Mixing in Mono?

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Citizen
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Mixing in Mono?

Post by Citizen » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:16 am

I recently read an interview in which the producer said that he mixes down in Mono, and only switches back to stereo when finsished?

What is the idea behind this method, and how would it be done? (simply placing Utility on Mono on your Master channel?)

theswiftone
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by theswiftone » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:14 am

Yeah I do this to check my mixes on my Mix Cube. Just pop a utility on the master channel. It helps me check that everything has its own space. Plus a lot of time your music is played back on crappy systems so if it sounds good in mono it should sound good on anything....

Citizen
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Citizen » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:47 am

Is the idea to begin the mix in Mono – or simply to check it at the last point in Mono?

This producer seemed to imply that he did the entire mixdown in Mono, only changing it back to Stereo at the last point.

chrk
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by chrk » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:28 am

This Sound on Sound article discusses both approaches, good starting point in all its brevity: Q. Should I be mixing in mono?

Citizen
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Citizen » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:06 am

Thank you!

:D

Stace30
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Stace30 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:39 pm

Thanks for the Sound on Sound link chrk, good reading.
Live 10 Suite 10.1, M4L, MPC TOUCH MPC software v2.4, Reason 4, Komplete 11, i7 Laptop, 12g Ram, Win 10, Adam A7's & Genelec 8010's - Joined Forum in 2006.

xbitz
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by xbitz » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:49 pm

there is nice Mono Vs Stereo (FFL!) PointBlank video too

When should a sound be mono and when should a sound be stereo, and why? How do we avoid phase and 'place' our sounds in the stereo field? PB Head of School JC Concato discusses these points and more in our latest live broadcast.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEwZollvxPc

Citizen
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Citizen » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Another great resource - thank you again!

Tarekith
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:32 pm

I think it's one of those things that comes down to personal preference in terms of what helps you get the results you like the quickest. These days we live more or less in a stereo world, very few places you go to are going to be mono. At least for the music most of us are making :)

FWIW, one of the more common things I see when it comes to mixing in mono is that it's done because most clubs are still mono. This is mostly false. I've been interviewing a bunch of live sound engineers from nightclubs and festivals for a project I'm working on, and asking them specifically how common mono systems are. Most agree that in the last 8-10 years, most sound systems are stereo. At most I've been told that maybe 30% are mono, and usually that's because of improper set up more than intention. Obviously reinforcing subs and fill speakers are the exception, but the mains are typically stereo.

Just something to keep in mind. It's can be useful to point out issues in your mix you maybe might have not heard before, but mono-compatibility becomes less and less important there days. Just my own $0.02 though, I can't remember the last time I did any sort of mono checking for client work, or my own.

Citizen
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Citizen » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:46 am

Thanks for that Tarekith – I just thought I'd give it a shot to see what kind of result I would get, mixing in Mono from the get go. The producer in question said he primarily mixed using his headphone, which I primarily do, too.

In the past I've checked Mono compatibility at the end of the process, but never mixed in Mono.

In a way, it helped me segment the process a little in my mind – ie. because I didn't concern myself with panning initially, my focus became, getting a good balance using:

• Levels only, first
• EQ, second
• Compression, third
• a little sprinkling of saturation/distortion/FX where desired

Convert to Stereo

• then, pan, and fine-tune levels

Maybe this is not the 'correct' way to do it, but the result came out well.

fishmonkey
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:13 am

Tarekith wrote: FWIW, one of the more common things I see when it comes to mixing in mono is that it's done because most clubs are still mono. This is mostly false. I've been interviewing a bunch of live sound engineers from nightclubs and festivals for a project I'm working on, and asking them specifically how common mono systems are. Most agree that in the last 8-10 years, most sound systems are stereo. At most I've been told that maybe 30% are mono, and usually that's because of improper set up more than intention. Obviously reinforcing subs and fill speakers are the exception, but the mains are typically stereo.

Just something to keep in mind. It's can be useful to point out issues in your mix you maybe might have not heard before, but mono-compatibility becomes less and less important there days. Just my own $0.02 though, I can't remember the last time I did any sort of mono checking for client work, or my own.
even so, if a track is destined for club or festival sound systems mono compatibility is still worth thinking about. in those situations most listeners are not in the stereo sweet spot, so a mix that is very wide might not have the effect you are after...
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Tarekith
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:17 am

These days with line arrays and stereo fills, very few people only hear simply the left or right side though, that was kind of my point. You don't need to be only in the sweetspot to hear stereo elements. Otherwise we would more or less be mixing ONLY in mono.

fishmonkey
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:13 am

the thing is, some mixes sound absolutely awful in mono. some sound good, and some lose something but are still okay.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

fishmonkey
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by fishmonkey » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:24 am

a couple more things to consider: some FM radios will automatically sum to mono when the signal gets too weak to support stereo, and many portable speakers, e.g. Bluetooth ones, are mono...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

crumhorn
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Re: Mixing in Mono?

Post by crumhorn » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:36 pm

It's also a good idea to test mixes for situations when both channels can't be heard clearly at the same time, eg in most bars and in most peoples living rooms.
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