Put a utility plug-in on the master fader and collapse into mono when setting stereo effects, it takes a bit longer to get a good setting, if it sounds good in mono it generally always sounds good when back to stereo. This is very important for haas but I do this for everything, even when panning or programming reverb.
Hey T, well here’s my take on mono and mono compatibility. When music used to be played on AM radio (which is mono) music had to be mono compatible or sounds would get quiet or disappear completely. Also, mono clubs can cause cancellation of non-mono compatible sounds. However, music is not really played much on AM stations as it is mostly talk radio, and clubs are increasingly stereo. When I take the top ten in Beatport and hit the mono button, most commercial mixes from top producers have lots of cancellation. I think the most important thing is to have a mono-compatible low end for that the kick/bass power is not diminished in mono clubs – and that can be achieved and adjusted in mastering.
As an experiment, take a radiohead track and force it to mono…the whole fun of the track disappears! do the same with a tiesto track…same thing. That being said, there are styles of music that are very mono…some techno…some hip hop…and the mono-ness is sort of a vibe.
I guess I’m interested just to learn more and make better mixes. And I hear people talking about mono and the importance of it even nowdays… Also many tracks that have sounded exceptionally good and music like old school hip hop that I love have been really mono when analysing them… Even new releases that have stuck out have been surprisingly mono.
Also, some of my mixes have been falling apart too much in my opinion when collapsed to mono. Does it matter? Some say no some say yes
Just trying learn more and up my game!
Thanks guys! I appriciate your insight!
I don’t have much knowledge of these things and their history so all knowledge is appreciated!
Danny I think we should discuss this in Graduates Club, because there are some very strong points for good mono compatibility. I find the experienced producers are still concerned with mono compatibility e.g. sasha, Enrico Sangiuliano and the likes.
I really don’t mean to sound like a hater but a lot of the commercial EDM that hits the top of beatport charts are not the most experienced engineers and probably don’t give mono compatibility or any of the more advanced engineering topics much thought.
I think it is quite rare for anybody to listen to things in true stereo, even if a club is set up in stereo, unless you are in the very small sweet spot you are not receiving any of the benefits of stereo, iPhone’s and bluetooth speakers are mono, TVs might as well be mono since the speakers are so close together, plus you would need to be sitting in the sweet spot, same for the car, you are further to one side.
There is an argument for earbuds/headphones, which are used a lot to listen to music but again, it is not true stereo, as something panned to hard left you are only hearing in the left ear, in the real world you would also hear it in the right ear a little quieter and with attenuated high frequencies. But I agree you still get the perceived effects of stereo here.
I honestly think, it is only the studio, when you are in the sweet spot you are getting the real benefits of a stereo mix.
I have done a lot of research into this, as I got obsessed with mono compatibility a few years ago and would love to discuss it further, if anyone is interested of course.
Ultimately, in my opinion, I think a stereo mix that sounds great in mono also sounds great in stereo but a stereo mix with no concern about mono will sound bad in mono.
I have one track in particular in mind that messed me up and started this whole mono compatibility thing it is the Skepta-Shutdown released 2016.
We where chilling and listening to some music on a portable speaker that can be plugged to a phone. This track just stood out as loud, punchy, clear… I got the wav and to my surprice it was not that loud(around-9LUFS) but it was very mono compatible…
I was thinking already couple weeks ago to send it to GC but couldn’t make it to the classes…
I have the wav file, should I post it here in the forum? Or check it out friday or monday?
I think this is an important topic. I read a lot about mixing in mono, then stereo etc. And as someone trying to take on a lot of new stuff it’s like ‘what’!
So, on one hand, if it does need to be done, I don’t want to miss it, but on the other, if it doesn’t, then I have a lot of other stuff to learn. Is this something that could be a webinar? One presenting the why people do it/don’t do it and analysing tracks that do/don’t and discussing different ‘systems’ from car to club and what effect they do/don’t have have on listening etc. Does any of that make sense @Danny?
This is my personal opinion and experience : it’s better to have a good mix which sounds good in mono, and having the stereo to sublime everything. I think the best examples are the top hits in pop music (which is the world I want to work in), if you see “Side to Side” from Ariana Grande, produced by Max Martin and engineered by Serban Ghenea, it’s a lot of mono and it sounds amazing. I’m sure that we can have good mixes with a few stereo signal, it’s all about mixing technics (Serban does know a few things we don’t haha). Now I’m trying to figure it out.
I tend to side with Danny here. I used to tour and have played in many clubs throughout the US and very few of their sound systems are still in mono. it’s just not the norm anymore. why ? well, because stereo sounds better ! dunno if I agree with you Paul about having to be in the sweet spot to get the benefits of stereo. I can be anywhere in the club and as long as the club has a decent design I can hear huge wide sweeps and differences in the stereo image. maybe there is some reasoning for mixing in mono but I wouldn’t personally do it. periodically checking the mix in mono to make sure nothing completely disappears sure, but certainly not mixing in mono, as some “youtube production guru’s” suggest. just my two cents.