Double-tracking for YouTube amp demos, have your say

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
So I'm slowly putting things into place for our YouTube channel - a question for the gallery about double tracking. Frankly, it sounds awesome. Wide, slick, full, smooth, album-like etc. My problem with it is that it's wide, slick, full....

We're going with almost all raw clips, closed miked (with a little room blended in). Basically tones that you would hear on a record, so the 'in the room' guys are going to be disappointed! The question is does anyone see value in doing maybe one double-tracked clip per video, like this:


The single is raw, stark and in your face - the double is not. I ask as personally I see no point in the latter, and it's lots of extra work... but happy to do it if it's of use to anyone. Thoughts?

By the way this is an unlisted test video that I'll delete soon, not a 'proper' one. You can only access it through this post, I think.
 

SpiderWars

Well-known member
I would think it would tend to homogenize all the tones where they all have a similar character (mostly the mic and speaker). I would want the shitty amps to sound shitty and the good amps to sound good.

But FWIW I think close micing also tends to homogenize the tones and you said you were going with that. If you are trying to make everything sound good then I think that's the right approach. If you are trying to compare/assess amps as they are without any lipstick or polish, then I think more 'room' is better.
 

VESmedic

Well-known member
You already know my answer…



Does anyone listen to their favorite albums and tones in mono? Exactly.



The only way I can really tell how an amp is going to sound is if I hear it double tracked and panned wide…. Like it is on ( most) hard rock and metal records. :)


An amp sounds completely and 100 percent different when it’s double tracked, which is my preference because that’s how I’m going to be using it 90-95 percent of the time. It’s also extremely difficult borderline impossible to get an idea of what an amp is actually going to sound like when it’s in mono, it frankly tells me very little to nothing. I can’t tell which high end frequencies are going to be an issue, I can get an idea of the low end but only to a certain extent because it sounds and behaves differently on the sides, and it tells me absolutely nothing about the stereo image: the most important thing in a mix to me.
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
I would think it would tend to homogenize all the tones where they all have a similar character (mostly the mic and speaker). I would want the shitty amps to sound shitty and the good amps to sound good.
To me it's maybe not homogenising, but it does make it far less raw and more produced. I'll make sure the Bandit sounds shitty, not to worry.

The ones I like best include it in an actual mix setting (including double tracked, if appropriate) and then include solo tracks both mic'd and in the room.
Yep most videos will include a mini song, say 60-90sec of riffage and lead.

I just want to know how you guys got all that gear down there in Aussie land.....Killer production as usual.
Well it hasn't been easy... and it has been fairly hard on the wallet too. And thanks \w/

You already know my answer…
Ha, I certainly do! Yep guys like yourself that do a lot of recording and have plenty of experience like to hear it dry, tight & doubled, makes sense.

I mean I know you can't please everyone but man it's a tough one. A few guys are telling me via PM they see 'no point' in close miking and that they make better recordings with their phones than the pros do with all the 'fancy gear'. Strange times.
 

Spaceboy

Well-known member
I personally only care about how the amp sounds properly miked. Do a clip as an intro with multi-tracked guitars, then follow it up playing solo but still miked the same way. I don’t want to hear a goddamn cell phone in the room, or room mics, any of that shit, because none of it will give a legitimate impression of how it sounds to the naked ear in another room. Close-miking is the best to keep other variables out of the demo, preferably with a common mic that most guitarists are accustomed to.
 

MadAsAHatter

Well-known member
I think you could go either way and capture a good representation the main factor being how polished you want the final product to sound. This being that double tracks are done the right way. I know you'll do it proper, but I hate the ones that just copy paste a mono track.
 

311splawndude

Well-known member
I would think it would tend to homogenize all the tones where they all have a similar character (mostly the mic and speaker). I would want the shitty amps to sound shitty and the good amps to sound good.

But FWIW I think close micing also tends to homogenize the tones and you said you were going with that. If you are trying to make everything sound good then I think that's the right approach. If you are trying to compare/assess amps as they are without any lipstick or polish, then I think more 'room' is better.

This is where I'm at. Depends.

Your double tracked version in the OP definitely sounds better. So if I want an in depth review on an amp - that's what I would want.

If you were going to do a quick riff on a bunch of amps at once, then in room might be better - and certainly easier. There are benefits to both is my take.

Looking forward to your vids.
 

TheGreatGreen

Well-known member
I mean I know you can't please everyone but man it's a tough one. A few guys are telling me via PM they see 'no point' in close miking and that they make better recordings with their phones than the pros do with all the 'fancy gear'. Strange times.

Please do not listen to those people, they are clueless... that is unless you want every amp to sound like it's being played from inside the same tiled bathroom, recorded from across the house. Don't hesitate to ask any of those folks to send you a few of their "excellent" sounding cell phone clips as a way to validate their fine judgement of what does and doesn't sound good. Then as soon as you're done laughing and/or rolling your eyes, feel free to carry on recording guitars like they actually sound on every record ever made, just like you've been doing. :)

As for including wide-panned double tracked takes in your demos? I think it's helpful and informative, but not a 100% necessity. However, in my recording experience, I think wide-panned double tracked guitars sound as different from single tracked guitars as guitars in a mix sound from guitars in isolation, so if you want to give a full impression about how an amp is going to sound in all relevant contexts, it could be helpful to include it, however brief it might be.
 
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panhead

Well-known member
So I'm slowly putting things into place for our YouTube channel - a question for the gallery about double tracking. Frankly, it sounds awesome. Wide, slick, full, smooth, album-like etc. My problem with it is that it's wide, slick, full....

We're going with almost all raw clips, closed miked (with a little room blended in). Basically tones that you would hear on a record, so the 'in the room' guys are going to be disappointed! The question is does anyone see value in doing maybe one double-tracked clip per video, like this:


The single is raw, stark and in your face - the double is not. I ask as personally I see no point in the latter, and it's lots of extra work... but happy to do it if it's of use to anyone. Thoughts?

By the way this is an unlisted test video that I'll delete soon, not a 'proper' one. You can only access it through this post, I think.
Doulbed sounds thinner is mistaken for wider, both sound good to me.
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
Please don't listen to these people, Jesus Christ almighty 🤣👌
Ha yeah, I'm considering all opinions and suggestions... except this. Close mic with a touch of room is what I think I'll go for. In a track you don't need the room at all, but isolated it adds a little something that I don't hate.

I personally only care about how the amp sounds properly miked. Do a clip as an intro with multi-tracked guitars, then follow it up playing solo but still miked the same way. I don’t want to hear a goddamn cell phone in the room, or room mics, any of that shit, because none of it will give a legitimate impression of how it sounds to the naked ear in another room. Close-miking is the best to keep other variables out of the demo, preferably with a common mic that most guitarists are accustomed to.
Yep it looks like we'll have a full mix, one or two double-tracked isolated clips, and then a bunch of raw single take clips per video - should cover it. And yeah a 57 blended with 906 is my go to, pretty basic.

I think you could go either way and capture a good representation the main factor being how polished you want the final product to sound. This being that double tracks are done the right way. I know you'll do it proper, but I hate the ones that just copy paste a mono track.
For sure, I got the guys to do a second pass on a few clips, much to their chagrin (no click).

Please do not listen to those people, they are clueless... that is unless you want every amp to sound like it's being played from inside the same tiled bathroom, recorded from across the house. Don't hesitate to ask any of those folks to send you a few of their "excellent" sounding cell phone clips as a way to validate their fine judgement of what does and doesn't sound good. Then as soon as you're done laughing and/or rolling your eyes, feel free to carry on recording guitars like they actually sound on every record ever made, just like you've been doing. :)

As for including wide-panned double tracked takes in your demos? I think it's helpful and informative, but not a 100% necessity. However, in my recording experience, I think wide-panned double tracked guitars sound as different from single tracked guitars as guitars in a mix sound from guitars in isolation, so if you want to give a full impression about how an amp is going to sound in all relevant contexts, it could be helpful to include it, however brief it might be.
Yeah double-tracking sounds quite different, and that's both it's benefit and pitfall. Generally sounds awesome if it's tight, even for old school stuff. 10-4 on your phone clip comment.

Doulbed sounds thinner is mistaken for wider, both sound good to me.
Yes weirdly it can sound thinner, depends on lot on the source and your monitoring environment I find. Double tracked AC-DC style stuff can sound a bit fuller, but can go the opposite with high gain stuff for some reason.

Just wanted to say thanks again for the time and comments you guys have directed our way. We're working really hard to get some decent content together and the feedback I'm getting through these posts and via PM has been invaluable so far. We'll hopefully have 3 or 4 uploaded done by end June, and then are aiming for maybe 2 a week till we run out of amps to feature!

Beers are on us next time you're in Sydney! 🍻
Tony & Dan
 

GJgo

Well-known member
From my perspective, how you set up the tracking depends on who you're trying to target. For example- if you're trying to impress recording guys & band guys, then double tracked in a mix makes the most sense. If however you're trying to impress bedroom guys then mono single tracked with a room blend makes the most sense. Perhaps you could do what no one is doing which is to showcase both, IOW set up different cuts aimed at different groups?

Think about it- how many times have you bought an amp based on demos, gotten it home, and it sounds nothing like what you expected? close mic / room mic / single mono / double tracked & panned / iPhone sounds nothing alike, but it's all the same amp!
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
From my perspective, how you set up the tracking depends on who you're trying to target. For example- if you're trying to impress recording guys & band guys, then double tracked in a mix makes the most sense. If however you're trying to impress bedroom guys then mono single tracked with a room blend makes the most sense. Perhaps you could do what no one is doing which is to showcase both, IOW set up different cuts aimed at different groups?

Think about it- how many times have you bought an amp based on demos, gotten it home, and it sounds nothing like what you expected? close mic / room mic / single mono / double tracked & panned / iPhone sounds nothing alike, but it's all the same amp!
Actually not trying to impress anyone, too busy for that kind of thing! Just making some noise in our amp room for anyone interested in big, loud, heavy tube amps.

And yes it's looking like a bit both, why not.
 

tonedover

Active member
if this is in regards to amp reviews or demos or shootouts, i have some strong opinions, such as:

DO NOT FRIGGING DOUBLE TRACK FOR AMP REVIEWS OR DEMOS OR SHOOTOUTS

DO NOT FRIGGING RE-EQ OR ADD REVERB OR DELAY FOR AMP REVIEWS OR DEMOS OR SHOOTOUTS

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE AMPS SOUND LIKE IN A FRIGGING ROOM, NOT THROUGH YOUR PERSONAL
COMPUTER SETUP FOR AMP REVIEWS OR DEMOS OR SHOOTOUTS



*phew*
if this is for your recordings or sharing your music with others, do whatever you like
carry on friend, oh, now ill read the thread. im impulsive. :)
 

GJgo

Well-known member
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE AMPS SOUND LIKE IN A FRIGGING ROOM, NOT THROUGH YOUR PERSONAL
COMPUTER SETUP FOR AMP REVIEWS OR DEMOS OR SHOOTOUTS
...In that case your best bet is a well-placed iPhone. Here's an example of one I did recently. First mic'd and triple tracked-

Next iPhone in the room. Everything else was identical.
 
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