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Newbie : How to play back in mono, and why

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Anonymous
September 12, 2004 7:49:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I have a question that seems pretty elementary, but the concept always
confuses me a little.

Many times, engineers speak of using several microphones to mic an
instrument, say, piano, but then mixing it in MONO. Other references I have
say, "take the two signals and be sure to check them in MONO for phase
cancellation." I don't know exactly how to put multiple signals in MONO.

My questions are this:

How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just panning
hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or something else?

What else is a MONO check good for, besides checking phase cancellation?

I know this is a user preference, but are certain instruments "better" mixed
down to MONO, and for what reason?

Thanks for any clarifications.

More about : newbie play back mono

Anonymous
September 12, 2004 8:27:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Tony Briggs <tbriggs@oineye.com> wrote:
>My questions are this:
>
>How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just panning
>hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or something else?

If you pan them all to the center, you have mono.

Many consoles have a button on the monitor module that allows you to put
the monitors in mono without affecting anything other than the control room
outputs. This is very handy for a quick monitor check. Consoles that don't
do this can be used with an external monitor panel that does.

>What else is a MONO check good for, besides checking phase cancellation?

Getting a sense of how the recording will sound in mono. If you are relying
too much on wide panning to get separation between instruments, you'll know
it when you go to mono. Lots of folks listen in mono out in the real world,
so knowing what it sounds like in mono is important.

>I know this is a user preference, but are certain instruments "better" mixed
>down to MONO, and for what reason?

I'm not sure what you mean. Many instruments (especially vocals) are better
when tracked as mono sources.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 12, 2004 10:03:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Ce_0d.421813$%_6.92022@attbi_s01> tbriggs@oineye.com writes:

> Many times, engineers speak of using several microphones to mic an
> instrument, say, piano, but then mixing it in MONO. Other references I have
> say, "take the two signals and be sure to check them in MONO for phase
> cancellation." I don't know exactly how to put multiple signals in MONO.
>
> My questions are this:
>
> How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just panning
> hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or something else?

It depends on the source of the signals. If you have a mixer (or a
computer that plays one on television) and pan all the tracks to the
same side, you'll get mono. Further, if you have a conventional stereo
monitoring setup, you'll hear the mix out of a single speaker, which
is "true" mono. If it makes you feel better, you can pan them all to
the center and then you'll get equal "mono" out of both speakers.

> What else is a MONO check good for, besides checking phase cancellation?

Hearing everything when you're only listening on a single speaker.
Many people are still using TV sets and clock radios that are mono,
much AM broadcast is mono, and most FM broadcast receivers switch to
mono if the signal is weak.

> I know this is a user preference, but are certain instruments "better" mixed
> down to MONO, and for what reason?

Nothing is definite when it comes to mixing. One thing that I've found
is that when a mix is sparse, like a solo singer/guitarist, it's offen
effective to produce the guitar in stereo. But when dealing with a
band, having a bunch of stereo instruments in the mix tends to clutter
things up and makes it hard to hear the important elements of each
instrument. I might put two microphones on a guitar or mandolin in a
bluegrass band, blend them for tone, but pan them to a single position
in the mix. But it wouldn't be out of the question to feed the guitar
mic signals to a reverb unit (or even two sepearate reverb units) and
bring the reverb back into the mix as a stereo source.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
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Anonymous
September 12, 2004 10:55:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Tony Briggs" <tbriggs@oineye.com> wrote in
news:Ce_0d.421813$%_6.92022@attbi_s01:

> How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just
> panning hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or
> something else?

Not hard left and right, but both dead center. Bussing to one track also
works.

> What else is a MONO check good for, besides checking phase
> cancellation?

Listen in mono strips the stereo cues the brain uses to interpret the
"stage". It's like looking at a black and white photo. Without the color,
the composition of the photo stands out better. Without the stereo spread,
the "sound" stands out more.

> I know this is a user preference, but are certain instruments "better"
> mixed down to MONO, and for what reason?

Point source instruments can easily be in mono. Even larger sources like
piano and drum set can be collapsed to mono if you want them to occupy only
a portion of the sound stage.

Things that should be stereo are ensembles (whole band, backup singers,
string quartet, etc.) and room sound. Even those point source instruments
above can often benefit from a nice room and a pair of ambient mics.
Anonymous
September 12, 2004 10:56:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Pan them strait up...

--
Steven Sena
XS Sound Recording
www.xssound.com

"Tony Briggs" <tbriggs@oineye.com> wrote in message
news:Ce_0d.421813$%_6.92022@attbi_s01...
>I have a question that seems pretty elementary, but the concept always
> confuses me a little.
>
> Many times, engineers speak of using several microphones to mic an
> instrument, say, piano, but then mixing it in MONO. Other references I
> have
> say, "take the two signals and be sure to check them in MONO for phase
> cancellation." I don't know exactly how to put multiple signals in MONO.
>
> My questions are this:
>
> How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just panning
> hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or something else?
>
> What else is a MONO check good for, besides checking phase cancellation?
>
> I know this is a user preference, but are certain instruments "better"
> mixed
> down to MONO, and for what reason?
>
> Thanks for any clarifications.
>
>
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 1:15:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Getting a sense of how the recording will sound in mono. If you are
relying
> too much on wide panning to get separation between instruments, you'll
know
> it when you go to mono. Lots of folks listen in mono out in the real
world,
> so knowing what it sounds like in mono is important.

Good point, Scott. I would also like to add that knowing what it sounds like
in mono will also give you a good idea of what it will sound like when
people are either listening far from the speakers or are off from center
when they listen to it. A lot of folks don't understand how to listen to
stereo speakers and will not be hearing it the way you intended it to sound.
A lot of times their speaker placement is dictated by the way their living
room is arranged and not arranged around the speakers, the way we would do
it.
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 4:38:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns956297DAE197Fgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.154.206:

> "Tony Briggs" <tbriggs@oineye.com> wrote in
> news:Ce_0d.421813$%_6.92022@attbi_s01:
>
>> How does one take multiple signals and "put them in MONO?" Is just
>> panning hard left or right? Or is it bussing to one track? Or
>> something else?
>
> Not hard left and right, but both dead center. Bussing to one track
> also works.

Another note. When listening in mono, listen to just one speaker, not two
both playing the same signal. True mono comes from a single source.
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 6:11:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks you all for your answers - it's NOT such a complicated thing as I
thought....
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 11:23:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Another note. When listening in mono, listen to just one speaker, not two
>
>both playing the same signal. True mono comes from a single source.
>

Yeah but few control rooms today have a dedicated centered mono speaker. In its
absence just summing and playing back on the left and right give a good result.
If you're mixing in mono, which is unlikely unless you're working with Brian
Wilson of Phil Spector, a center speaker is a must.
Phil Brown
Anonymous
September 14, 2004 12:41:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <20040913152311.02938.00000622@mb-m11.aol.com> philcycles@aol.communged writes:

> Yeah but few control rooms today have a dedicated centered mono speaker.

I'm impressed with how many control rooms, even bedrooms, have some
sort of surround monitoring setup. There's a center speaker there that
will work fine for mono playback.

I modified the "mono" switch on my Soundcraft console so that it turns
off one output as well as combining the channels, so while the speaker
isn't physically in the center, when monitoring in mono, I'm only
listening to one speaker.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
!