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Mono

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Bear's Gone Fission, Feb 8, 2001.

  1. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    No, this isn't about when you got taken out of commission after kissing that cute girl in high school. I'm wondering whether anyone is working on mono regularly. Leave it to da Bear to be weird enough to go from two tracks to one when lots of folks are going to 5.1 tracks (not technically correct, I know). But let me run through my delusional thoughts.

    Okay, so budget is a primary driving factor in my equipment choices, and I'm in analog land, with a 1/2" 8 track deck and an okay board I'm gonna mod the bejesus out of to hopefully make godly. I'm sick of cassete being my mix down, and want to upgrade to a nice open reel deck. I was checking ebay lately and saw mono versions of great decks going for peanuts and have been caught up on them. I'll probably go for a stereo deck as a final answer, but the mono at the ridiculously low prices is really tempting.

    So, my real question is how would I run a mono deck from a stero board? Do I pan everything to one side? Run it all up the middle? How to connect it is really my only big issue with thte idea.

    I'm really liking this idea, espescially working on the lost art of mono mixing, where you don't have space to the left or right to put things, it's all got have its space in the middle.

    da Bear
     
  2. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Bear,

    AFAIK, the last bastion of mono is in the TV industry where mono compatibility has always been a consideration. However, even in TV this is starting to disappear. With the more common use of pro-logic surround for TV broadcast, stereo is becoming the lowest common denominator and mono compatibility is starting to be ignored.

    Although I've never had time to play around with mono, I agree that there must be a lot that can be learned about separation and depth when you've got no left or right (or surround!) to play with.

    Greg
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    been doing this awhile. I hope I'm understanding this.

    Get a stereo to mono y cord, most older boards have a mono patch don't they?

    I check everything in mono to make sure there are no phase problems. This kicks ass in the final mix if you do it right.

    Nothing wrong with your dream!

    Get good at mono and you will be ahead of the streaming world and get better mixes in general.

    is this your answer? :cool:

    my 2 cents here
     
  4. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    I think a couple of tracks on the last Red Hot Chilli Peppers record were done in mono.
    Sometimes I wish I could automate the mono switch on the boards I work on. I like using mono as an effect. Example, I record the intro & bridge into protools in mono (at the end of my mix). Then, I play back this mono material by itself in the intro & bridge so the verses & chorus's sound super wide. The contrast helps my clients hear my entire pan law better. You gotta be careful with you drums because sometimes they hit harder in mono. Also, double check the whole mix in mono so it won't sound wack when you hear it in your local department store.
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    The only songs I've ever heard in a department store with a mono sound system were the muzak versions.

    -shudder-

    Looks like my FM dream is finally coming true! (Inside joke. Veterans of rec.audio.pro might know what I'm talking about. hehe.) :)
     
  6. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    thanks, folks. I guess the y cord.

    Well, isn't AM mono? hee hee, that's it, I'm shooting for dominance of the AM rock charts. Technically, it isn't popular, but mono is kind of like O blood, it's the universal donor format, in that everything will work with it. And it can sound wonderful if done right. Born to Run was recorded in a consicous attempt to try to get as close to mono as possible.

    And, yeah, even if you're in stereo, 5.1, quad, what have you, check your damned mixes in mono! You're likely to regret it if you don't.

    Well, time to start watching the market. If I see the right two track, though, the question is pretty moot.

    da Bear
     
  7. mattesque

    mattesque Guest

    I've been pushing mono to all my friends/colleges/clients for awhile now. It seems to be more of a challenge as an engineer. There was a great thing in TapeOp a little while back about mono. Just did a project where we re-recorded a mix in mono and then faded from mono to stereo half way through the song. It sounded so great that you didn't even realize it's in mono till it opens up and then sounded amazing. That's my two cents at this late hour.

    Stereo is for people who can't handle mono.

    matt esque
     
  8. Dan Popp

    Dan Popp Active Member

    Dear Bear's,
    It's not just AM that's (mostly) mono (in the US). FM receivers will revert to mono when the signal is weak (some, as I understand it, don't indicate this - that is, the "stereo" light is still lit). Most TVs are still mono. When you turn the "stereo" on and go into the next room to listen, you are listening in mono. In short, for all the 5.1 hype, most people are listening in mono most of the time - and most don't know it!

    Yours,
    Dan Popp
    Colors Audio
    USA
     
  9. lflier

    lflier Guest

    Not only that, but if your stereo system is in the living room and you go into the kitchen for a beer, the stereo (or 5.1) image will smear into mono. If there are any phasing problems in your stereo or surround image, they will become apparent pretty quickly. Thus it's always good to listen to your mixes in mono, and also do the "crank up the tune in the monitors and walk down the studio hallway" listen, to make sure everything's cool at a distance.

    And yes a Y-cord will do the trick. You can wire one up to a switch box (like if you make a source switch box for switching between different sets of monitors) so you can switch in and out of mono at will if your console won't do it (and many these days won't).

    --Lee
     
  10. GY

    GY Guest

    Originally posted by Lee Flier:
    Not only that, but if your stereo system is in the living room and you go into the kitchen for a beer, the stereo (or 5.1) image will smear into mono. If there are any phasing problems in your stereo or surround image, they will become apparent pretty quickly. Thus it's always good to listen to your mixes in mono, and also do the "crank up the tune in the monitors and walk down the studio hallway" listen, to make sure everything's cool at a distance.

    And yes a Y-cord will do the trick. You can wire one up to a switch box (like if you make a source switch box for switching between different sets of monitors) so you can switch in and out of mono at will if your console won't do it (and many these days won't).

    --Lee


    Absolutely, Lee. As I was reading the replys, I was thinking everything you've stated. If it sucks in MONO, it sucks. Once you get away from the source, it's mono anyway! Most music recording these days is just a bunch of mono sources thrown together. Who records most tracks in true stereo? Bruce Swedien is the only one I know of. And I'll bet he checks his mixes for mono compatability!
     
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