Mixing 101: What Is a Double

You want to learn how to mix hip-hop, mix rap and mix r&b so you gotta know the lingo. Today we answer what is a double.

a double is another take of the same musical element

Basically, if you attempt to do the same musical thing more than once and play them simultaneously  it’s a double. For example, if you record multiple takes of a verse and have them play at the same time, you’re using a double.

Side Note: Duplicating the same audio onto another track is not a double. That’s a mult.

Why use a double? Thanks for asking.

Doubles can

  • thicken a sound
  • give you stereo field options
  • (unfortunately they can also) muddy a sound

Doubles Can Thicken A Sound

If you have a part that’s unusually thin, for example, a falsetto sung part, have the performer do it multiple times and stack the results.

Voila…semi-instant thickness…assuming the performer can deliver the same good performance multiple times.

Doubles Can Give You Stereo Field Options

When you have multiple versions of the same part the Haas effect can come into play and make for some interesting results.

Vocal wise, I keep the lead close to the center and pan the backgrounds outwards (typically about 60% L and 60% Right). To me, that lets the lead be heard clearly in the middle and the background kinda envelops you.

Unfortunately Doubles (of Bad Performances) Can Muddy a Sound

Let’s be real. Some people struggle to deliver consistent performances. You can’t help but get frustrated when someone comes in to record and doesn’t know their part.

Words don’t line up or they magically change in between takes. Pitch differences cause dissonance.

Or someone thinks giving the same slurred performance will make them more clear.

That’s when doubles muddy up the sound.

Anyway, I hope that helps you understand what a double is.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts and concerns in the comments.

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Hip Hop Mixing by TeslaThemes