recording mono patch in stereo

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parke02
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recording mono patch in stereo

Post by parke02 » Fri May 11, 2007 5:57 am

There is something thats been bugging me lately. I noticed this today when I was recording a mono patch of my Virus.

I recorded the output of the Virus > Tapco Mix100 analog mixer > input of my E-MU soundcard. Should the recorded signal's left and right channels be EXACTLY the same dB since its a mono patch?

I noticed that the left channel gets recorded a little bit louder than the right. So I bypassed the mixer altogether and recorded from the Virus directly to the input of my soundcard. The channels are now closer to being even but still not exactly the same.

Looking at my cables (cheap Hosa cables), the cables connecting the Virus > mixer are TRS but the mixer > soundcard cables are TS. I remember reading that unbalanced cables aren't really a problem unless they're traveling a long distance.

Is signal loss just something that occurs when you have more electronics in the signal chain? Bad cables or crappy mixer? Interference from a power source?

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri May 11, 2007 6:37 am

If it's a mono patch just record it in mono with just one input of your soundcard. Easy.

Mono = One ouput + One cable + One input


Oh and it could be caused by:
1. Crappy mixer
2. Different (unmatched) line amps in your soundcard
3. Bad cables (not that likely)

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Post by parke02 » Fri May 11, 2007 9:13 am

I understand that I can record the mono patch with a single input. But that doesn't solve my problem b/c the stereo recordings are affected by the signal loss.

Would you say this is a common issue with cheap mixers?

Would using balanced TRS cables rather than TS cables possibly help?

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri May 11, 2007 9:38 am

Yeah cheap mixers use cheaper components which have a greater variance, so one channel might have more or less gain than the other. It could also be because there's a bit of crosstalk between the stereo channel you're using and one of the other channels, try turning down all the other channels and see if that changes things at all, but it's probably just down to different gain amounts on teh left and right channels.

It could be slightly different output level from your Virus as well, try using a mono patch and then swapping the left and right leads at either the virus or the mixer and see if that has any effect.

If you're worried about little things like that though you should take the mixer completely out of the signal path when you're recording, that is record straight into your soundcard. For demos and the like though you needn't worry about it, it'll be unnoticeable in the final mix. You should be more concerned about the extra bit of noise and distortion you'll get from running your signal through the mixer, it might not be noticeable when you just listen to one track but if you end up with 32 or more tracks that have all run through the mixer the noise will add up a fair bit.

If you want the flexibility of the mixer for practicing or just jamming around but want to be able to bypass it to record more cleanly, think about getting a patchbay. You can have the synth's outputs normalled to the mixer ins but then just patch them over to the soundcard ins to record.

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Re: recording mono patch in stereo

Post by artfulideas » Fri May 11, 2007 2:29 pm

parke02 wrote:There is something thats been bugging me lately. I noticed this today when I was recording a mono patch of my Virus.

I recorded the output of the Virus > Tapco Mix100 analog mixer > input of my E-MU soundcard. Should the recorded signal's left and right channels be EXACTLY the same dB since its a mono patch?

I noticed that the left channel gets recorded a little bit louder than the right. So I bypassed the mixer altogether and recorded from the Virus directly to the input of my soundcard. The channels are now closer to being even but still not exactly the same.

Looking at my cables (cheap Hosa cables), the cables connecting the Virus > mixer are TRS but the mixer > soundcard cables are TS. I remember reading that unbalanced cables aren't really a problem unless they're traveling a long distance.

Is signal loss just something that occurs when you have more electronics in the signal chain? Bad cables or crappy mixer? Interference from a power source?
Weird, was JUST gonna ask the same question...
Drum machines: Machinedrum UW mk II, modded TR-606, TR-707 & TR-727 (both circuit bent), ER-1 mkII
Synths: MFB Synth II, MicroKorg, modded Fatman, Mini theremin

parke02
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Post by parke02 » Fri May 11, 2007 5:04 pm

Thanks for clearing things up Stab.

"If you want the flexibility of the mixer for practicing or just jamming around but want to be able to bypass it to record more cleanly, think about getting a patchbay. You can have the synth's outputs normalled to the mixer ins but then just patch them over to the soundcard ins to record."

Is this what patchbays are for? The only reason I bought a mixer is so that I can record from my various hardware w/o having to switch the wires on my audio interface all the time.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri May 11, 2007 5:33 pm

parke02 wrote:Is this what patchbays are for? The only reason I bought a mixer is so that I can record from my various hardware w/o having to switch the wires on my audio interface all the time.
A mixer is for being able to hear everything at the same time, you can use a patchbay to have all your ins and outs in one place and quickly and easily repatch things without having to go around the back of things and get leads that are the right length.

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Post by schlachthof » Fri May 11, 2007 5:45 pm

I think the problem is in the soundcard.
I had the same problem with my M-audio 2496 kard.
It dissapered when i installed new drivers for the sound card.
Keep the mixer, these kind of problems are most often caused by the computer.
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Post by parke02 » Fri May 11, 2007 6:36 pm

Its not the soundcard. I tried bypassing the mixer and the signals were balanced, or very close.

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