Mix Guitars in 5 Minutes!

mixing guitars

I used to never like mixing guitars, and I absolutely LOVE songs with guitars.  

But, I could never get them to sound natural after processing them inside my mix. I would follow suggested eqing I had seen and use the recommended compressors, but it didn't matter because everytime the guitars sounded thin and displaced from everything else.

So, I instead of following the latest viral mixing youtuber, I decided to actually learn the tools (plugins) I had and use them how they were designed to be used. 

That my friend, is the KEY TO MIXING.

Along with with parallel processing of course, haha!

Plugins are designed to work certain ways. Each of them have "sweet spots" where they perform at their optimal level. For example:

First, make sure to use a High Pass Filter to cut the "muck". This will help the EQ plugins and compressors to work best!

In this video, I am showing how acoustic guitars become so clear and full by using a stereo tube style EQ like the Manley Massive Passive EQ. That's just what this plugin is designed to do. "Creating natural, organic, acoustic tone can only be done with an equalizer that treats the signal with natural methods", - from the Manely website. 

Another example from this video is using a console emulation channel strip plugin (BB N105) for electric guitars. My time at a commercial studio has taught me that electric guitars sound best when they are recorded properly but, that they also really shine through a channel strip eq. Sometimes, that's all they need. Finding those eq points and boosting. 

Once we have brought out the emotion of the guitars with EQ, it is time to polish that sound off with a compressor.

For acoustic guitars, I prefer to use an Optical tube style compressor like the LA-2A. I chose the "Gray" version of this plugin because it has medium speed compression. Perfect for an acoustic string instrument. 

For electric guitars, I highly recommend the LA-3A. This is another Optical style compressor that has been described as being a cross between the LA-2A and FET style compressor, 1176. The mid-range presence stays focused and pronounced. Just what we want in electric guitars. 

Watch the video to see a demonstration of mixing both acoustic and electric guitars.



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