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mono vs. stereo
Old 24th November 2009
  #1
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mullet's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
mono vs. stereo

I'm a little confused as when to use mono or stereo?

What parts of my song should be in mono: kick, bass, snare, hats?
should synths be in stereo? whats a good rule of thumb, or is there a rule of thumb?

Also, I'm using ableton 7.0, so how can I tell if something is in mono or stereo and how can I change it if need be? Are samples in stereo by default?

thanks
Old 24th November 2009
  #2
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Is the instrument doing anything in the stereo field that you want to capture in stereo?
Old 24th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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golden beers's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
humans can't tell where deep bass is coming from so the very low stuff should be mono. everything else use ears.

not 100% on thread but may help you a little:
https://gearspace.com/board/4336165-post7.html
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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ohmicide's Avatar
there's no rules

but i usually keep the kick, snare, bass and main vocals in the center

it all depends on the song
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
remember theres 3 categories not 2...

mono, stereo and double mono - mono signal used twice and spread as if its stereo.

I'd go with the others and say depends on the song, depends on the sound. If too many things are stereo and spread out, it can get messy. Usually try and have a nice focal point in the middle, with somethings spread out behind.
You might want to bring stereo sounds in with a chorus section for more ooomf, and keep things mono or central/narrow in the verse. Thats one tactic.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yolkboy ➑️
remember theres 3 categories not 2...

mono, stereo and double mono - mono signal used twice and spread as if its stereo.
well technically everything is double mono
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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mullet's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
there's no rules

but i usually keep the kick, snare, bass and main vocals in the center

it all depends on the song
ok, so long as I dont pan these, then they are automatically in mono? I just dont know what instruments are stereo or mono by default..

would a kick be mono by default unless i pan it?
Old 25th November 2009
  #8
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🎧 15 years
Certain samples you're using may have been recorded in stereo.

If you're not sure if your sample is mono or stereo, and you want it to be in mono, it's a good idea to convert it to mono.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
well technically everything is double mono
Nope, a stereo signal consists of 2 DIFFERENT mono signals in synchronicity.
Double mono consists of 2 IDENTICAL signals.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mullet ➑️
ok, so long as I dont pan these, then they are automatically in mono? I just dont know what instruments are stereo or mono by default..

would a kick be mono by default unless i pan it?
idk how am i supposed to know what samples you're using lol

you can use your ears and the meters on your daw to figure out

Quote:
Originally Posted by yolkboy ➑️
Nope, a stereo signal consists of 2 DIFFERENT mono signals in synchronicity.
Double mono consists of 2 IDENTICAL signals.
oh sorry

but wouldn't two identical signals panned left and right make a mono signal?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 10 years
It is always cool to me to listen to the old Beatles recordings around the Strawberry feilds era. They will pan bass and drums over to one side and guitars to the other.

I actually kinda like it.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sctt_stone ➑️
It is always cool to me to listen to the old Beatles recordings around the Strawberry feilds era. They will pan bass and drums over to one side and guitars to the other.

I actually kinda like it.
some jimi hendrix songs were like this too! <333
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
oh sorry

but wouldn't two identical signals panned left and right make a mono signal?
maybe i'm wrong, but doesn't pan law make two identical signals L/R louder then a single mono fed to stereo?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
msl
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If your doing music that will be heard on club systems then bass, kick, and usually main vocals should be center and mono. Everything else is up for grabs. Its good to have a mix of stereo and mono elements, so they contrast each other, if that makes sense.


.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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statikcat's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You only want to record something in stereo if it is doing something different on the left side than the right side. A lot of synths have many modulation possiblities as well as FX. A lot of these things are in stereo. For example a delay might bounce left to right or have 1/8 delay on the left and 1/4 on the right. You need to record this is stereo.

Drum kit piece can be mono .. unless again you have a stereo effect on a part. Keep in mind a DAW will play back a recorded mono part in stereo. You can always pan and put stereo fx on a mono track. At least in the DAW I use.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Vikesh R M Kerai's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
stereo processing

If you want to mono lower frequencies and not the whole signal it may be worth looking at using stereo field plug-ins (if you are using a DAW). Off the top of my head I can think of iZotope that do a plug-in where you can mono frequencies lower than a fixed point and Waves probably do one but I can't remember what it might be. My personal choice would be the Sonalksis one, very easy to use and a lot more features that would help you in other parts of the mixing process.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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mullet's Avatar
 
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ok so for my next question. how do I convert from stereo to mono, using ableton... I guess, even before that, how can I tell if a sample or whatever is in stereo or mono?
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullet ➑️
ok so for my next question. how do I convert from stereo to mono, using ableton... I guess, even before that, how can I tell if a sample or whatever is in stereo or mono?
to answer your second part, put it in mono - if it changed, it was stereo heh
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mullet ➑️
ok so for my next question. how do I convert from stereo to mono, using ableton... I guess, even before that, how can I tell if a sample or whatever is in stereo or mono?
it doesn't matter if the sample is in stereo or mono as long as it's centered
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
it doesn't matter if the sample is in stereo or mono as long as it's centered
not exactly true - a stereo sound placed in the centre is still in stereo.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasprouch ➑️
not exactly true - a stereo sound placed in the centre is still in stereo.
what i mean is that if the audio is centered in the stereo spectrum then it doesn't need to be converted into mono
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Konketsu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
While it may not matter if the audio is "centered" (what does that mean? No panning?) in the stereo field, you should be aware that if your stereo signal is out of phase L->R, you run the risk of losing some or possibly all of your superwide pad or whatever stereo element "didn't matter" because "it's centered" when your mix is collapsed to mono (like on many club sound systems in North America, for instance).

Another thing to consider is that if all of your tracked audio is in stereo panned hard L/R, you lose contrast and focus in the mix itself. Listen to any well-mixed music (electronic or otherwise, and the key is well-mixed) and you should be able to hear separate instruments/elements placed across the stereo field from Left to Right. That placement doesn't come from everything being tracked in stereo.

Last edited by Konketsu; 26th November 2009 at 04:23 AM.. Reason: edited for clarity
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konketsu ➑️
what does that mean? No panning?
sorry, im not sure of the exact term

i basically just mean like a mono sounding stereo sample
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
sorry, im not sure of the exact term

i basically just mean like a mono sounding stereo sample
A centered stereo signal is not the same as a mono signal. Every signal, be it mono or stereo, uses the left and right speaker when centered.

A mono signal in this situation has exactly the same signal on left and right. If you pan a mono signal the amplitude of the signal in one speaker is increased and reduced in the other. The has the psychoacoustic effect of placing the signal to the left or right in the stereo field, hence the term 'panning'.

A centered stereo signal has signal A in the left speaker and signal B in the right speaker. These signals are related but they have to differ to a degree for the signal to be called stereo. So it's not the same situation as a centered mono because of the psychoacoustic effect --> the more they differ the wider the signal will be perceived to be.

Also because of this effect the pan pot will function differently on a stereo signal. You can't pan a stereo signal exactly to a certain degree in the stereo field like you can with a mono signal because of the perceived width of the stereo signal. That's why the pots on stereo channels are often said to alter the balance between the signals instead of the pan position.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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mullet's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasprouch ➑️
to answer your second part, put it in mono - if it changed, it was stereo heh
not necessarily.. it could have been in stereo but perfectly centered, so the ear wouldnt be able to detect a difference..
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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mullet's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mans ➑️
A centered stereo signal is not the same as a mono signal. Every signal, be it mono or stereo, uses the left and right speaker when centered.

A mono signal in this situation has exactly the same signal on left and right. If you pan a mono signal the amplitude of the signal in one speaker is increased and reduced in the other. The has the psychoacoustic effect of placing the signal to the left or right in the stereo field, hence the term 'panning'.

A centered stereo signal has signal A in the left speaker and signal B in the right speaker. These signals are related but they have to differ to a degree for the signal to be called stereo. So it's not the same situation as a centered mono because of the psychoacoustic effect --> the more they differ the wider the signal will be perceived to be.

Also because of this effect the pan pot will function differently on a stereo signal. You can't pan a stereo signal exactly to a certain degree in the stereo field like you can with a mono signal because of the perceived width of the stereo signal. That's why the pots on stereo channels are often said to alter the balance between the signals instead of the pan position.
but both increase amplitude in the panned side and reduce in the other side, so what is the difference?
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mullet ➑️
not necessarily.. it could have been in stereo but perfectly centered, so the ear wouldnt be able to detect a difference..
the ear should quite easily detect this difference: as mentioned, a stereo sound has diffrent information in its left and right channels. centered in the stereo field or not, however indistinct these differences are, the sound is still wider than the same sound in mono. what you should at least hear when mono'ing one of these indistinct stereo sounds is a slight collapse of the field.

either way, it doesnt really matter what the sound is in, as you can go about it differently. there are plenty of plugs that will do the mono'ing down below for you, where it matters the most. i.e. they'll take everything below 150/300hz and put it in mono, and leave the rest in stereo. best of both worlds!

one of these type of plugs is Otium's Basslane. DNR's MixControl has it too.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mans ➑️
These signals are related but they have to differ to a degree for the signal to be called stereo.
but when you convert something from mono to stereo you get the same exact signal on the left and the right..
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
but when you convert something from mono to stereo you get the same exact signal on the left and the right..
have you heard of time-of-arrival stereophony? There the direction is resolved by time delay
(and optionally additional level difference depending on the microphone technique).
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeProducer ➑️
have you heard of time-of-arrival stereophony? There the direction is resolved by time delay
(and optionally additional level difference depending on the microphone technique).
why are we talking about mic'ing techniques all of a sudden heh
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