Skip to content

Double Tracking a Guitar vs. Duplicating a Single Track

Double Tracking a Guitar vs. Duplicating a Single Track

Let’s talk about the importance of tracking a guitar pass twice (same arrangement) as opposed to simply duplicating a single guitar track. Although you may think it’s the same it definitely does not achieve the same result.

When double tracking the guitar your goal should be to play the second take as close as possible to the first take. The effect of double tracking will give your sound much more width and richness as opposed to copy & pasting your initial guitar track.

If you zoom in on the wave forms within your DAW you’ll notice that each guitar take is distinct. These distinctions is what gives the sound its unique flavor.  When duplicating a track the signals are identical and when played certain frequencies cancel each other out.

“The difference in double tracking is that you get different transient / tones / phase shift from the pick every time you play the same notes. You can’t achieve this result by duplicating one recording and slightly moving the duplicated part, it just doesn’t sound “alive”, it will sound plain and monotonic as shown in the video example. Regardless of how good of a player you are you get rich results by default when double tracking because the reality in lack of the better expression is so fine grained that it’s impossible to duplicate any stroke twice. On the other hand if you don’t play well you get too much difference in double tracking, which then leads to confusing results when the melody should be same on both takes.” – @tunnis7us

Check out the video above where we A/B the effect to demonstrate the difference between double tracking and duplicated a guitar pass.