Chris Huff

How to Mix Two Electric Guitars

Guitars can energize a mix or absolutely destroy it.  I’ve watched rookies look dumb-struck at the mixing console because they didn’t know how to handle mixing two guitars.  Mixing two guitars is a simple process in which you do the same thing to each guitar channel EXCEPT with one added step.

First of all, you MUST identify the role of each guitar in the song.  A guitar is either going to play rhythm or lead.  Take the two guitars in the song and identify the role of each.

Let’s say, in this example, there is a rhythm guitar and another guitar that will play rhythm with the occasional lead elements in the song. Let’s make them both electrics.

Electric Guitar Number 1

Start with the rhythm-only guitar and go through these three steps:

  1. Roll off the low end.  Drums and bass should be working the low end so let’s clean up this first guitar by using a high pass filter.  There is no perfect frequency cutoff for a HPF so I can’t say, “enable it at exactly 104 Hz.”  Start at around the 100 Hz point and slowly sweep the HPF frequency up until you hear a better sounding low end from the overall mix.  I’ve used it as high as 280 Hz.  Don’t worry about the number, listen for the right spot.  Much of it depends on what the electric has going on; mucho distortion, overdrive, pick a flavor.   If you only have a fixed-point HPF then enable it.

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