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Double tracking-effect on live guitar?

Velokki

Inspired
Hello people!

We have tracked a song with our band, that has a double-tracked lead guitar. Pretty basic stuff - you know how it sounds lush and full, panned right and left. Of course, as we know, it requires two separate takes to get that kind of "fullness" in the sound, it's the little differences in the performances that make it sound so lush.

My question is; how to emulate that on a live Axe FX II patch? I'm trying to get my guitar to sound huge in one lead section in "the double-tracked way", and based on the theory that the tracks are always two takes with the little differences between creating the special sound, I'm trying to emulate that in a patch.

My idea was to run two amps, two cabs, with slightly different sounds and put some chorus there to alter the sound to make it sound like there's actually two guitars playing, also tried to pitch shift just a liiittle bit, so it would resonate in a different way.

But I can't really get any decent results.

So my question is TLDR; I'm trying to get a supercharged, double-trackedy lead sound - how is it best to achieve this?

Thanks guys!
 

6stringscott

Inspired
Pitch block with Detune setting... I'm still experimenting with different values from 1 up to 10 cents plus and minus, and then what delay values to use. I think closer to zero delay sounds better, but as you increase the delay or detune it starts to sound more like a chorus block. I also use a chorus block, even default settings with "auto", and turn mix down to about 7%. Adds an instant goodness in most patches without standing out as an obvious effect. But I don't like to use that trick for songs where I want a more raw and thick clean sound. I haven't figured out how to solve that one yet.

It seems that the amps where the plain amp+cab sound really great together, as I start layering on more tricks like this to thicken it up, it's easy to lose special essence of the amp. I don't notice it as I layer on more stuff, but when I go back to start from scratch with an amp+cab, I have this "ahhhhh that's good!" feeling about the sound quality. But then I want it thicker, with a little something else, and the cycle repeats.
 
I have explored many avenues with this, there are several ways to do it but only 1 is TRUE double tracked.

1) Enhancer block on classic mode- this will widen your stereo field emulating two guitars but is not TRULY double tracked

2) Put a dual delay (I think its dual delay...) block in parallel, mix 100, level 0, feedback off/0, set the delay time very low like .40-.60ms (adjust to liking really, more will give u a looser sound, less will give you a tighter sound) balance either full L or R and on the Dry/main signal path, set balance to the opposite with a volume block, just make sure your volume block is not getting your delayed signal. This will delay either L or R side of you signal giving it that "double tracked sound" though still not a true double track.

3) The only way to achieve a true double track live, is with another guitarist, backing tracks, or a looper. In this case ill explain how I utilize the built in looper on axe-fx. Hopefully you have the MFC foot controller. So, obviously you will have to play & record the part to loop it back first. I record/loop my riff then using one controller: IA switch, exp pedal, or scene controller. I assign the looper balance to go either full L or R and then do the opposite with my dry or main signal via volume block. Engage the controller and play along (same RIFF) with the loop (I personally like an exp pedal). Now your double tracking live. Note: Put looper at end of the chain and in parallel, mix 100, adjust level to liking. Also put the volume block at the end of the chain, in your main signal path. Might have to play with the L&R Pan parameters in Looper and volume as well. Sorry not in front of my axe-fx.

Lastly, I understand the need to have precision, and this way unfortunately doesn't allow for an immediate double track bc you have to record it first, but I think it's a cool effect live MONO to STEREO double tracked. Also, just FYI, you can do all of this with MIDI program changes if you have that capability. I've done it and it is PRECISE and effortless on your performance end. Otherwise you'll have a little bit of tap-dancing to do ;) if it were easy everyone would do it.

Let me know if you need more explanation, I can try and get you a patch screen shot or something.
 

Velokki

Inspired
Dudes. Awesome, quick replies, both of you! Thanks a lot!

I have explored many avenues with this, there are several ways to do it but only 1 is TRUE double tracked.

1) Enhancer block on classic mode- this will widen your stereo field emulating two guitars but is not TRULY double tracked

2) Put a dual delay (I think its dual delay...) block in parallel, mix 100, level 0, feedback off/0, set the delay time very low like .40-.60ms (adjust to liking really, more will give u a looser sound, less will give you a tighter sound) balance either full L or R and on the Dry/main signal path, set balance to the opposite with a volume block, just make sure your volume block is not getting your delayed signal. This will delay either L or R side of you signal giving it that "double tracked sound" though still not a true double track.

3) The only way to achieve a true double track live, is with another guitarist, backing tracks, or a looper. In this case ill explain how I utilize the built in looper on axe-fx. Hopefully you have the MFC foot controller. So, obviously you will have to play & record the part to loop it back first. I record/loop my riff then using one controller: IA switch, exp pedal, or scene controller. I assign the looper balance to go either full L or R and then do the opposite with my dry or main signal via volume block. Engage the controller and play along (same RIFF) with the loop (I personally like an exp pedal). Now your double tracking live. Note: Put looper at end of the chain and in parallel, mix 100, adjust level to liking. Also put the volume block at the end of the chain, in your main signal path. Might have to play with the L&R Pan parameters in Looper and volume as well. Sorry not in front of my axe-fx.

Lastly, I understand the need to have precision, and this way unfortunately doesn't allow for an immediate double track bc you have to record it first, but I think it's a cool effect live MONO to STEREO double tracked. Also, just FYI, you can do all of this with MIDI program changes if you have that capability. I've done it and it is PRECISE and effortless on your performance end. Otherwise you'll have a little bit of tap-dancing to do ;) if it were easy everyone would do it.

Let me know if you need more explanation, I can try and get you a patch screen shot or something.
1. I've not really delved into the Enhancer world, I guess I should learn how to use that!

2. I did try the short delay trick (first thing that came to mind), but couldn't make it sound very good. Will try again with your recommended settings!

3. I do have an MFC! Gotta have to try your method, sounds very doable. The only thing I'm afraid of is sounding "too fake" live, or messing it up while the perfectly played sample still plays on background, haha! Very ashaming... Don't want to be labeled another Born Of Osiris type of live band, where very little is actually played live. This is what I would want to avoid at all costs:

But yeah, will definitely try your ideas, and I do have a Macbook with which I could MIDI control the Axe, so I don't have to tap dance!
 
Dudes. Awesome, quick replies, both of you! Thanks a lot!


1. I've not really delved into the Enhancer world, I guess I should learn how to use that!

2. I did try the short delay trick (first thing that came to mind), but couldn't make it sound very good. Will try again with your recommended settings!

3. I do have an MFC! Gotta have to try your method, sounds very doable. The only thing I'm afraid of is sounding "too fake" live, or messing it up while the perfectly played sample still plays on background, haha! Very ashaming... Don't want to be labeled another Born Of Osiris type of live band, where very little is actually played live. This is what I would want to avoid at all costs:

But yeah, will definitely try your ideas, and I do have a Macbook with which I could MIDI control the Axe, so I don't have to tap dance!
Trust me. Im in the same exact boat man. I am not big on playing backing tracks but unfortunately until we find another guitarist then Im kinda stuck with it. My work around is playing ALL the parts at some point in the song, showcasing that I wrote and can play the parts, and its not just some recorded Guitar II all the time. If you do the looper technique properly it most certainly will not sound fake. It sounds HUGE as you would expect any double tracked guitar to sound.

As for the enhancer, theres nothing to it. Put it at the end of your chain (before looper IN though) and turn on/off w/scenes. I use the enhancer block A LOT. Mainly to allow leads and rhythms to have their own stereo field and not compete for the same space in the mix. Works, quite well. Rhythm enhanced wide, lead down the middle or vice-versa. You CAN set up the enhancer to be controlled via IA switching but this requires a specific Volume block setup and is honestly a pain in the ass and takes up space in the chain etc. etc. 8 scenes should suffice.

I will say, that I would use the looper OR Backing tracks...not both, that will fail 100% of the time, bc the timing WILL GET OFF. UNLESS your changing via MIDI program changes to ensure your switching and looper recording/playback are exact etc. It's not to hard to figure out, and could I instruct you how to do it, but it does take effort in programing everything in your DAW and then of course there is the issue of having to play to a metronome...which requires in-ear monitoring...WHICH requires extra gear. If you can get good w/the looper then I would highly recommend it. IMO it helps retain the LIVELINESS that music is supposed to be anyways vs. program changes. Don't think you have to settle with the built in looper either, look at Tosin Abasi's rig, he uses a boomerang.

best of luck, hit me up for any Q's.
 

bishop5150

Fractal Fanatic
OMG I love you for this. SOLD. HA!
Glad to help a fellow Texan! Please let us know what you think about it. I'm very interested in this myself. I use the ole EVH +9/-9 detune trick to try and get a nice full sound but this little pedal has piqued my interest. FYI, my Ozzy tribute is playing at Fitzgerald's in San Antonio next month Saturday October 22nd. There will be like 6 bands. It's being billed as Ozz-Tober Fest! LOL! Come out and say hi if you don't have plans.
ozztoberfest.jpg
 
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steadystate

Fractal Fanatic
I've given up on finding a realistic ADT algorithm. Some sound good in stereo, but always fall apart when mixed to mono due to comb filtering artifacts that are unrealistic (far less complicated than true double tracking). Even this TC unit has unrealistic and overstated comb filtering when mixed to mono.

I've tried using different amp models on each output of a chorus, Roland Dimension algorithms, randomizing chorus parameters, enhancers, crossovers feeding separate choruses, and every other tool I have come across. They all sound like shit when mixed to mono. It's possible to get a usable clean tone that is mono compatible, but realistic ADT with distortion is a lost cause.
 
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ToneLabRat

Inspired
Glad to help a fellow Texan! Please let us know what you think about it. I'm very interested in this myself. I use the ole EVH +9/-9 detune trick to try and get a nice full sound but this little pedal has piqued my interest. FYI, my Ozzy tribute is playing at Fitzgerald's in San Antonio next month Saturday October 22nd. There will be like 6 bands. It's being billed as Ozz-Tober Fest! LOL! Come out and say hi if you don't have plans.
View attachment 35155
This looks very cool!! If I'm in town that weekend I will likely drive down.
 

mwd

Power User
Even this TC unit has unrealistic and overstated comb filtering when mixed to mono.
I would expect this. Double tracking is a stereo concept. When comprised of 2 mono tracks you are still placing the tracks in a stereo image for the effect. As well this is a stereo pedal. It's just not a mono concept. IMHO.
 
Ha!
Glad to help a fellow Texan! Please let us know what you think about it. I'm very interested in this myself. I use the ole EVH +9/-9 detune trick to try and get a nice full sound but this little pedal has piqued my interest. FYI, my Ozzy tribute is playing at Fitzgerald's in San Antonio next month Saturday October 22nd. There will be like 6 bands. It's being billed as Ozz-Tober Fest! LOL! Come out and say hi if you don't have plans.
View attachment 35155
Ha! right on man, small world. Ill def. come out if work permits. As for the Mimiq... I can't find it anywhere...no GC has it, no eBay, or amazon. NO ONE lol wth, must be too new still.
 

vangrieg

Power User
I would be very surprised if the AxeFx can not duplicate this TC pedal.
It probably can, but it might be unpractical. You need two delays (to avoid one channel sounding louder), a pitch shifter and some dynamics modifier, each constantly affected by somewhat random but rhythmical controller sources.
 
I would be very surprised if the AxeFx can not duplicate this TC pedal.
This gives me some ideas. I'm gonna try and re-create this pedal in the axe-fx. I have been at this for the past year and a half (trying to figure out the most practical way to create double tracked effect with axe-fx) the only TRUE solution I found was utilizing the looper and panning the looped signal and dry signal.

What I do know is that TC Electronic has created an algorithm based on the analysis of hundreds, probably thousands, of double tracked guitars to slightly randomize the pick attack, and dynamics, digitally creating those slight imperfections that double tracked guitars offer.

The MIMIQ is not just taking your signal, doubling it and putting it out of phase w/your other one, or just widening your stereo field. Think of it as a computer that is slightly imperfectly playing along with you. All in all this pedal is the most ergonomic, efficient and practical way to achieve a double tracked effect and I vote this pedal in COMBO with axe-fx all the way, regardless of any successful chain the axe-fx can create.
 
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