Old 09-25-2019, 09:30 PM   #1
toleolu
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Default Adjust guitar volume during performance or in the mix?

When recording a guitar track where you want the rhythm part at one level, but then you want to boost things a bit for the lead part, do you generally try to do that during the performance, or just use a volume envelope in the mix? Or is it just another preference kind of thing?
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:50 PM   #2
Otto Tune
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Default Yes, both

Usually develop the playing of the track for one take/pass. Slightly rolled off volume on the guitar for the rhythm, boost (or whatever) pedal for the lead. This is only b/c my general frame of reference is live shows.

For quick recordings though, these days I like two passes, rhythm and lead, even though I don't think I'll use both at the same time, but sometimes I do. Might not have even played a lead bit opposite the vocal during the verse before the recording, but that can be handy.

After tracking, volume envelop adjustments or item splits.

Current preference.

Last edited by Otto Tune; 09-25-2019 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:49 PM   #3
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It's your choice based on your criteria. Live for me, it's 99% volume knob but I have a boost pedal if I need it. When recording I'm more likely to run a dedicated track for the solo since I may either want the rhythm guitar there or not but I it tracked already just in case. I do also enjoy doing both in the same take on the same track but it really depends on what it is that I'm recording.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:45 PM   #4
toleolu
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Thanks Karb and Otto.

I've always tried to get the performance right to minimize any fixing in the mixing, but all the tools in Reaper make it awful tempting to get a little lazy sometimes.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:50 AM   #5
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It's funny sometimes. Some performers mix themselves beautifully. Just perfect delivery of everything from rhythm parts to melody and solos. Some are oblivious and need their solos attended to. Some are actually a little shy and their solos come out WAY under volume.

You're pretty much finished after tracking the first guy.
The last one, you're probably going to be making some tone adjustments as well as boosting that solo!

During the performance is the most immediately relevant. Kind of hard to argue with.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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A guitar volume knobs affects more than just volume, it also affects the guitars output impedance (unless your axe has active electronics). And if going through a pedal or amp, it also affects how much overdrive those things get.

So it has a big effect on tone. And I vote for mixing with the guitar volume knob.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
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Depends on the situation. But usually, even during the analogue era, solos were 'punched-in.' They'd leave space on a track for the solo. Often you can hear the lead guitar part playing behind the solo.

In Reaper, you've got all the tracks your CPU can handle. So unless you're running low on space, it doesn't make sense to not track a solo separately. The only reason you wouldn't is if you're tracking a band live. Even then, you'll probably want to overdub the solo.

Don't underestimate the importance of getting it right at the source. Levels are always adjusted in the mix anyway, so tracking is about tone and energy. If it sounds right when you track it, you only have to balance levels in the mix.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:59 PM   #8
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I totally agree kirk but there are times I want the rhythm/solo the same performance, likely the same take. Not always, usually rarely but when I want it nothing replaces it.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:24 PM   #9
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Continuation of "feel" is more than not of importance if you can do that
by having separate tracks then that's cool if not editing is
difficult to rescue.
A one take usually provides the feel even if the volume is not changed
for the lead solo then it is simple to alter that in the studio DAW!
Live it can just be a matter of clicking the pickup pole switch on the guitar,
or the Volume knob or as said using a volume pedal.


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Old 09-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #10
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Or you could just récord everything in to one track, and then split it later - to move the solo (or whatever) to a separate track.
Then you can do whatever you want with the separate track.
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbraner View Post
Or you could just récord everything in to one track, and then split it later - to move the solo (or whatever) to a separate track.
Then you can do whatever you want with the separate track.
That's what I'd do and also not worry about volumes while recording, other than staying below a level that clips.

You can even keep it all on one track and just split the solo part into it's own clip where you can then add separate FX plus set the volume and pan individually to the clip. I do that kind of stuff all the time.
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