Steve's Technique for Doubling with Detuning

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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Lazarus Pit
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:48 pm

Steve's recording technique of slightly detuning a doubling guitar to create a chorusing effect is discussed... ... ing#p38014" onclick=";return false;

"Double Tracking:

Vai insists that double tracking is one of the best ways to make a guitar sound good. Of course, you have to make sure the two overdubbed tracks are tight. However, there will always be slight differences, and this is where the magic happens. Those slight differences add considerable dimensionality to the tone. You can even detune the second guitar slightly to produce a chorused effect, or slow down/speed up the tape for the second guitar if your using analog. Both work just fine.

Just make sure things don't get sloppy!"

If anyone is familiar with this recording technique of detuning doubled guitars could you please answer a few questions:

1. Does Steve use this technique for leads and melodies, rhythm guitars, clean guitars, all or some of the above?

2. Is this technique used among multiple tracks of guitar or usually only as a double?

3. How would one pan this detuned guitar? Close to center, separated widely?

Thank you!
Posts: 1535
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am

Have you ever played a 12 string guitar?

the top two strings are doubled in unison...

You can tune them Perfectly B Perfectly B, Perfectly E, Perfectly E
and they sound just like 2 strings (instead of 4)

BUT if you take one of the B's and one of the E's and make it maybe a CENT flat (nothing major just a tiny bit but still int he 'in tune' range)
you'll start hearing two strings and it will add a lush full chorus effect


from my knowledge of vai music i'd guess he mostly uses this on rhythem tracks
i don't recall many of his unison leads identical (in which detuning it would be useless--if they're playing harmonies)

Like Liberty has a ton of guitars but none are playing the same lines...

I bet Vai doesn't go overboard with the out of tune technique because it could get a little out of countrol and warbly and bad- real easy

if i were recording it i'd put one pan at 11 oclock the other at 1 - you'd prob get a nice effect (60/40 and 40/60)

the tc electronic g system had a really nice way to detune guitars really cleanly and just the right amount to sound cool
Posts: 804
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:45 am

Buy the book guitar extravaganza ,there are all of those things ,;)

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