Layering Guitars Doesn’t Bring Tightness – THIS DOES
People tell you layering guitars is the way to go, like it’s the holy grail of getting huge and tight guitar tracks. When there are multiple tracks playing the same thing, you don’t have to play so locked into the tempo. In fact, it’s better if you play a little differently each time, because the takes compensate each other. The more layers the better, right?
Well… Not exactly. Watch this video to find out what is actually needed for huge sounding and tight guitar tracks:
The thing with layering is, that when you have multiple guitar tracks playing the same thing, they all get smaller as they have to be set to a lower level. Moreover, the more tracks you have, the more muffled it will sound. This is because you’re losing the definition, clarity and attack. Layering guitars will only eat up your time and slow you down, as you have to record every part a number of times.
What Should You Do Instead?
The tightness actually comes from playing tightly to the grid (or to the tempo set by drums), so focus on playing well. After you’ve recorded some killer takes, you should make sure the guitars are in sync with each other and with the drums and the bass. If there’s slight inaccuracy and the takes are not as tight as they could, try editing them. Fixing timing issues separate professionals from amateurs.
Take a listen to the layered guitars and the (well played and edited) left + right guitars again and you’ll notice the difference. The two guitars sound much bigger and tighter than the four guitars. Timing is everything.
Hopefully you found this video helpful. If there’s anything you want me to cover in the future videos let me know. Send me an email or leave a comment below. Ask if there’s anything unclear or if I left something out. Cheers!
Read also: Five Steps to Spice Up Chord Progressions