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Recording two tracks (dobro and harp)


How do you go about recording two separate tracks to have them more distinct? I just record the one and then go back and record another. Some of the comments on my 'dobro/harp' recordings seem to suggest separating them more. WOuld you do this by recording in stereo (one track for each?) I'm not sure what 'separating them more' would involve and if it is possible given my limited equipment.

Any ideas out there?? Thanks


I'm  not familiar with GarageBand but it's supposed to be very user friendly.  Somewhere within the track controls, possibly near the volume controls, should be panning.  It usually will be a slider for the track.  On my DAW (Sony Acid), the slider goes from -63 to 0 to +63.  0 is center channel, higher numbers take the track more to one side or the other.  I would keep the harp in the middle since that's what we all want to hear, and pan the dobro out to one side and the BT out to the other side.

If you don't like the results, there are a lot of things you can do.  Get some free plugins.  Melda has some.  Their Mstereoexpander has worked for me, it stretches the track across the soundstage.  While you're there, pick up Mlimiter, I use it on most of the BTs I make to get a BT louder without clipping.  (There are probably better ones, but not free.)  Doublers might work to balance instruments, but I've never found a free one so I can't say. 

Just experiment with panning to get what you want.  Reverb and delay can be very useful as well.  Garageband probably comes with its own plugins, give em a try.  If not, Ambience is a good free reverb. 

EQs and compressors are trickier, I can't say I know what I'm doing with them but I slowly get better.

You can do this (sort of) on headphones, but listening through speakers (monitors) is the right way to do it. 

It was intimidating to me at first, but it's pretty easy for our purposes.  If I can do it, most people can, believe me.  Being really good at mixing, however, is apparently a gift just like playing an instrument.

That's great Bob - thanks. I'll start checking into it and play around to see what I can get!! This certainly is a great starting point. Much appreciated.

Modified after a while - got it Bob - actually a little easier than I thought. So now I'll play around and record something trying the balance you mention.!! Thanks again

Steamrollin Stan:
Hank, this sounds like a complicated nightmare, cant you do a track with guitar, then using that as a bt, just play along to it, similar to the quickie i did with taylors jam in E.

The advice about the panning should take you pretty far.   If you have two instruments, then you might be one off just a little to the left, and the other just a little to the right.   I will make the whole thing sound bigger.

For playing harmonica, my favorite thing is to have a touch (or more) of a stereo reverb (or delay).  It will make the harmonica sound much larger.


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