Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby code green » Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:23 am

nvbrkr wrote:Well, you can of course record them in stereo. If you need to use them in mono, you can just pop out the other channel. Most DAWs should allow for you to record the left and right channels on different tracks as well. I've made quite a lot of ambient type of material, so I prefer the pads to be in stereo. However, I can see how it can get messy if those coupled with bass / drums etc.

Experiment!


but half a stereo image ≠ mono...
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby aeon » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:35 pm

code green wrote:but half a stereo image ≠ mono...


No, not always, but depending on the nature of the stereo image, it might. It's likely never the case for stereo mixes of a track, but if we are talking a synth sound, it might work just fine.


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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby tallowwaters » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:21 pm

Erotic Cabaret wrote:So, keeping that in mind, pads are still best recorded in mono until mixdown, when, I assume, I should use a non-reverb stereo enhancement effect to widen them? Man, this is overly confusing...


If it's confusing, you're doing it wrong. You have two ears and time, so why not record the pad track in mono, then record it in stereo with whatever wacky LFO to Pan assignment you want and then make a decision. There are no right and wrong answers, only what sounds good. Just make sure to sum it to mono to see if you have phase cancellation.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby code green » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:57 am

aeon wrote:
code green wrote:but half a stereo image ≠ mono...


No, not always, but depending on the nature of the stereo image, it might. It's likely never the case for stereo mixes of a track, but if we are talking a synth sound, it might work just fine.


cheers,
Ian


Certainly true and thanks Ian for making my quick answer more accurate and complete...I was speaking less to either channel being deficient without the other than I was to them being not quite the same, so one might well find oneself in the position of having to choose--which of course is fine. Was also thinking of rompler patches (especially with traditional keyboard instruments) where L is the low end of the keyboard and R the high.

quoth tallow:

If it's confusing, you're doing it wrong. You have two ears and time, so why not record the pad track in mono, then record it in stereo with whatever wacky LFO to Pan assignment you want and then make a decision. There are no right and wrong answers, only what sounds good. Just make sure to sum it to mono to see if you have phase cancellation.

+100000...technical considerations aside, there is surely no right or wrong or wrong answer here and this kind of sonic experimentation is a big part of the fun. generally i find that the fewer stereo pairs in a mix, the better, but there are times, too, when a good synth stereo spread simply makes the track. all ears and taste at that point.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby Zamise » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:52 am

Not saying its a good way, but I record everything in stereo. My tracks don't usually have much separation though, and I always plan on playing them live so I don't usually do much in the daw accept record straight in to it and maybe do a little mastering depending on if it is going to a youtube video or mp3 or CD I'll adjust some of the over all levels. I'll also use a stereo effect thingy that can widen it out or make it more centered as part of the mastering. It can be a really cool effect too to hear it adjusting while playing back, but I can't record the adjustments so have to do some re-recording if I want that in the song instead of a static level. Since my recordings are usually pretty neutral I find I often widen them out a bit and just leave it. But still, my stuff live is for the most part very neutral. If I do pan its usully more the higher timbre sounds, kicks and basses rarely do it.

Lately I've been getting in to master slicing on my RS, basically an LFO that can fade a stereo effect along with amp and be bpm sync it, its pretty cool but got to be careful, I've noticed I'll get dumb with it.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby nvbrkr » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:27 am

code green wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:Well, you can of course record them in stereo. If you need to use them in mono, you can just pop out the other channel. Most DAWs should allow for you to record the left and right channels on different tracks as well. I've made quite a lot of ambient type of material, so I prefer the pads to be in stereo. However, I can see how it can get messy if those coupled with bass / drums etc.

Experiment!


but half a stereo image ≠ mono...


Yeah, true. I wasn't being very thoughtful there.

I was just thinking about sound sources that will sound just fine when using a single channel out of the two having been recorded. Analog synths and VAs will often work like that, but it's different with some rompler patches, true. When making a stereo recording with two microphones, using just one channel might work fine too. In fact, you might just as well prepare the other microphone "as if" it would be intended for a mono recording and have the second to just expand the stereo image.

It's of course possible to record things in stereo and then downmix / bounce the tracks to mono if needed.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby clubbedtodeath » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:26 am

All my basses are recorded with whatever number of line outs the synth has - eg. Nord would be stereo, MS-20 would be mono.

What Mush says is gold re: software effects - I use effects envelopes within SONAR to control the wet/dry mix of effects within tracks, so I may keep the chorus on a bass pretty much on bypass when the mix is busy, but when I want to widen it out when there's not much else going on, the envelope pulls the wet chorus level up.

That said, I've recently learned that sometimes there's nothing like a bit of pedal overdrive or Smallstone phaser.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby balma » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:17 pm

I spend a few time every day resampling all my synths.

I do not put a rule for what's mono or what's stereo. I record a mono and a stereo version for each one of my sounds.

I use what the overall mix of the song ask me to do. If the overalll mix of sounds, screams for a stereo bass, it will be stereo.

So, in my case, I do not have a list in my mind of wich sounds must be stereo or mono. A good song has interactions between them, I mean, they are not isolated sounds on their own world, but they must play a role. That role, determines wich one will be stereo or mono
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby Electroluver » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:02 pm

I think it comes down to Psychoacoustics

A lot of rock groups start their song with a mono introduction and then have a huge stereo explosion (eg. Lenny Kravitz, Pink Floyd, etc.) Electronic musicians also use this same trick, but I find it's much more subtle.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby balma » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:41 pm

Electroluver wrote:I think it comes down to Psychoacoustics

A lot of rock groups start their song with a mono introduction and then have a huge stereo explosion (eg. Lenny Kravitz, Pink Floyd, etc.) Electronic musicians also use this same trick, but I find it's much more subtle.


totally agree about subtle.

I would say everything depends of the mix requirements. ANY sound can be stereo or mono. Let's not talk about sounds, but about frequencies.

I don't see too much sense, on putting a stereo or mono label over certain types of worlds, but every person has a different approach to music.
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Re: Recording Synths in Mono VS. Stereo

Postby adamgrossmanLG » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:06 pm

nobody here answered the original question:


I was listening to the horn pad on "Satellite" off of A BROKEN FRAME today and comparing it with my Prophet '08 pad recordings. I noticed that the higher notes in the "Satellite" pad seem to be panned a bit to either side, while the lowest note is center. I doubt they recorded each note in mono and then panned the notes separately for the studio recording like I was experimenting with. They might have used an early stereo enhancer on, say, a Lexicon 480L or an early Harmonizer. Hard to say. I've always wondered how they made mono output synths sound so stereo in the early 80s...
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