Recently I've been running into brick walls with mixing distorted rhythm guitars. It seems that whatever I do the tone is either indistinct/muddy, fizzy, wimpy or over-processed.
Approaches tried (and failed):
- Mixing in mono - I generally swear by this technique and it works well enough - for other instruments,
- Sweep-and-cut - good for finding nasty resonant noise, but I find myself in a situation where applying a narrow notch gets rid of the resonance but makes the entire tone sound squashed, flat and generally over-processed, while getting rid of it means I'm suddenly hearing the resonant dirt twice as loud as before,
- Dialing back the distortion - I'm aware that too much distortion washes out over all frequencies and kills the articulation of both the guitars and everything else, but cleaning up leads to a wimpy sound - not at all what I'm after,
- Reamping - instead of getting one displeasing tone, I seem to end up with tens to choose from, none of which sound better than what I started with. To clarify, I am recording a completely unprocessed signal for this purpose.
Note: I am EQing in the mix at all times.
I suspect the fact that I'm playing in C# slack tuning is an issue - but an unavoidable one, given the material.
"Have a great tone coming in and do minimal EQ" is not really an answer, because if I did, I wouldn't be asking this question. Right now, the best I can do is sorta-kinda get what I want, hoping to chisel it into something that works in the mix.
I'm not looking for a canned solution along the lines of "this curve is quaranteed to work", because I know they don't exist. Rather, I would like to know whether there's a better way than trial-and-(mostly) error.