:26] That's a great one. So just be set up and have the, the tracks sitting there to go. That's the short answer. Um, because yeah, it's gotta be quick. This is a really time-consuming process. We should add, especially vocals because it is hard to nail them as tight as they should be.

Benedikt: [00:28:42] I, I sort of agree. Yes. But I rely when it comes to doubles, I rely pretty heavily on editing to be honest, because. With the lead vocal, not so much, not at all because the lead vocal is so such a personnel intimate, like thing where field and everything is so important. So I don't want to [00:29:00] get too heavy with like too heavy handed with time stretching and editing and stuff.

But with doubles, It's, I don't know. I don't really care as much because usually you don't, they, they even, I think they even sometimes sound cool and not as distracting if they are super tuned and edited and like on their own sound, pretty boring and flat and like, you know, like not exciting and too perfect.

But that makes them work very well as doubles for me sometimes. So I don't know. I don't spend too much time getting perfect doubles. I mean, if they're way off, of course, but if they are tight enough so that I definitely know that can be that they can be properly aligned in editing. I would just rely on that.

Yeah. To be honest, what 

Malcom: [00:29:44] I mean by that is that it has to be tight enough that the editing doesn't take longer than it should. Right. Because if you're singing the wrong note, now it's a hassle to tune it. And if your timing is way off, it's a hassle to correct the time kind of thing. Um, but you'll get the hang 

Benedikt: [00:29:58] of it.

Yeah. There's one more interesting [00:30:00] phenomenon. I don't know if it's the same for you, Malcolm, did you ever have this half the situation where you have the lead vocal take and then you're doing doubles and then you. Find out that one of the doubles is actually better than the original lead vocal, just because it's easier for the singer to sing to the recorded vocal.

Malcom: [00:30:17] Yes. I tried to be very conscious of that. And then I just swap it out. It's hard though, because you're like, it's hard to know what you're listening to in this process. Um, it, it takes a lot of practice. Honestly, you get good at this, 

Benedikt: [00:30:30] but there's, I don't know. Sometimes for some singers they just seem better when they don't think they have to perform as well.

And when they can like, Seeing to something that's already been recorded. So for some reason they, maybe they don't take it as seriously, or they don't overthink it. As much, and that results in a better performance sometimes. I don't know. But sometimes it happens. 

Malcom: [00:30:50] It does. Yup. Yeah. So be aware. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:30:53] Yeah. So, um, that's the process and I don't know.

Do, do you do doubles, like the left-right [00:31:00] doubles thing to make vocals wider? Do you do that in chorus as exclusively? Or do you do that throughout the whole song and you just mute whatever positive don't need or what, what's your approach there? 

Malcom: [00:31:09] It depends. I. Where I with guitars, I will lean towards doubling just for the heck of it.

Um, even if I'm not, they pretty much, if I'm not totally sure I'm going to double it. Um, and then often I am sure that I just want one or whatever, the, so it's fine. But, uh, like I kind of just lean towards, I can make, I can always get rid of something in guitars, but with vocals, I try to like really make those decisions.

And commit to them. Um, yeah. So if I'm not going to have one, I'm not going to make them do it kind of thing. And I just stick, stick to my guns on that. Um, but I mean, maybe we should talk about center doubles. 

Benedikt: [00:31:47] Yeah. Yeah. Let's do it because with the stereo thing, I think I agree with what you said and like I decided as we go and basically it's just the, do I want this part to be wider?

Do I want it to be intimate and like very [00:32:00] clear and upfront because the why thing will be wills on big and wide. But it will also sound a little more distant. And if I want something really upfront and very intelligible and very intimate and or loud and aggressive and in your face, I just stick with one lead vocal in the center.

So most of the times, for me, it's like verses or intros, quiet bridge or whatever it is like one vocal in every big part, choruses, big bridge, um, breakdown, whatever it is that's supposed to be huge and doing the white double thing usually. 

Malcom: [00:32:31] Cool. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I would say I'm similar to that. I normally do have a layer, something going on in the verses, but we'll, we'll talk about that when we get into the more creative side of things.

Yeah. Um, yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:32:43] let's, let's, let's do that. Let's do that in both cases. So with, with guitars and vocals, whatever you want to start with, what are some other applications other than like making vocals wide and filling in gaps left and right. 

Malcom: [00:32:54] So I think this is something that's actually hugely dependent on the vocalist you're recording.

Um, [00:33:00] I think some vocalists sound really good with the left and right. Double. But some of them don't some of them don't no, I think maybe it's kind of a little dependent on like how wild their vibrato is and stuff like that. Um, and how tight they are. But some people just don't really sound great and kind of get that Ozzy Osborne effect going on.

Um, I love Aussie, but I don't think he can really sink. I'm just going to say it. Um, and I would say that most people don't want their vocals to sound like Ozzy. So, um, but I actually have no idea if he's like a hard pan double or a center pan double, sorry, I can't tell you, but, uh, Anyways, some people sound better with a double that's right up the middle, like stacked on top of their vocal.

And that has a very different effect, but can be very cool as well. Um, but I would consider that more of like a, uh, like a creative effect than the hard pan doubles, where the hard pan doubles are like reinforcement and weight to the mix. This is like a [00:34:00] vocal effect that is changing the. Quality of that person's voice.

It's like some people have kind of a signature sound of that. Like Dave Grohl, for example, 

Benedikt: [00:34:09] sampled vocal. Yeah. People, Dave Grohl sound is totally that it's like almost two, two equally loud. We'll go take a drastic chorus effect, basically that happens when 

Malcom: [00:34:20] you do that. Exactly. Exactly. So that can be really very powerful and very signature.

Um, I find that usually I'm not going that route because I don't think a lot of people sound good with that either. Um, yeah. More luck with the wide thing, but it is worth it. Checking this out. Um, and some people do both again, Dave Grohl, right. You've got the, the very course thing, but it's going to get even wider on the courses for sure.

Um, so that is a creative effect that you should totally experiment with. Um, I almost, I don't think I ever do that on guitar up the middle. 

Benedikt: [00:34:55] I got the middle nut, but I I'm doing the chorusy, [00:35:00] um, thing with guitars on purpose, but not up the middle usually. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:35:03] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, so definitely check that out if you're going to do center doubles.

Um, and that can be a good differentiator between the person in the course as well, doing something like that. If we're continuing to talk about creative doubles, going back to what I do with versus often these days, I've been trying to just do one double on the verse. Um, and then. Making it kind of like, you know, sometimes it's got like the radio effect or sometimes it's like reverbed out.

Um, which can be really cool. Uh, so you can have like, it be, maybe the lead vocals actually pulled the dry in the verse, but you've got a double that has like a a hundred percent reverb and it's making the river, but it's kind of disconnected. It's a totally different sound. Um, and I really dig it sometimes.

Sometimes it doesn't work though. We 

Benedikt: [00:35:51] have, we have talked about that. I think in another episode on, I really liked this concept and I've tried it since then more often. And I, I really, really enjoy it. Like basically [00:36:00] you triggering whatever effect you're using off of a different track. And you're mixing the resulting effect with the actual lead vocal takes.

So it sounds like a reverb on the lead vocal, but it's actually the reverb on a double of a re lead vocal with that double muted, essentially. So, yeah. Yeah. And that's a really cool thing to do, um, works with like delays or like every editing effect basically can rub sometimes it doesn't, it doesn't, but it can work with it.

And in fact, so for that reason alone, it might be worth recording at least a mono double in the verses. And like giving the mixer the opportunity to just mute it if it's not needed or do something creative with it. 

Malcom: [00:36:39] Definitely. So I, uh, often in that case, I'll just use like an alt take from the lead vocal.

I won't even get them to like record it. Cause like I know it it's going to be so. An audible, like you won't be able to tell if it's the perfect cake, right. If it's a river. Yeah. So as long as it's relatively a good take, it's going to be fine for 

Benedikt: [00:36:57] that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Agreed. [00:37:00] Yeah. The creative double thing can be definitely a cool thing.

So, but that's basically, for me, that's basically it, when it comes to vocals with creative. Thanks because everything else gets more into harmonies. Like you could, I mean, you could argue if like an Okta up or down is really a harmony or if it's a double or what, but that would get into harmonies for me.

Like a double for me is the exact same performance recorded. 

Malcom: [00:37:21] Twice. Right. I would like to put forward the notion that if you're recording harmonies, though, that you should just default to recording stereo pairs of them. Oh yeah. Um, so record a left and a right of each harmony, which is a double. Yeah, I agree.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So you don't have to have a center. Yeah, but just have two of them and making sure they're good and give that to the mixer. Maybe they won't use all of them, but that's again, a very common DIY track sent to me and there's not enough, uh, vocal doubles on the harmony. 

Benedikt: [00:37:52] Oh yeah. That's a good one.

Actually, especially if like a classic case, especially if you do a low harmony and a very high harmony [00:38:00] and you do just one of each. And then when you're mixing that you're left with, you can either have like three things in the middle, like the lead vocal and those two harmonies, or you can try and pan the harmonies left.

Right. But that will, most of the time sound lopsided because you have the full deep harmony on one side and the thin high harmony on the other side. And that often doesn't work. And in those situations, I always wish I had at least a double of one of those. And keep so that I just have to keep one in the center.

And most of the time I would prefer the higher one on the sides and the lower one in the middle. Maybe. Exactly. I'm 

Malcom: [00:38:31] the same. 

Benedikt: [00:38:33] Yeah. And if you can just double all of them so I can spread them out. However, I want 

Malcom: [00:38:38] definitely, definitely. Low Okta layers don't get enough credit. Great sounding. Yes. If anybody's into our lady peace, go back and listen to their albums and check out how many high octaves they've got mixed all over the place.

It's it's insanity. Yeah. But it sounds great. Yeah. Uh, it ran out. I've done that too. It's it's definitely a cool effect. [00:39:00] Um, quickly, I think this is like the perfect moment to talk about artificial doubles while we're still on vocals. Yeah. Um, because those moments when we don't have. Uh, enough tracks.

That's pretty much our problem solving tool often, at least for me, yeah. Is grabbing something like sound toys, micro shift, or waves doubler, which creates. An artificial double. It is essentially taking a track. So say you just took a performance and copied and pasted the same performance below it, but then it, that would just make it louder.

Um, hopefully you've tried that and no, that doesn't work. 

Benedikt: [00:39:34] We need to say that. I think we need to, we should 

Malcom: [00:39:36] say that I've definitely had people think that works 

Benedikt: [00:39:40] pasting one performance is not a double. It does nothing. It just makes it louder. It's like, even if you do it left and right. People ask that all the time.

Actually, if you do, if you put one performance on the left side and an exact copy of it on the right side, it will come out of the middle or like will sound like it comes out of the middle. It will be mano again, because a mano signal is basically two speakers [00:40:00] playing the exact same thing at the same time.

That's what a Montecito is. So yeah, that's not a Dublin. 

Malcom: [00:40:06] You've just made it do that. Yeah. So then the next, so like, that's like the ultimate form of it's like this will work, right? No, it won't work. Yeah. Um, and then the next step of lazy is like, well, you can just like delay it a little bit, so make it so that it's not playing, it does same time.

So you just delay it a few samples or whatever, and it's like, okay, now it sounds. Facie. It just sounds worse, but it does sound wider. I'll give him a little credit there. Um, and then the third step of lazy is now we just have to like, change the pitch a little bit of that one that we've changed the timing of, and now it starts to sound arguably cool, but it still doesn't sound like a real double and, uh, Your brain kind of catches up with it eventually as well.

So like, it starts sounding pretty good, but then after a while listening to it, it like stops sounding. Like, I don't really, I don't know how to explain that, but [00:41:00] like, it's like an effect that doesn't work for very long. Um, you got something to say on 

Benedikt: [00:41:05] that? Yeah. Unless it's the typical, like the, the micro pitch effect, the micro shift effect, the classic, um, vocal effect that's been used in countless records where it's pretty much that you kind of.

Uh, that in fact it creates two copies of the lead vocal or whatever thing you, you send through to it. If you panned them hard left and right. And then you delay both of them a little bit but differently, and you pitch one down and one up and then ideally you modulate them so that it's not the same thing all the time.

And then you get that famous widening effect that, that Microsoft does, as you mentioned, like a little microphone, Microsoft from Santos and that. Works, unless you turn it up too loud, then it's sort of weird. 

Malcom: [00:41:50] Yeah. So the point all of this to say is that, uh, this is a cool effect and it's something we can use when we don't have enough stereo [00:42:00] information to try and make something more stereo, for example.

Um, but it's not a substitute, 

Benedikt: [00:42:05] it's an effect. It's an effect. 

Malcom: [00:42:07] Yeah. Exactly. It'll never sound real agreed 

Benedikt: [00:42:11] ever. And sometimes we do that, even if we have doubles just because 

Malcom: [00:42:15] we want that. Totally. Yep. Yeah. Sometimes that's the sound we want for sure. So, yeah, that's uh, that, again, going back to do we have a hard left and hard, right?

Verse vocal, double, maybe not, maybe we use a fake double for the verse and then we go to real doubles for the course. That can be a cool effect because the real one sound way wider. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:42:35] And better. Yeah. Agreed. Agreed. Yeah. Did you ever do that, the process that you just described, did you ever do that manually for some reason, instead of like grabbing the micro shift or like the waist level, did you ever copy it left and right.

And delayed and then pitch up and down and whatever? Uh, 

Malcom: [00:42:50] no, I just. I did copy and paste one, but I never did the pitch thing. This was like, you know, like when I was first starting to record, I was like, saw somebody on YouTube. Be like, this is [00:43:00] how you double Qataris in a sec. Misinformation. Love it. All right, here we go.

I thought it was real, of course. And it was like, this kind of sucks. 

Benedikt: [00:43:06] Yeah. I did one rig. I think it was the first or second record I ever did for some friends of mine where we forgot to double, I think the last chord of the guitars, just one chord or I accidentally cut it off or something like when I was mixing it, like.

There was the last quarter of the song and one of the guitars went away and I was like, what, what do I do now? So I just copied that last court deleted a bit. That was all I knew back then. And when in stereo it sort of works. And when you listen in mano, it's like very weird when that last quarter, and even the Sierra it's like, what, what the fuck is going on here with that last chord?

But, uh, yeah, I, I did that because I didn't know what else to do. I just deleted a couple of milliseconds and that's how I, how I quote unquote solved it. Uh, 

Malcom: [00:43:51] but yeah, yeah. I'm glad that came up because there is a surprising amount of people that think that's totally. Like how you can [00:44:00] do it, that it works the same and it just doesn't, it just does not.

Benedikt: [00:44:04] Yeah. But already official doubles on purpose. It's a thing with these effects. Definitely. 

Malcom: [00:44:08] Absolutely. Um, in fact, they're tighter most of the time, right? I mean, it it's very tight. You can set it up. Um, yeah. So, uh, and for like very fast, uh, even like metal, I've heard of guys leaning that way for their double, um, Because, I mean, in that, in the case of I'm thinking of it was, they still recorded a double, but they just used this artificial.

Doubling on that double. So there was like, you know, a center, a real left and a fake right. Kind of. And, uh, and that, you know, cause if you had too many, it was just like too fast to get perfect kind of thing. So, I mean, it could be a solution for something like that. I guess I've never found myself in 

Benedikt: [00:44:46] those shoes, so yeah, but there's also an application for the mano double because you can use that model double to send to a micro shift, half the left and right thing.

And, but have it on a hundred percent wet. So you don't hear them on a double. And then you have the fake doubles [00:45:00] that are not exact copies of the, the vocal, which will probably sound more authentic than doing it with the actual vocal. Yeah, 

Malcom: [00:45:07] yeah. Yeah. Always got at least one. That's 

Benedikt: [00:45:09] a good rule. Yeah. Now when it comes to guitars, what are some things you do there?

Just for sound reasons or for like artistic reasons? Wait for 

Malcom: [00:45:18] reasons. Yeah. So, I mean, generally my brother guitars are left and write it out. It's pretty standard practice for big Walla sound, modern rock guitars. Um, I do appreciate doubled leads, but when it's doubled leads, I often like them to be different, like, you know, like switch the pickup or switch, switch the tone a little bit or whatever.

Um, cause like I want it to be as wide as possible if I'm going for that effect. Or does that 

Benedikt: [00:45:47] make sense? Uh, I was about to get into that after it. I have a question on that. Um, so about the different or same setup, because that's a common question as well, but just like. Um, [00:46:00] do you do like the MANOVA double thing?

Probably not with guitars, but do you do in general, um, add layers of doubles when you already have the stereo image, but you still want another layer maybe, or, uh, you want to, as you said, double. The lead, even though like, like yeah, basically you have the image. Perfect. But you still want to add for whatever reason you want to add a layer, do quad tracking.


Malcom: [00:46:24] I dunno, exactly. Quad tracking was exactly what I was going to bring up. Is that like maybe the courses just need that little extra punch. Like we were going back, the, the production should kind of provide its own automation in the sense. And adding quads is a great way to quads. Just means that a third and fourth guitar generally.

So you have your main guitars doing your left and right. And you're adding another double. So they've been, it's already double tracked and now you're adding another double, um, of, of the guitar, usually with a different tone that compliments whatever's going on. Right. Um, and I mean, it's, it's tricky. Cause I say that I do that, [00:47:00] but almost always that quad is not an exact double.

Sometimes that quad is just like the root note being played. Um, instead of the whole cord, you know, um, or, or it's like a complimenting part, maybe it's like high or higher, like it could be another guitar part altogether. Um, yeah, but in my head, I still kind of think of it as reinforcing it as a double, but it's sometimes it's not actually, 

Benedikt: [00:47:21] I have a pretty clear opinion when it comes to co two quads.

Um, and w just to, to who to talk about the leads first again, With leads. If I'm not doing a different tone, like you described, if I just do a simple, double with the same setup, then this might be because I want it to have a certain atmosphere type of thing, because it sounds pretty wide and like atmospheric in a way when you have that kind of work in versus as well, you might have no cords at all.

You might just have. Single notes, a melody or some picking or whatever. And if you double that and it's very tight, you get that wide chorus thing that sort of surrounds the vocals and leaves a lot of space in the [00:48:00] center. So I like that sometimes. Sometimes when there is a lead melody in a chorus, for example, and I have that wall of rhythm guitars and I don't really want something to like step on the vocal in the center.

Sometimes I do it behind the vocal, but sometimes I want the guitar, melody audible as well, but I don't want to do conflict with the vocal as much. And then I will double the lead just as a double the rhythm guitars and put the lead left and right on top of the rhythms. So you have a left rhythm, the right rhythm and the left lead and the right lead.

Um, So sometimes I do that. I'm curious to hear like when it comes to quads, I'm the same as you, when it comes to doing different performances, but with the exact same performance, I think more often than not the typical metal thing that a lot of people do where they just do quads, because it often does more harm than good because it starts to get not tight enough.

Like it starts to get a little messy and like the transients are not as detailed and not as, um, [00:49:00] yeah. Very few people can pull that off so that it really works. And especially if they're using the exact same setup. So you, you oftentimes gain nothing by doing quads with the same setup. So I tend to, if I do quads at all, I tend to do them with a different amp or diff like a different tone, different guitar maybe.

Yeah. And just put it like a subtle layer below the actual rhythm guitars. And not have them like equal volumes, same settings, because that, for me, at least just rarely works. Like, it always sounds a little messy to me. It's like, it doesn't sound bigger. It just sounds. Yeah. I don't know. I don't like it.

Not as focused. I'm not a big, I'm not big into quads if it's the same setup. So I 

Malcom: [00:49:41] agree. Yeah. That's again, why I lean to it being a different PO like. Kind of a different part even, um, and in metal, uh, cause normally I'm doing rock, so it's a little simpler and easier to pull off something tight. But if it's something pretty tricky, my quads usually aren't actually the part at all.

They're [00:50:00] like accents of certain notes, like maybe Willy on accent, the big 1,000. But not that did it, did it, did it like, you know, like the melody parts left alone and, or it's just the pinch romantics. So it was big, you know, that kind of stuff. Um, so it's like, Uh, little spices. Yeah, I 

Benedikt: [00:50:18] agree. And it's seems counterintuitive.

People think, especially with the big, heavy stuff, you need to do quads and doubles and whatnot. But I think that these genres oftentimes sound bigger and more in your face and more aggressive if there's less going on, but that one, but what's going on is super tight, super focused. And I find it with more loose rock productions.

You can get away with more layers, more easily because those create this wall of sound that doesn't need to be so super tight, but especially with the very heavy stuff, sometimes two guitars sound bigger than four. 

Malcom: [00:50:51] Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. I think often, often it's yeah, there's only so much space. Um, and you can definitely overfill 


Benedikt: [00:50:59] bucket.

Yeah. [00:51:00] But now to what you were saying, that that's what I want. I'm very curious to hear when you are using different settings, different pickups, different things on deeds, for example, as you wanted to say, when do you do that and why? Uh, it's 

Malcom: [00:51:12] just like, it just depends on the song, you know? Um, and the part that's one of those frustrating answers, but there's definitely no.

Like this, this will always work for you. You just have to be making those decisions as you go. Um, so again, that's why we're really big into balancing your, your mix as you record. So you can make these decisions accurately. Um, When I get like a reference mix and it's just like, like distorted Clippy and everything's in the red and you can't tell what's going on.

I'm like, Oh, there's going to be some sloppy performances here because like nobody could play to this. Um, so yeah, I mean, we've said that a lot, but just you should be recording to something that is easy to play too. Yeah. And listen to, and that will make it easier for you to make these decisions. [00:52:00] Because if you can't hear what what's happening, you can't decide how something 

Benedikt: [00:52:03] should sound.

Yeah, I found it interesting. When you said, um, a couple of minutes ago, when you said that you think it's out or you feel, it sounds wider when you do a lead with like different settings. Because I don't know, sometimes it's the case. Sometimes it feels wider for me, if it's the same and you get this chorusy, Faizi effect more.

Um, some depending on, I guess it depends on how different it is, but I don't know because sometimes if you're doing, for example, a neck pickup and a bridge pickup, Sometimes this also can sound lopsided because one is way brighter than the other. So I'm just curious about your approach here and when, when you do that, especially with the lead.

Malcom: [00:52:42] Yeah. So you're right. The bridge and neck split is a, is a perfect example because it is so much darker generally that it definitely does lean one way. Um, but that can be desired, right? Because maybe we don't want it to sound even for the verse. Right. There's so much more space. And by [00:53:00] having it lean that little bit, uh, It is kind of wider and more Spacey sounding.

Maybe to me, I guess it's more open, but it's still kind of like, there's at least a counterweight on the other side, but it's, it's darker and not as heavy kind of thing, but again, like it, it depends on the song. So we, we just have to try it and see what sounds right. So I would say actually, um, honestly that most of the time I get them to just.

Double it without changing anything, like, like play the part and then record another one with the, on the, still on the bridge pickup probably. And it's only if I don't think that is vibing right. That all go and try and switch it up from 

Benedikt: [00:53:37] there. All right. Cool. Awesome. Yeah. Um, you, and you have anything to add to this because I think we've pretty much covered it.

Malcom: [00:53:46] Yeah, I think we, I think we did cover it. Um, if there's one thing to take away from this it's that you probably need to be doing more doubles than you think. Yeah. Um, uh, and just, you know, make sure they're great. Uh, like you said, it's pretty time [00:54:00] consuming things, especially if you're doubling like a lead vocal and two different harmonies and stuff like that, like, it ends up being a lot of tracks.

Um, but that's totally normal. So 

Benedikt: [00:54:10] I think you're going to fall in love with it once you try it, because once you hear something like, uh, a chorus, let's say where you play, I don't know, an E on the eighth string, a power cord or whatever, something high up on like the eighth string or something. And that's, that's been your chorus.

And then you add an octave below you add the low, just the, just one string, for example, and with like a little different tone or a more fuzzy tone, a more dirty tone or whatever below that, to give it more weight than some hair, you know, like. Some edge. I don't know. Once you hear that and you play around with that and you hear how big a chorus can become when you layerings things like that, you're, it's kind of addictive.

I think you'll really enjoy that process a lot or, or splitting up chords, something like that. Sometimes it's cool to split up a chord in like the root and an Okta or a harmony. And two, four layers instead of just that one cord, once you [00:55:00] start experimenting with things like that and making vocals wide, creating bigger walls of guitars, I think you're going to enjoy it a lot.

And, um, yeah, I'm pretty sure that will be the case. 

Malcom: [00:55:11] Yeah. It's a lot of fun. I, uh, while you were talking there, I did have some warnings that I think we need to give up and it's that the more you add. The more, it matters how great those first layers were essentially the first pair of guitars that get doubled are your foundation.

So if they're not well tuned and you absolutely have to go back and listen to any episodes we've had on guitars and tuning, um, and new strings and, and the same for vocals. Pretty much, like if you have a lead vocal and this doubled, and then you start trying to add harmonies, if those vocals tunings, aren't great.

It's going to be such a bad time trying to sing harmonies to them. And then when you try and add another layer of harmonies, so you're adding like a three-piece harmonies, God, you're going to be upset by the end of that. Um, so sometimes that means editing before you move on to the next one, maybe you have to do the tuning or, [00:56:00] um, timing, correction or whatever it is, but in doubles, Is when things get tricky, um, and that they, it really has to be tight.

So be aware of that. If you're having trouble getting extra harmony doubles down, it's probably because something's off. Um, it may be, you know, like often I'll just throw on Auto-Tune in auto mode. Well, we're tracking harmonies to it because I like I'm going to manually fix it after the fact, but it needs to be good.

Now you don't keep the session moving. So be aware of that. Um, it can be tricky, but it's usually worth it. Agreed. All right. And then I think that wraps it up. 

Benedikt: [00:56:37] Awesome. So cool. Um, check out. Malcolm's tick-tock once again, Malcolm own flood music on tick-tock. Um, if you're, if you're using that platform also, if you haven't yet, please download the 10 step guide to successful DIY recording that you get.

When you go to the surf recording band.com/ten step guide, uh, check out that if you haven't yet, and then [00:57:00] yeah. Join us on Facebook. I guess we always forget to say that, but we have an amazing Facebook community. That you should absolutely join. Um, it's like, yeah, like-minded people doing the same thing, trying to improve their recordings, helping each other out.

It's not a big group at this point, but it's pretty active and responsive. Like if you, if you ask a question there, you pretty sure get a response really quickly. And, uh, we might come and I answer, uh, threads ourselves all the time in there. So China's go to the set of recording band.com/community. We'd love to see you in there.

That's basically it, and maybe in the future, I don't know. I just dove into this whole platform, maybe in the future, we lose something on clubhouse as well, because I just got onto that and I really enjoy it, but I don't know how and if, and whatever, but maybe if you're listening in like two months from now, Maybe we'll be, we'll be doing something there.

Malcom: [00:57:51] I don't know. Yeah. My hope is that we can do both. Like we can have the podcast being recorded. Well, it's also live on clubhouse or something like that. I think that'd be cool. [00:58:00] I have no idea how it works yet. Um, and yeah, again, just want to drive home. That Facebook group really is like the best place to get questions answered quickly.

Um, it's, it's a great resource. And, uh, we actually get ideas for episodes from there as well. So feel free to drop in ideas for episodes into the Facebook. 

Benedikt: [00:58:17] Love it. Totally. And now this is really the last thing I'm going to say, but that's something I always absolutely forget. And it's, if you are already in that Facebook group, please bring your friends.

Because you might, you probably know a lot of musicians and band members who record themselves or at least do demos or pre-production or whatever. If you have friends where you think they would benefit from that group or from our whole platform and podcast. And if you want to introduce them to our little universe here, a little space here, then, uh, please bring them in, um, invite them to the group.

I'd love to see a lot more people in there. Uh, so just think of a couple of people, I'm sure you know, somebody and bring them in. We'd be. Endlessly appreciative. And I think they will be happy as [00:59:00] well to be there. 

Malcom: [00:59:01] Yeah. If you need some motivation for that, if you're listening to this, you're probably the guy in the band that has to handle all the recording.

So if you get your bandmates listening to this podcast or in that group, they might learn how to do their job better before you have to record them. And you are making your life a lot easier in that 

Benedikt: [00:59:16] case. Oh yeah. That as well. 

Malcom: [00:59:21] Cool. If a singer were to listen to this episode and realize how much they're going to have to sing and like be aware that there's going to be doubles before they're just being asked to do it.

That'll that you'll be happy that happened. 

Benedikt: [00:59:32] I absolutely. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Okay. Okay. Cool. Thank you for listening. See you next week. Take care. Bye bye.

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