Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
kev herb
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Location: BRENTWOOD, ESSEX, ENGLAND

Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by kev herb » Tue May 24, 2011 1:35 pm

its bugging me more and more these days when i check my mixes in mono and elements lose their power or sheen that i have worked to achieve. the main issue on something im working on at the moment are my synths.i ve used 6 instances of sylenth to create supersawish anthemic melody using harmonies not dissimilar to the sound at 02:00 on the youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrO5sIoS ... ure=relmfu (i found this tune when looking for one in a similar style so i could reference against it)

when realizing the mono problem with my tune i bought the reference tune so i could get it into ableton and see whats going on in theirs mono wise. so i chucked a utility on it and turned the width to 0 and hardy anything changed level wise! so i turned the width to 200 to see whats on the sides and there is stuff on the sides but not a huge amount? yet i dont seem to miss it when when its mono yet the track sounds quite wide when plays in normal stereo????? :?

so i set about seeing what i could do to my track to achieve the same mono compatibility. i turned to mono each instance of sylenth and went back to each synth and tweaked the phases and unison to get the sound as strong as i could in mono but they still sounded dull in comparison to the stereo version :evil: so i then duplicated each (now mono) instance of sylenth giving me 2 mono tracks for each patch resulting in 6 pairs and panned 1 left 1 right for each pair. suddenly i had my strong full sound back (now listening in stereo) so i checked again in mono and was shocked to find that nothing disappeared or had its guts ripped out! :D

so is this the way to go for mono compatibility? i feel like i ve had a bit of a breakthrough but id like to understand more about it from people who have already cracked this one. i remembered reading an article a long time ago (sorry no URL) about importing only mono tracks into a project and then making them stereo yourself thus giving you complete control over the spread and avoiding phase issues from the get go.
is this a recommended way? how do people here deal with this situation? and how much of this problem can be dealt with at mastering stage?

Cheers
Kev
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words

Tarekith
Posts: 17371
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by Tarekith » Tue May 24, 2011 2:00 pm

Sometimes people will send me tunes that have too much going on in the sides of the mix, and nothing happening dead center. Gives the whole song a lack of focus, and of course could be an issue in a club. Sometimes I can fix with some M/S based tools, pull back the sides and boost the middle channel.

Sometimes I can do the opposite for songs that are too mono as well.

But really, by the mastering phase we can only work with what's already in the song, so much less flexibility in addressing this than if the producer handled it.

rustig
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by rustig » Tue May 24, 2011 3:32 pm

I`m also having this kind of problem with my virus ti when i use unison, the sound completely disappear when switched too mono.
I didn`t find a good solution yet, most of the time i go for mono but i doesn`t sound that good/wide.

Maybe have too try more m/s technique`s

@ Tarekith: Do you use m/s technique`s a lot during the mixdown for a club track?
http://soundcloud.com/stompboxer/sets

Mac pro quad xeon osx 10.5.8 - Rme fireface uc - Novation launchpad - Uad2 quad - Access virus ti - Moog slim phatty.

fisto
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by fisto » Tue May 24, 2011 3:40 pm

i was so often thinking about this problem with different conclusions.
And by now I think I never played on a mono-PA in all the clubs i played so far.My stereo delays always came out stereo. Also especially in electronic music stereo is very important as a lot of listeners hear their music on headphones and mono compatible mixes are often not that interesting and not that symmetric because they want to avoid cancelation.

So my recent conclusion is that i won't bother about mono compatibility at all.
Example: listen to Britney Spears new song "till the world ends"......vocals completely doubled but when in mono they really go into the background so I think if the "big ones" shit on monocompatibility (and they would need it the most - see mono radios) then a little guy like me can shit on it 4times :D

my 20 euros :)

kev herb
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Location: BRENTWOOD, ESSEX, ENGLAND

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by kev herb » Tue May 24, 2011 3:54 pm

Tarekith wrote:Sometimes people will send me tunes that have too much going on in the sides of the mix, and nothing happening dead center. Gives the whole song a lack of focus, and of course could be an issue in a club. Sometimes I can fix with some M/S based tools, pull back the sides and boost the middle channel.

Sometimes I can do the opposite for songs that are too mono as well.

But really, by the mastering phase we can only work with what's already in the song, so much less flexibility in addressing this than if the producer handled it.
cooll so im right to be dealing with this at mixdown. i think alot of the problem was the sylenth as by defult the spread knobs on each oscillator are set at max and the fact that i needed lots of voices and im not a fan of the restarting wavforms as it gives a zipping sound at the start.
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words

rustig
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by rustig » Tue May 24, 2011 3:54 pm

The britney vocal is doubled but the balance sounds good in mono.
http://soundcloud.com/stompboxer/sets

Mac pro quad xeon osx 10.5.8 - Rme fireface uc - Novation launchpad - Uad2 quad - Access virus ti - Moog slim phatty.

Tarekith
Posts: 17371
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Ableton Forum Administrator
Contact:

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by Tarekith » Tue May 24, 2011 4:46 pm

I don't really worry too much about mono compatibility myself to be honest. Typically I'll use a mono kick and bassline, and sometimes the snare, but that's about all I really worry about it. Far, far more of my listeners will be listening in stereo anyway, so that's my priority.

Complex synths are the main culprits of mono compatibility in my experience. Things like Unison, lots of stereo effects, or detuned panning (basically unison) all tend to cancel out in mono to some extent.

I guess the only advice I would give is to recognize there's a balance to be made. If you worry too much about mono, then your whole track sounds mono and pretty boring too.

Khazul
Posts: 3185
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Reading, UK

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by Khazul » Tue May 24, 2011 6:03 pm

If your having stereo synth loose their high end and/or drop significantly in level when you mono the outputs try the following:

- Disable all their fx - just in case its one of the fx.
- Disable all oscs, then enable each in turn and check mono vs stereo on each - this will help you find which stacked oscs are causing the problem.
- Tweak any unison/osc stacking detune amounts.
- Tweak voice stacking detune amounts.
- If filters in parallel - try tweaking filter amount a tiny bit.
- Try changing phase slightly of one or more oscillators.

I have notice this quite alot with sylenth1 patches (especially when detune is at above 2.5 or so) - double up the synths into a pair of dual mono synths wont usually fix the problem as its usually a phase cancellation between panned stacked oscillators.
Last edited by Khazul on Tue May 24, 2011 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing to see here - move along!

fisto
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by fisto » Tue May 24, 2011 6:07 pm

rustig wrote:The britney vocal is doubled but the balance sounds good in mono.
ah, you're right. I had it much worse in my mind.

Regarding the original problem: when I encounter it i make the master mono and try adjusting the stereo width and the pan of the problematic track. Helped a few times.

rustig
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by rustig » Tue May 24, 2011 7:44 pm

What i read on the www is that most PA systems are mono and if i listen too these two tracks (Two complete diffrent styles)
i only hear the high freq in stereo most of it is mono.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp2KqZUC ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtppf3xkby4

This is a little bit what i`m after when mixing my own tracks,
But most of the time the diffrence with stereo and mono is way bigger.

I`m going too try too do some M/S technique`s and look if it work and will post the results.
http://soundcloud.com/stompboxer/sets

Mac pro quad xeon osx 10.5.8 - Rme fireface uc - Novation launchpad - Uad2 quad - Access virus ti - Moog slim phatty.

cubehog
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:04 am
Location: Magdeburg/GER
Contact:

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by cubehog » Wed May 25, 2011 6:04 am

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/81 ... pread.gif/

Maybe the pic can explain this a little more.

I try to center the deep freq. But you can use the upper freq of a bassline to create a quasi stereo feel. When M/S-Eqing I usually tend to cut off freq content below 300 hz on the stereo sides.

The pic above is just a very rough one minute doodle if you will. It´s just for demonstration. On both, left and right channel in the stereo chain there are eq8´s (no hi-q mode) to filter low freq content.

The simple delay is also a little help to spread out the signal. Higher freq are not so prone for having issues with mono compatibility. At least in my experience.

It´s still is about testing and trying, so there is no guarantee it´ll work out.

sweetjesus
Posts: 8803
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:12 pm
Location: www.fridge.net.au
Contact:

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by sweetjesus » Wed May 25, 2011 7:11 am

i haven't worried about mono compatibiity in a LONG time.

played quite a lot of the clubs around the country and never had a mono system.

screw the mono guys! bigger and wider is better

ollyb303
Posts: 2666
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Bristol, UK
Contact:

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by ollyb303 » Wed May 25, 2011 7:23 am

Yeah, I think the days when most P.A. systems only ran in mono are long gone. Most of rigs I've played on in the last 10 years have been stereo, certainly in the clubs.
.:O:B:1:.
ob1techno.com

fisto
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:06 pm

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by fisto » Wed May 25, 2011 8:16 am

conclusion: fuck mono? :mrgreen:

I'm for it!

rustig
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Achieving mono compatable mixes? mastering and mix down

Post by rustig » Wed May 25, 2011 2:41 pm

fisto wrote:conclusion: fuck mono? :mrgreen:

I'm for it!
I`m also for it :D
But why are the deadmau5 tracks allmost completely mono?
http://soundcloud.com/stompboxer/sets

Mac pro quad xeon osx 10.5.8 - Rme fireface uc - Novation launchpad - Uad2 quad - Access virus ti - Moog slim phatty.

Post Reply