Mix in Mono?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by The Whiz, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    I read a good point that a mix (if properly eq'd) should sound good in mono. Does anyone here mix to mono until it sounds good and THEN pan from that point to make things more interesting?

    I find when I record I'm pretty quick to start panning stuff around to separate them but now I think I should first concentrate more on making sure instruments and vocals aren't clashing and then concentrate on moving them to a stereo realm.

    As a side note, when it comes to stereo mixes I really appreciate stuff like the Beatles Rubber Soul where you'll hear vocals on one side and drums on the other. But that's a different point I suppose.
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Those records, up to and including "Sgt. Pepper's" were all done in mono, the "stereo" mixes you hear were never meant to be listened to that way - it was just the way the 2-, 3- or 4-track masters were hard-panned L/R to make stereo.

    I'll take the mono mixes, any day.

    Loudboy
     
  3. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Actually, Sgt. Pepper was always a stereo record, but it is true that the stereo mixes of the earlier Beatles stuff were not supposed to be listened to the way we listen today. In fact, the first four Beatles' records have still never come out in the "stereo" versions have they?
     
  4. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    I meant those first four never came out in stereo on CD, right?
     
  5. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Yeah, I know they weren't meant to be like that originally, but I like the effect all the same. It's just so different from the way things are today. Refreshing.
     
  6. Gi-gi-giggity

    Gi-gi-giggity Member

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  7. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I think what the OP is referring to is the opposite. A stereo mix should still sound good in mono is what I have read.
     
  8. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Exactly. That's why I'm wondering if anyone FIRST mixes everything down the middle first to make sure frequencies aren't clashing and everything sounds hunky-dorey THEN pans tracks out across the stereo spectrum after this.

    :eek:
     
  9. Nomadgtr

    Nomadgtr Member

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    I believe most mix in stereo but also playback mixes on mono systems to see how they sound. If you have the ability to take raw mixes and play them on different systems like cheap computer speakers, quality hi-fi stereo systems and even car audio systems you'll be able to find out what works and what doesn't. I even like to crank a mix and walk around the house to see how various frequencies come up through the floorboards and stairs. The theory is basically, if you can make it sound good in the types of settings people typically listen to music then you're probably on the right track. Conversely, if it only sounds good through your near field monitors when you're sitting in that perfect triangle with the monitors then it probably isn't going to work.
     
  10. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I think if you mix mono, then pan, you'd have to make adjustments. What is perfectly loud enough dead center would not necessarily be loud enough panned hard right or left. I'd also guess the practice of checking a stereo mix in mono was from the AM radio heyday, when your great sounding stereo record would be heard mostly through a mono car radio. BUt that is just a guess.

    Oh, and in addition to walking around the house, and trying lots of different systems, I also check mixes at real low volume. Optimum would be if you can still everything clearly at low volume.
     
  11. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Ah, good points.
    Thanks.
     
  12. mdog114

    mdog114 Member

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    Making EQ decisions in mono is a big help, then shift to your pans and some level adjustments in stereo. Most old-schoolers made mixes mono-compatible due to mono AM/TV.
     

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