Interesting mixing technique, ever tried this?

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weiss

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Just clicked through some of Gregory's videos on youtube and came across this video.  Never tried these techniques before, seem like some interesting exercises... maybe for some of you as well

Do you guys mix in anything else than stereo?
 

rackmonkey

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I was taught years ago by an engineer I admire to mix in mono either first pass or when I’m stuck. He was very patient with me looking over his shoulder and asking too many questions. Of course, it was on my band’s dime, so why not I guess.

I like Greg’s videos. Thanks for the link!
 

emrr

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I mix a lot on a Wohler 1RU broadcast monitor with 1” speakers, it’s stereo but when it’s 3 feet away to one side it’s effectively mono.  All the best decisions are made on that, the fine details on larger monitors. 
 

hazel

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Mixing in mono at first on very small speaker for balance and eq decisions makes translation to big monitors easier.

After all (and quoting Jeff Tweedy and Tom Schick):
"Tom and I know when we have worked on a song for too long. It's when we focus on things that won't improve record sales. People don't give a s**t about how a hihat sounds. If someone cares about that then it's probably a musician or an engineer who is so glad to meet him/herself that they won't like nobody else's record"
 

Whoops

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I only mix to Stereo and I never had any benefit of mixing in mono at a first step, it was only really a waste of time.

I like to check the mix in small speakers like Auratone, or any cheap small speakers of choice, but don't see any point of not listening the stereo since the beginning of the mix.

Regards
 

emrr

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Whoops said:
I only mix to Stereo and I never had any benefit of mixing in mono at a first step, it was only really a waste of time.

High tempo bluegrass or other acoustic music with 4-6 soloists trading lines, large dynamic and response differences between instruments. 
 

hazel

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EmRR said:
High tempo bluegrass or other acoustic music with 4-6 soloists trading lines, large dynamic and response differences between instruments.

Same applies to classical stuff. It's amazing to hear such massive low end building up by adding spot mics. Low and low mid frequencies are everywhere and you don't want that on harp, winds and solo violin.

It's easy to miss low end balance when mixing in stereo.

My mentor on classical music (40 years experience) once told me: if it sounds great in mono it's very hard to screw the stereo mix
 

Whoops

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EmRR said:
High tempo bluegrass or other acoustic music with 4-6 soloists trading lines, large dynamic and response differences between instruments.

Seems like a perfect group to have in stereo.
 

emrr

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Whoops said:
Seems like a perfect group to have in stereo.

Yeah, once you get the quiet mono mix nailed. 

Stereo doesn’t fix the mix problems.  Mono is a tool that helps narrow it down.
 

Whoops

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EmRR said:
Yeah, once you get the quiet mono mix nailed. 

Stereo doesn’t fix the mix problems.  Mono is a tool that helps narrow it down.

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.
 

Seeker

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Whoops said:
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.

Why would you assume the end result would be in stereo?  Many people will be listening in essentially mono, or at least some variation of stereo that is far from ideal.  If your mix sounds good in mono it will sound good most everywhere.  I am not suggesting to spend a whole lot of time in mono (though some accomplished mixers do) but if you fold your stereo mix into mono and it sounds like crap, you've got work to do. 


As far as the techniques mentioned, Ive never really dug the LCR thing... I have not tried isolating the L C and R ike he mentions though, that is an interesting thught...

One thing i like to do is to isolate bands, to listen to just the lows, or mids, etc... I find it very helpful, esp when using references.
 

JohnRoberts

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Whoops said:
I only mix to Stereo and I never had any benefit of mixing in mono at a first step, it was only really a waste of time.

I like to check the mix in small speakers like Auratone, or any cheap small speakers of choice, but don't see any point of not listening the stereo since the beginning of the mix.

Regards
There was classic case, now over a decade ago, when some new unvetted psycho acoustic processor was applied to a Madonna release. Within days they discovered that it was not mono compatible when it started getting AM radio airplay, and complaints.

You don't need to mix in mono, but at least listen to it in mono before letting it go.

JR
 

emrr

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Whoops said:
I totally disagree, 

Well, you seem to want to fight about techniques that work well for other people, why?  If you don't get it, you don't get it.  If you never need the tool, fine.
 

Winston OBoogie

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Hey, thanks for posting the link Weiss, I wasn't aware of Greg's 'after hours' vids. and I like what I've watched so far.

As a dude, I can already vouch for Greg -  he did a bang up job with a plug-in of a hardware unit I put together for Hugo Nicolson and I still receive a small stipend royalty from Kush  c/o  Hugo. 

I think the LCR video made a lot of sense personally and it's something I stumbled on myself (alternately muting each side)  when I was more involved in that stuff.

As for the mono mixing video, I also get what he's saying there.  It  isn't about setting level balances which, more often than not, I found needed a bit of a rebalance after  spreading into a stereo image.  But what I got is that he was  looking at conflicting or overlapped frequency ranges of parts and carving out with eq etc to seperate them.  I can see how this would be useful.  It would also be useful when coming up with parts as it could more easily show where it might be beneficial to use a different inversion or voicing etc.   

Within reason, I don't  see any point in worrying about absolute mono compatibility these days.  Sure, a lot of stuff might get played on an  iPhone without headphones by some but, are we really wanting to conform downwards to the lowest common denominator? 
 

Whoops

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EmRR said:
Well, you seem to want to fight about techniques that work well for other people, why?  If you don't get it, you don't get it.  If you never need the tool, fine.

You seem to consider others people opinions as a fight,
I'm personally not fighting anything, I respect others people opinions and I gave mine which I think is relevant as your opinion is.

You seem also to forget that a lot of people have the same opinion as myself, including a lot of the world top mixing engineers and that people that do that might be a minority.
It's relevant also to have that written so it can help people in the future that are learning and searching for information and in doubt to let them know that instead os wasting time of mixing in mono, they should just move on an Mix.
 

AusTex64

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I always like to check phase with mono. And I often find things poking out in mono I don't notice as much in stereo. YMMV.
 

buckethead

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It took me some years to really believe that there's something about listening in mono. Now it is one of the most important mixing tools in my workflow. Single speaker mono that is (it makes a huge difference listening to something in mono through either one or two speakers imho).
 

emrr

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buckethead said:
Single speaker mono that is (it makes a huge difference listening to something in mono through either one or two speakers imho).

yes...the only 'proper' way.  Two speakers make a filter. 
 

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