Slipin Lizard pretty much answered but I will give a small extra two pennies.
Originally Posted by: 1. I hear that instead of actually recording a guitar twice, you can record a single guitar part onto two tracks and you won't have to worry about synchronization as much. Then you give each track different sounds and pan them both to one side then do it again for the other side to get a full sound. Do you agree with this method?
Duplicating tracks will probably not get you what you want and particularly with metal; which is to say, a huge
sound. My experience is that it comes out kinda flat when just duplicating.
I posted this little deal in listening forum but this track
has 4 separate actual guitar parts played and the guitars total about 6 actual channels. The actual performances between left and right are very different but are cohesive (I think).
Think not in terms of short cuts via one performance but how you build a larger sound by the sum of the parts. Not only just playing the same part twice will give you a wider sound but also think in terms of different chord voicings. One track/performance may differ from another by how you voice or play the chord (upstroke versus downstroke etc). On the link I made above, one of the tracks is a simple third fret/B & high E upstroke chimey deal. It added a lot of definition and brightness to the side I panned. On the other side, I have a lower, twangy single string riff I played to the main riff and it gave the main riff more definition.
Anyway, not that my mix was the 'be all' but I learned a good bit messing with it and got a decently wide sound overall....
So there's that.
Originally Posted by: 2. When recording, I'll be making most of my sound with my effects pedal (BOSS GT-8). So when I record, does the size of the amp really matter? Cause even a small amp is freaking loud at level 8 or so.
Jimmy Page used pretty small amps. Some times it's not the size of your pencil but how you write your name.
In my opinion, the key to good guitar tone is a well mixed bass guitar.
The tone you have sitting and practicing isn't always the ideal to record with. Massive ripping tone can sometimes lose definition when recorded. So, when you back off on the overdrive to get definition, having the bass mixed in properly gives a huge
amount of support to the guitar.
Originally Posted by: 3. Is a regular dynamic mic OK for recording guitar through an amp?
Like Lizard said....SM57 can't lose.
Originally Posted by: 4. If you have two guitar distortions, is it better to combine them on both sides of the mix, or pan one to the left and the other to the right?
My instinct is to say pan. What I like to do (and did in my linked deal above) was to pan the primary versions hard left/right. Then, I will 'ghost' a lower volume version on the opposing side...that is to say, if the left performance is panned hard left and mixed at the appropriate top volume; I will duplicate that same track and pan mid-left but at a lower volume and with a slightly stronger reverb. It is a poor mans way of getting an 'ambience' mike performance. It's not exactly that but it seems to fill things out a bit.
Originally Posted by: 5. For rhythm guitars, you record several times and pan them to each side. For a lead guitar it usually is panned to the middle over the rhythm guitars. What if you have a two-guitar harmonized solo? Should I pan them both to the sides or the middle?
Pan...I suppose...play with it.
.....So all that said; Mixing and mastering is a much an art as the music and I really dig it too. Now that we are in a digital world, there is no reason not to try all kinds of performances and mixing tricks. A good mix usually doesn't have a lot of short cuts in it.
One last thing..remember that in mixing, you are playing with frequencies...make sure they aren't stepping on each other. That's was my point about the bass above. EQ is your friend. You have to balance a number of instruments and making sure that each doesn't impede the sonic space of another will give your mix clarity, definition and overall breadth.
So...yadda, yadda...I gave tree cents instead ;)