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Topic: Stereo vs mono

  1. #1

    Unhappy Stereo vs mono

    I have a slight problem with mixing my music for mono use (most ppl listening to the radio listen in mono) , a problem that many professional engineers seems to know the answer for - judging by their fine mixes. This is more of a problem when doing pop music than any orchestral mix.

    I generallly prefer wide stereo spectrums, meaning that my instruments get spread out quite wide in the stereo image. Especially basses, which tend to get stuck in the middle when used "as is". I want the bass to be all the way from left to right to produce a really big "surrounding" sound. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the same bas sound as usual, but wider. This usually means introducing some kind of chorus or using two equal but yet slightly differetiated samples to create this kind of effect. Using two slightly different versions of the same sound (kinda chorusy) is also introduced in some samples and also in rack-synths too, as preset sounds, engineered by pros.

    But when played in mono .. let's stick to the bass for the example .. the bass gets quite a bit louder than in stereo - too loud actually. This may be understandable since there might be two voices of the same sound playing at once, for stereo effect. But how do the pro guys get it so even and nice in BOTH stereo and mono?

    I've used compression, both light and heavy but the fenomenon still remains. Still, some professional recordings also has this wide kind of bass sound in stereo but sound equally nice and leveled when listened to in mono. Can anyone please give me a few hints about where to look for an answer or solution to this problem?

    thx /T

  2. #2

    Re: Stereo vs mono

    Who listens in mono?? Seriously!! All boomboxes, car stereos (who has a "car mono"?? -or a "personal mono" these days??) that I see around are stereo. I guess AM tends to still be mono but who shoots for that?? It's all talk radio and country now...

    But anyway, I guess you just need to get a stereo/mono A/B system and tweak your mixes until they work. Try messing with putting stuff out of phase so it cancels in mono instead of summing and getting louder. Maybe that will work.

    Really, I would just get the sound you like in stereo and let anyone saddled with a single speaker just deal with it. But that's just me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Los Angeles

    Re: Stereo vs mono

    I agree with Fred, screw people that listen in Mono. Unless the person paying you "requested" it translate perfectly, and notices a problem with it.

    But "phase" is what you need to check in that case...

    How does your mix sound on one of those plastic mono ear piece speakers? Ya know, the ones you used to get with those" tape-recorders" in the late 70's....


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