Brian Roth

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2020, 07:40:56 PM »
How can listening to music from a smartphone's speaker(s?) be considered anything but mono playback?  I guess some phones have two "speakers" but to get any 'stereo" you have to stick your nose down onto the phone!  <g>

Bri
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JohnRoberts

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2020, 09:37:43 AM »
yes...the only 'proper' way.   Two speakers make a filter.
Every console I ever designed with a mono switch, just sums the L and R, but feeds that same mono signal to both outputs.

I guess the master section could only send out the mono signal to one output (but which one?). Frankly I never thought about it. It seems mixes with mono compatibility issues will be adequately revealed using one speaker or two.

In theory dual mono could exhibit some comb filtering, but this happens already with the mono content in stereo mixes. 

JR

PS: For dual use consoles many live sound reinforcement mixes are mono, so the mono switch gives you two identical outputs to use as needed. Some dedicated sound reinforcement consoles just have a third "mono" output jack instead of a mono switch.
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2020, 11:09:20 AM »
Spreading elements with more than 10dB difference between left and right is bound to create imaging and balance problems depending on the playback system.
A good example is Revolver played in stereo with one speaker in a room and the other in another room (typical of many restaurants) or kids sharing headphone buttons.
I am concerned with the lowest common denominator, because it is more frequent than the contrary.
As much as I can, I try to use subtle location cues, with panned delay or image-steering EQ; in the case of a seriously degraded playback system, none of the tracks are sacrificed.
As far as mono compatibility , I always check it, ever since the day I found out that a very powerful phasing effect was completely lost in mono, because it was injected out-of-phase between L & R.
When I want to spread elements like acoustic gtrs and BG vox, i always do a double take that I pan hard left and hard right, so even in mono, there is the chorus effect.
It takes some time but it's worth it.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Whoops

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2020, 11:56:17 AM »
When I want to spread elements like acoustic gtrs and BG vox, i always do a double take that I pan hard left and hard right, so even in mono, there is the chorus effect.
It takes some time but it's worth it.

I do exactly the same

abbey road d enfer

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2020, 01:19:19 PM »
I do exactly the same
Great minds think alike!  ;D 8)
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Whoops

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2020, 01:27:46 PM »

weiss

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2020, 01:46:11 PM »
yes...the only 'proper' way.   Two speakers make a filter.

good point here. Never thought about that..


I totally disagree,  the end result will be in stereo, doesn't make any sense to do any part of the mix in mono.
Mono doesn't help anything at all, specially when stereo Panning and instrument placement is an important tool to avoid instrument masking.

It's absurd to be trying to listening 3 or 4 solo instruments in mono, when in the end they will be placed in different locations in the stereo field.
If the end result will be in stereo why would anyone make decisions in mono? It's a really unhelpful and outdated concept.

There is nothing wrong making it sound good in stereo from the beginning. But personally i also prefer to cross check it from the beginning or go the other way round. Radio stations in the car for example still stream in mono when the signal gets worse. But on the other hand i ask myself, how many of the people who listen through iphone speakers really hear these mixing issues..
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 01:52:51 PM by weiss »

Whoops

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2020, 02:16:52 PM »
Radio stations in the car for example still stream in mono when the signal gets worse.

I don't know any Radio Station here in Portugal that streams in Mono, there's none.

If the signal gets worse, the signal is already pretty bad, so I dont think anyone should mix thinking about the people that get the worse and degraded mono signal from a radio station for some seconds.

how many of the people who listen through iphone speakers really hear these mixing issues..

None


Best Regards Weiss and thank for bringing this conversation

JohnRoberts

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2020, 02:58:03 PM »



 Radio stations in the car for example still stream in mono when the signal gets worse.
Not exactly...  FM stereo broadcast is two signals a strong L+R primary component and a secondary L-R component multiplexed on the carrier. The L and R signals are extracted adding and subtracting those two. During weak signal strength conditions if the L-R component drops out, only the L+R (mono) remains.

JR 

PS: Old technology mono FM radios just receive the primary L+R so the modern stereo is back compatible with older mono radios.
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

john12ax7

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2020, 03:06:44 PM »
I don't mix a lot in mono but definitely feel it's  important to check from a QC standpoint.  If your stereo mix sounds great but the mono doesn't,  most likely there is something wrong with the stereo mix that you are not noticing.


weiss

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2020, 03:27:38 PM »
Not exactly...  FM stereo broadcast is two signals a strong L+R primary component and a secondary L-R component multiplexed on the carrier. The L and R signals are extracted adding and subtracting those two. During weak signal strength conditions if the L-R component drops out, only the L+R (mono) remains.

JR 

PS: Old technology mono FM radios just receive the primary L+R so the modern stereo is back compatible with older mono radios.

Sorry for being inaccurate. I was referring to the signal one would hear in the car. Not the radio station itself obviously. But interesting to know the story behind it!

john12ax7

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2020, 03:44:11 PM »
FM is basically M/S (mid/side)

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2020, 12:03:44 AM »
Those who know, know....

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2020, 12:10:10 AM »
I rarely start in mono but when things are getting stale I switch to the ol' Studer speaker. I don't think about phase or EarPods or stereo field. I just mix. Zen state. As any old timer will tell you, once you get used to it you can hear things you can't hear on other speakers. Kick/bass relationship... Kick/snare relationship... Vocal rides become obvious... Subtleties in compression...

After about 15 to 20 min I switch back to stereo and have a whole new perspective.  Balk all you want, it's a tried and true method.

ubxf

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2020, 12:42:14 AM »
Checking the amount of reverb in the mix  while monitoring in mono is sometimes useful

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2020, 12:38:12 AM »
Here's my 2 cents on the topic. Little background on me, I've been a recording engineer for about 18 years now and 10 of those as a free lance mix engineer.

 Personally I think there's both a technical and creative use to mixing at least partially in mono (summed to single speaker).

  For the technical component it boils down to how deceiving the phantom stereo image can be in any playback system. If your speakers are too far apart, the center (vocal/kick/snare/etc) will appear quieter than they actually are and you'll turn them up. Speakers too close together and the inverse happens. Even with a perfect triangle between yourself and the speakers, this can still be an issue due to frequency discrepancies and room modes.

 When you collapse to mono, you remove the phantom center from the equation, and it makes it much easier to judge the balances between the main elements (kick/snare/vocal/bass). Even certain elements like say heavy rhythm guitars that are usually panned wide, are easier to judge in volume when the summed down.

 The other reasoning for me is generally FX are easier to judge (ubxf mentioned reverb which is definitely true), volume automation is easier to judge, and subtle sidechaining easier to dial in.

 My current setup is to summed mono to a single avantone mix cube. I find the reduced frequency response, and mono signal allow me to judge the mids of a mix more, as the tops/subs and stereo energy is removed so I can focus on clutter.

 I'd say I mix in mono for the first 30% of a mix, and then do  60% in stereo, and then back to mono for the last 10% of minute changes.

 Works for me, but I can understand how other people don't enjoy it. I always found that if I can make a mix exciting in mono, it'll always sound even better in stereo. The same is not true in reverse.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2020, 04:52:04 AM »
For the technical component it boils down to how deceiving the phantom stereo image can be in any playback system. If your speakers are too far apart, the center (vocal/kick/snare/etc) will appear quieter than they actually are and you'll turn them up. Speakers too close together and the inverse happens.
Indeed. there's a lot to be said about how speakers combine their outputs acoustically. Critical mono listening with two speakers necessitates the listener being perfectly in the median acoustical plane, which is some kind of a moving target because of assymetrical reflections.
Listening in mono on a single speaker is how it should be done. Neve (and many broadcast) mixers typically offer this possiblity.
Unfortunately, it's not often the case on most budget-conscious mixers.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2020, 02:49:26 PM »
Coming up for a bit of air and thought I’d post some mostly useless but maybe interesting bits:


Listening in mono on a single speaker is how it should be done. Neve (and many broadcast) mixers typically offer this possiblity.

That's the way I was taught to do it too, one speaker
 
In regard to your earlier comment that cited 'Revolver' as an example of stereo spread:
That album was only mixed for stereo after the fact, and done very quickly at that.   The target audience over here (kids), mostly didn't own stereo equipment and so 'mono' was still king.   If you listen, the mono mixes on several of their albums reveal much more work went into creating them.  They (the mono mixes) were also the only mixes for which Beatles were present  and participated in.

Also: the  nature of the REDD.51 desk was such that the 4 tracks coming from the tape machine were 'normal-ed' into channels on the desk that didn't have pan-pots.    The only control available on these (without  a re-patch)  was the 'spreader' which could reduce or expand the width somewhat.   This was because the desks were designed for ’stereosonic’ use which was considered the ‘classical’ music format and it was envisioned that stereo classical would entail two stereo recordings on the 4 tracks (orchestra L & R and, say, soloist L & R) rather than 4 mono signals from which stereo was derived.   

Pan-pots *were* available on the innermost channels (either side of the centre section), which were used for inserting spot mics into the stereo field for classical, and when the game was upped in ‘pop’ recording (Sgt. Pepper) and 2 X Studer J37 machines were used, you then see some panning which isn't so extreme in those mixes  - an example would be Lennon's voice at the beginning of 'Day In A Life' which starts off at the extreme right and is slowly panned inwards.

Nevertheless, all pop recordings from that time were always monitored in mono,  on one speaker.   The mix for this being derived (after the desk faders) from a separate mono combining network with trim controls located underneath the front arm rest
 
Thus it endeth.
 
Jeffrey Toobin: "This is the most embarrassing week ever."

Rudy Giuliani: "Hold my pants..."

rackmonkey

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2020, 01:02:23 AM »
Cool rundown of the process on the Redd, Winston. Enjoyed that.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right.

Re: Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2020, 04:29:03 PM »
I was always thought to check mono compatibility for radio that ends up played on a mono speaker .
I do remember back in the old days certain Fm radios having a mono mode that worked better when the signal was marginal , the stereo signal would have artifacts ,the mono despite the one dimensional nature would come through much cleaner .

There is a lot to be said for trying mixes on the most humble speakers , your studio monitors will happily produce bass no open back transistor radio will do , so its always a good benchmark for your bass balance to listen on the average 'speaker' and make sure its not 'flapping'  .
Mixing for phone/pad/laptop speakers , its a bit like checking your mix on 1950's Tannoy  re-entrant  horns powered by vintage tube amps , why would anyone worry what that sounds like ?

Ive listened to both mono and stereo pressings of albums like the Stones 'their satanic majesties request' and some Beatles stuff , the mono sources  'hard panned' into stereo I generally disliked compared to the mono mix played over a pair of speakers.

'2000 light years from home' is a good track to compare and contrast  Mono vs (faked)Stereo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaWg8aLKch4      ( mono )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRc0yaMW7Mw     panned mono (stereo)

For me the mono mix wins , even though the stereo mix has the width , it seems to lack depth to my ears.








 

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