• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

I LOVE THE AXE-FX-Live Double tracked Guitars & Backing Tracks=HUGE.

Hey all, I wanted to write a quick post about my new live setup technique(s). I've seen a lot of posts, and even made some myself, in regards to getting authentic double tracked guitars live. I will also touch on my technique for creating backing tracked guitars.

Gear:
TC ELECTRONIC HYPER GRAVITY COMPRESSOR>
>WALRUS VOYAGER OVERDRIVE>
>TC ELECTRONIC MIMIQ>
>AXE-FX MKII>
>FOH & BACKLINE CABS in STEREO (MATRIX GT1000FX>L-MESA VERT SLANT 2X12, R-ORANGE 4X12)

I spent all of this past Saturday dialing in my guitar Tones along side our bassist to get a really cohesive live sound between us, or at least a base foundation to have (venues will determine a little tweaking im sure).

I then setup my 2 MACKIE HD1221's in my living room at typical venue distance apart as well as my stereo backline cabs (I have a bigass living room lol) and started A/B'ing settings, tones, pedals etc. I had a friend and sound engineer walk around the "Living room-venue" as I played trying several Stereo/MONO configurations and the consensus, hands down was 2amps (different but similar amps or different EQ on each), stereo cab (Different CABs), and MIMIQ pedal on mode 1, tightness at noon. It sounds HUGE. I even A/B'd real double tracking to the MIMIQ and it is ALMOST impossible to tell the two apart, the real double tracked stuff is a little smoother, but hey close enough for me.

SoO, I commenced creating my patches for live use, set all my scenes up & got all the levels consistent across the board.

-pedals listed above are in front of the axe-fx. MIMIQ outs to the Stereo input on the back of axefx (set I/O on axe-fx to stereo, it's imperative for this to work.
-2AMPS, L amp set to input LEFT and PAN 100%Left do the exact opposite for the RIGHT AMP.
-STEREO CAB, each cab must be panned hard, one LEFT and one RIGHT, and the master balance left at 0, input is STEREO.
-For lead tones/scenes I simply created an X or Y amp and set its input to either L or R and turn the other amp off. This will put your lead back to center in MONO. Make sure all amps bypass are set to mute, also note that the two amps are in parallel. This technique will allow you to leave the MIMIQ pedal ON all the time ;) no tap dancing here! (all my pedals stay on ALL THE TIME, no change whatsoever, even for cleans!!!)

Once I had all my patches setup I proceeded to record the backing tracks (im the only guitarist in our band so BT's are necessary at this point) using the EXACT SAME TONES and LEVELS I tracked everything I needed in stereo. Its important to keep these to variables the same so there is no differentiation between the live guitar sound and backing track guitar sound, I just tell the FOH to match the levels on their end and all is well.

The results are AMAZING. Night and Day from when we first started playing live this past December. It sounds like there are two guitarists on stage, and when the backing tracks kick in you cannot even tell its a backing track.

One thing to note is that the reason i use external pedals is to free up CPU usage...bc once you have TWO amps, stereo cab, two delays, two reverbs etc. etc. CPU is gonna be an issue.

I LOVE THE AXE-FX

Cheers
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
So, during a live performance, you have stereo guitar, like in studio recordings. One on the left and one on the right?
And you prerecord one of them and then play the exact same thing on top of the prerecorded guitar live? Did I get you right?
Though it may sound "huge", Personally, I don't think that's cool.
Firstly: Stereo, for a stage, is not really a good idea is most cases, so rarely will a stage do stereo. Especially in big places, like, stadiums, doing stereo is simply pointless... So, when run mono - you'll just get a sound that is a 50% mix of a prerecorded guitar and a live guitar, not the "wall of sound" that we hear in recordings. This mono tone may lose clarity and attack. But if a place does do stereo - If a person stands on the left side of the stage, he will only be hearing the prerecorded guitar. Is that cool?

Secondly: I don't go to live shows to listen to recordings.
I come to listen to musicians, live. I want to hear you. Not the prerecorded you. If your guitar is 50% mixed with a prerecorded signal, I can't hear you over it.

I use Backing tracks too.
But my backing tracks only contain Choirs, scratches, orchestras, unconventional instruments, weird FX sounds and rare backing vocals. The stuff that the three of us can't do on stage ourselves.
 
He is having a double tracked sound using mimic, so they are hearing his playing on both sides through different amps panned left or right. His backing tracks are other parts he can't play at the same time to fill out the sound as he's the only guitarist
Exactly right.
 
So, during a live performance, you have stereo guitar, like in studio recordings. One on the left and one on the right?
And you prerecord one of them and then play the exact same thing on top of the prerecorded guitar live? Did I get you right?
Though it may sound "huge", Personally, I don't think that's cool.
Firstly: Stereo, for a stage, is not really a good idea is most cases, so rarely will a stage do stereo. Especially in big places, like, stadiums, doing stereo is simply pointless... So, when run mono - you'll just get a sound that is a 50% mix of a prerecorded guitar and a live guitar, not the "wall of sound" that we hear in recordings. This mono tone may lose clarity and attack. But if a place does do stereo - If a person stands on the left side of the stage, he will only be hearing the prerecorded guitar. Is that cool?

Secondly: I don't go to live shows to listen to recordings.
I come to listen to musicians, live. I want to hear you. Not the prerecorded you. If your guitar is 50% mixed with a prerecorded signal, I can't hear you over it.

I use Backing tracks too.
But my backing tracks only contain Choirs, scratches, orchestras, unconventional instruments, weird FX sounds and rare backing vocals. The stuff that the three of us can't do on stage ourselves.
Nope, TravisG406 is correct. I took it a step further though and recorded the backing tracks to alternate between GI and GII, so by the end of the song I will have played live EVERY guitar part at least once. Pretty honest attempt IMO.

I have been experimenting w/live sound in Stereo and MONO for quite some time, i know the standards point to using MONO for live and the reasons for it. But take Periphery for example (or hell any band w/two or more guitarists) Mark is panned hard Left and Misha is panned hard Right, Jake is down the center. Thats a live stereo double/triple tracked guitar sound my friend, wether it can be completely perceived or not, and lets admit they clearly are doing something right. This is essentially what I have achieved with my setup. Trust me, it sounds HUGE, and yes it DOES sound like a WALL of guitars...just like in recordings. Even with the speakers 25' apart (which is generously wide). Furthermore, I stood completely on one side (either side) and toggled MONO/STEREO and could not hear the difference whatsoever so at the end of the day im getting the same result. The only difference would apply to the people in the back or in the center and If I can get even just ONE person to go, holy shit that sounds MASSIVE, then it's a win for me. If you don't believe me then you should try it and see for yourself :)

I've had my concerns using backing tracks, for the same moral issues you have. I wanna hear musicians play LIVE not listen to pre-recorded stuff, and ya that would totally not be cool to have a recorded guitar on one side and my live guitar on the other. Good thing I don't do that :) But, until we find the right guitarist to add to the group or until i grow two more arms this is what must be done to accomplish additional guitar parts live. We also have various FX and synths etc. I even experimented with using the looper to play alt. guitar parts and even double track, totally works but it is too limiting in how the song has to be written.
 
So we played last Friday night using this new setup and it was the best we have ever sounded according to our fans/audience. I had at least 10 people come up to me after the show and ask what I was doing rig/guitar wise. Great success!!!
 

Gebella

Member
Just bought the MIMIQ pedal, and I am trying to do this. On the pedal - where do you keep the dry and effect knobs? All the way to the right?

It does sound big, but I find that the replicated signal loses its warmth and tends to make the sound quite sterile - how are you fixing that?
 
Last edited:
sorry for the delayed response. Yes, put the effect and and dry knobs all the way up. I keep the tightness around 1/4 turn. Can you provide some specifics of your setup? Also maybe a screenshot of your chain in axe-edit. Im not having any issues w/losing warmth or presence, so im curious as to how u have it set up. Also, i ONLY use mode 1 on the MIMIQ the other modes def. have an unnatural sound to them.
 

Birdy

Inspired
That's cool!
When I play rhythm with headphones on at home (either with a backing track or without it), I pan my mono sound hard left and right, with a 35ms delay on the right channel (and slight volume compensation).
It gives a sound almost identical to dual tracking.
But obviously it's only good for headphones at home, not for recording/giging/monitors etc...
 
That's cool!
When I play rhythm with headphones on at home (either with a backing track or without it), I pan my mono sound hard left and right, with a 35ms delay on the right channel (and slight volume compensation).
It gives a sound almost identical to dual tracking.
But obviously it's only good for headphones at home, not for recording/giging/monitors etc...
I would argue that it does work in live/gigs and studio settings. :) It might not be AS audible as having headphones on, but it is def. there.
 

Birdy

Inspired
I would argue that it does work in live/gigs and studio settings. :) It might not be AS audible as having headphones on, but it is def. there.
Well yeah, it works for sure, but the reason I won't recommend using it live is because it's no so mono-compatible.
The less stereo your hearing is, the more wonky it sounds.
In contrast to 2 different amps that will always sound good, either mono or stereo (assuming they are in phase).
But with that said, I have never tried it live so I might be totally wrong :D
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Secondly: I don't go to live shows to listen to recordings.
I come to listen to musicians, live. I want to hear you. Not the prerecorded you. If your guitar is 50% mixed with a prerecorded signal, I can't hear you over it.

I use Backing tracks too.
But my backing tracks only contain Choirs, scratches, orchestras, unconventional instruments, weird FX sounds and rare backing vocals. The stuff that the three of us can't do on stage ourselves.
You don't like bands using pre-recorded guitars, but you use pre-recorded vocals??

Kettle, meet Pot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_standard
 

claxor

Power User
One thing to note is that the reason i use external pedals is to free up CPU usage...bc once you have TWO amps, stereo cab, two delays, two reverbs etc. etc. CPU is gonna be an issue.
That's great, but why the two delays, two reverbs, etc? They can be stereo, and not require two of each.
 
Well yeah, it works for sure, but the reason I won't recommend using it live is because it's no so mono-compatible.
The less stereo your hearing is, the more wonky it sounds.
In contrast to 2 different amps that will always sound good, either mono or stereo (assuming they are in phase).
But with that said, I have never tried it live so I might be totally wrong :D
I can agree with you, like I said i've been at this for months testing and trying out every possible scenario, But this setup hasn't failed me yet! I don't mic anything so there shouldn't be any phasing issues, assuming the house PA is setup properly etc. We are completely direct, except the drums of course.
 
That's great, but why the two delays, two reverbs, etc? They can be stereo, and not require two of each.
I run the other two blocks to my FX LOOP for stage backline, I like the delay and reverb tone AFTER the cab vs. before, otherwise yes I could just share between my direct and FX loop.
 

Armageddon

Member
Very interesting post. I was just rewoking my stereo setup in the Axe today.
Reading your post I got interested in knowing what the Mimiq pedal was. So I googled for it and red a good testing article.
Well, I must say that the stereo effects it gives is not impressive. I listened carefully to samples of it with a good pair of headphones and I finished wondering if such a doubler effect could not be achieved with the enhancer block in the FX.
So I don't really see the use of such a pedal in front of an Axe FX where we can already enter mono and output stereo (and I mean true stereo, not double mono).
But maybe I'm wrong and the Mimiq pedal goes beyond that...
I'll get inspired with your experience and will try to replicate that stereo doubling effect in the Axe.
Until now, what I was doing to output stereo was : mono signal > two parallel amp blocks (panned hard left and right) > enhancer block (modern mode, 50% width, 50% depth) > stereo cab block (with 2 different IRs panned hard left and right + a few ms delay on one side + a slight room fx). The result was quite amazing already.
Tomorrow I will try the enhancer before the amps!
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Cool. I'm lazy. I use the Reel ADT Waves plugin "2 Guitars is Better than 1" and it works beautifully. But I can't use it live!
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Cool. I'm lazy. I use the Reel ADT Waves plugin "2 Guitars is Better than 1" and it works beautifully. But I can't use it live!
Sure you can! Laptop with an interface that accepts 1/4 or XLR, out of the interface to the house or your power amp, install the DAW of your choice, and run the Reel plug like you normally do.

If you have a laptop set up you can also program it to change all your sounds via midi as well. I use to record our entire show at practice, put in my cue points and then put on all my pedal changes. Expression, patch changes, anything to keep me from having to run back to my board. The only thing I controlled was my wah. I kept the click track only for the drummer and let it rip.

While in my DAW I could run any plugins I wanted to use in real time. You've got to be able to run at low latency though. I was able to get down to 64 buffers at 1.5 ms latency.

I didn't use plugins often live, I used the above more for automated midi switching as well as some keyboard samples flown in. I've not had a chance to dive into the axe being used in this manner...but it worked perfectly using Sonar as my DAW and my 2101.
 
Top Bottom