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The Older Side Of Stereo / dual mono & hard panning
Old 16th June 2005
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
The Older Side Of Stereo / dual mono & hard panning

Hi all,

I ve been really into early 70s pseudo -stereo techniques, dual mono, hard panned instruments l/r nothing shared between l&r but reverb, etc etc.
Is there anyone who knows how these amazing mixes were done? I love the warm but really focused sense of space you get from ertegun jazz productions on atlantic & similar era productions where theres a lovely realism & detail assisted by the instruments being represented pretty much by one speaker, the other providing the room's sound.

I mean, this wasnt just hard panning the mono signal and the wet plate on the other... i dunno.
Some sound as if there a close mic on one side and a really further away mic on the other, both uncompressed. But then what about phasing?
Also, the instrumentation seems to be somehow done with the stereo image in mind, like you rarely get an unbalanced image but still nothing is completely symmetrical..

It d be really nice to hear from people with more experience / 1st hand or not..

Thanks in advance

Old 16th June 2005 | Show parent
Funny I was listening to the White Album the other day in the control room when it hit me that everything was either panned hard left, right or center. Then listening to Abbey Road sounds like they actually had floating pan pots with the TG console.

Old 16th June 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
wallace's Avatar
🎧 15 years
It seems a lot of that technique has to do with the arrangement too: there's usually something to compliment each instrument on each side. Knowing that you're going to mix like that beforehand can help too. To me, instruments panned hard right or left seem to come more toward the center the lower they are in volume. Bleed or some sort of effect return is a possible reason for the spread you're talking about. I've started mixing like this (more or less exclusively) after reading posts by some of the veterns on this page, I can't remember exactly. Yeah, I love that old-school sound.

Limiting your options can sometimes (in this case) be great. It's almost like an early sort of digital (on, off, 0/1).
Old 16th June 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
thanks for the input

Yeah, hard for me to believe its a bleed thing because simply on a 5 piece band, it'd be a hell for arrangers / engineers to spread all the instruments that bleed into each other and make sure theres no phasing & then how do you premeditate that the sax for example bleeds only to the trumpet channel which will be panned opposite, and do that though out the whole arrangement..

I think the chamber return thing is more plausible.

Wallace, i agree, i think theres a fowardness & clarity with some sources on one single channel .

I ve also noticed that when say a piano is hard panned, any tuning discrepancies (my piano needed a tuner a couple of weeks ago) become hard to perceive and thats probably to do with harmonic content, the latter captured better in stereo?
Thats completely empirical as an observation on my part but it seems others agree.
On the contrary, the timbre / texture is very focused & clear.
Old 16th June 2005 | Show parent
Gear Nut
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
when stereo was introduced, they didn´t really know what to do with it so there was a lot of crazy panning going on. hard stuff... all the drums left, vox right. that sort of madness. then the idea of stereo imaging crept in over the next couple decades and mixing procedure changed in turn. i must admit that i still listen to (ex.) early beatles stereo stuff and dig it. in retrospect it sounds like "hey.. they know what they´re doing and they´re going outside the norm because they´re the masters"..... even though i now realize that they were working with proprietary tech.
Old 17th June 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
<<when stereo was introduced, they didn´t really know what to do with it >>

I know what you mean, but still. They had a good go at what to do with it, which is to use a format taking advantage of its properties. I mean when you realise the examples you used were pop music, and todays equivalents make ... erm, great use of cd resolution by squashing dynamic range to a third of what the bitrate allows...

I m not nostalgic though, I just like these productions even if they came about because consoles only had 3 positions for panning.

In either case, then it was different and even extreme stereo 'experimentation' like zany Esquivel records, had to be seen as desparate attempts at novelty. Today theres no such pitfall.
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