I run a live rig using mostly Gigastudio 2.5, plus some soft synths such as B4, Pro 53 etc. Mostly piano and keys sounds plus a good helping of brass and some strings.
At the moment I just run everything out of the PC in stereo, and basically (to cut a long story short) into a stereo in in the PA.
As I'm starting to build up a more complex FX routing after the PC, however, it would be helpful to have the sounds in mono, and to have the keys sounds on a separate output from the brass/strings, for routing to different FX units.
Now I'm thinking the easiest way to do this would be to just pan all the keys samples hard left, and all the brass and strings samples hard right, in the software. Then they could go out on the same stereo output, but they'd be two discrete mono channels instead of one stereo, and I could then take the left output in one direction and the right output in another.
But are there things I need to bear in mind regarding preserving sound quality? Is it better to process the stereo sources in some way to get them down to mono without creating problems?
It depends on the miking technique they used when they made the sample, i.e. whether it's mono-compatible or not. If you can hard-pan both channels and not get any phase cancellation, that's probably the best way to do it, because your signal will be that much louder than the noise. But if you do get cancellation, just take one side.