In the year 2006, why MONO ?

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MrHope
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In the year 2006, why MONO ?

Post by MrHope » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:46 am

In this advanced age of high sample rates, uber bit resolutions and superb DSP algorithms, why the h**l is so much audio still in MONO ?

This goes for a lot of hardware synths as well as software synths. Every VSTi out of the box should be in stereo.
Too much of the time the audio is in mono. Hardware synths should be in stereo before the sound even goes to
the effects section.

As a slight improvement sometimes there will be a stereo chorus. This is at least better than or reverb or delay on everything washing all those good clear sounds down the drain. But really it seems like they made it an afterthought.

I guess that's one good thing about stereo samplers; with effort, your audio can make it back from the 1950's style sound to modern times.

It would be nice if the original waveforms were always generated in stereo. I guess we still have a ways to go in pro audio.

Is anybody feeling me on this ?

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Post by jasedee » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:46 am

Im not sure why you associate stereo sound sources as being modern and mono as being old fashioned???

I think you have the wrong idea about stereo/mono. There is still a need for mono sounds, even though we have stereo playback systems. For any bass patches I program I still record the results to mono audio tracks. Same with kicks and leads too.

I think you are thinking about the old days when we only had mono playback systems. Dont confuse this with mono/stereo sound sources.

Are you saying that when mic'ing up a kick drum or snare, you would use 2 mics for each drum??? When mic'ing up a bass cab you would use an XY or spaced pair?
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Post by desdinova » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:15 am

I track almost everything in mono. Unless the source, in stereo, offers something that I can't get elsewhere, I like it in mono. It makes mixdown a little easier.

Probably the only thing I record in stereo is my TX416... and that's pretty much for my own personal amusement.
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Post by MissionBrown » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:56 am

most stereo gear isn't true stereo anyway.
More like a 2nd output.

Mono is very important for building tracks.
If everything was in stereo we'd have one h**l of a time clearing up the mush.

as for stereo chorus, well its always nice to have the original signal by itself
that way you actually get that nice wide warm tone.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:58 am

jasedee wrote:Im not sure why you associate stereo sound sources as being modern and mono as being old fashioned???

I think you have the wrong idea about stereo/mono. There is still a need for mono sounds, even though we have stereo playback systems. For any bass patches I program I still record the results to mono audio tracks. Same with kicks and leads too.

I think you are thinking about the old days when we only had mono playback systems. Dont confuse this with mono/stereo sound sources.

Are you saying that when mic'ing up a kick drum or snare, you would use 2 mics for each drum??? When mic'ing up a bass cab you would use an XY or spaced pair?
Totally agree with everything said here.

One of the biggest problems people have with the Evolver is that it's hard to fit in a mix cause it's stereo. The solution is usually to fold down the stereo image and put on a bit of HPF.

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Post by CS_TBL » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:36 am

It depends on the sound, in case of solo instruments, the eventual stereo'ness would mainly be the acoustics of the recording room. In case of ensemble sounds tho, like a string section or horn section, one would prefer true stereo, since there are multiple players in a stereo image.

If you'd have a mono sample of an ensemble then it'd sound like they're sitting straight after eachother, making it "stereo" again using chorus is ugly, and when using reverb they're still sitting straight after eachother.
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Post by valdiorn » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:59 pm

Why the h**l would you want to waste precious DSP power just to calculate the same sounds twice? Stereo doesn't do anything for you before you start tweeking s**t apart, and most modern synths with 2 filters allow you to pan their outputs left and right and add stereo effects like you want, calculating the oscillators in stereo as well is just a waste of power.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:03 pm

CS_TBL wrote:If you'd have a mono sample of an ensemble then it'd sound like they're sitting straight after eachother, making it "stereo" again using chorus is ugly, and when using reverb they're still sitting straight after eachother.
My mixer has a little knob on each channel that says 'pan'. When I turn it a little man with goat's legs and a beard comes down and arranges the people so they aren't sitting in a line any more. I think it has something to do with black magic, but it sounds good. ;)

I know that you're talking about an ensemble in a space, but everyone already agrees that you should mic that with a stereo pair.

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Post by CS_TBL » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:32 pm

I was referring to samples in a samplelib or ROMpler, not so much to a live recording. 8) But.. if the discussion wasn't about those, then my remark is just another one for the book..
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Post by MrHope » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:07 pm

Wow, for such a simple topic, you guys totally missed my point. Why don't you just all make mono mixes? BECAUSE STEREO SOUNDS BETTER.

It woudn't be a waste of DSP if it sounded better. It could be done with autopanning, or panned comb filtering, or whatever worked. Or perhaps each panned oscillator could have a different waveform set or characteristic. You could also have it so that the oscillators traded waveforms off and on automatically to BPM sync.

I used to have a VZ10M and you could set tremolo and vibrato on each channel's voice to be different (one positive, one negative). You could also pan the different sounds to different positions. It made a big difference in the control of sound.

I wasn't talking about mono instruments such as kick drums. And I wasn't talking about room ambience either. And I wasn't talking about tracking with mono channels. And yes I know what a pan pot does.

Mono is older than stereo, so pure mono mixes do sound old fashioned in a way... like AM radio.

I'm not saying everything in a mix should be in stereo, but it's nice to have the stereophonic sound when you need it.
Personally, I need it and I thought you guys did too, but I guess I was wrong.

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Post by JSRockit » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:17 pm

Everyone here uses stereo... and mono in there music... nobody missed the point. However, not everyone has to be esquivel and really create wide stereo music... sometimes it just doesn't work.
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Post by Blue Monster 65 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:13 pm

Sounds better? Semantics indeed! All the original Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry stuff is mono and I dig that immensely. Virtually everything Cabaret Voltaire ever did is in stereo and that's great, too. Depends on what you like, you know?

In other words, if you like it and need it, great. However, not everyone likes or needs the same thing. Why just use stereo when you can have quad?

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Post by gryphon » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:37 pm

another consideration with using stereo sources (from synths especially) is phase coherency- all throughout the the audio path (after you leave the key output) phase problems can be introduced, and can make your wicked auto-panning lead sound thin and, well, not wicked. Just your cables, much less any outboard or processing that happens on the way in. stereo is incredibly important ( i don't know why they thought they could do without it) but, often times, you're getting an inferior representation of your sound by having two tracks of the same source. for most things i use stereo (all guitars, and especially acoustic) but unless i need something exciting image-wise i prefer synths in mono (i use effects in the computer most of the time anyway, so the raw sound is usually best for my purposes). try zooming in on a stereo track of some analog sound and i bet 90% or more of the time you're killing the audio with phase cancellation more than helping it.
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Post by desdinova » Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:05 pm

BECAUSE STEREO SOUNDS BETTER.
Different not better.
A lot of older stereo recordings are "simple" stereo, with stuff very near or (some Doors stuff) completely hard panned to either side, even vocals. If you've got a room and sit back, it sounds great, on headphones, not so much. There are some great mono records, as someone else mentioned.
I wouldn't want to listen to something that's using panning effects just for the sake of it.
If it's done well, it doesn't matter if it's mono, stereo, quad or 8.2 surround!
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Post by hearttimes » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:28 pm

i thought when you said mono, you were reffering to polyphony.

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