Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Friday Tips - Why Mono Matters for Mixing

02/08/2019

With the ideal mix, the balance among instruments is perfect, and you can hear every instrument (or instrument section) clearly and distinctly. However, getting there can take a while, with a lot of trial and error. Fortunately, there's a simple trick you can use when setting up a mix to accelerate the process: Start your mix with all channel pan sliders set to center (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: All the pan sliders (outlined in white) are set to center for a reason.

With stereo tracks, changing the track interleave to mono isn't adequate, because it will throw off the channel's level in the mix. Instead, temporarily add a Dual Pan set for the -6dB Linear Pan Law, and center both the Left and Right panpots (fig. 2). Now your stereo track will appear in the mix as mono.

Figure 2: Use the Dual Pan, set to the -6dB Linear pan law, to convert stereo channels temporarily to mono when setting up for a mix.

Analysis Time

Now listen carefully to your mix. Are all the instruments distinct? Monitoring in mono will reveal places where one instrument might mask or interfere with another, like kick and bass, or piano and guitar (depending on the note range).

The solution is to use EQ to carve out each instrument's rightful place in the frequency spectrum. For example, if you want to prioritize the guitar part, you may need to reduce some of the piano's midrange, and boost the regions above and below the guitar. For the guitar, boost a bit in the region where you cut the piano. With those tweaks in place, you'll find it easier to differentiate between the two.

For kick/bass issues, the usual solution is to increase treble on one of them-with kick, this brings out the beater sound and with bass, string zings and pick noises. Another option is to add saturation to the bass, while leaving the kick drum alone. If the bass is playing relatively high notes, then perhaps a boost to the kick around 50-70 Hz will help separate the two.

Keep carving away, and adjusting the EQ until all the instruments are clear and distinct. Now when you start doing stereo placement, the sound will be open, with a huge soundstage and a level of clarity you might not obtain otherwise-or which might take a lot of tweaking to achieve.

We're Not Done with Mono Just Yet

Okay, now you have a great stereo mix. But it's also important to make sure your mix collapses well to mono, because you have no control over the playback system. It might play from someone's smartphone, and sounds mostly mono or play back over speakers that are close to each other, so there's not real good stereo separation. Radio is another possibility where the stereo might not be wonderful.

Some processors, especially ones that control stereo imaging with mid-side processing, may have phase or other issues when collapsed to mono. Short, stereo delays can also have problems collapsing to mono, and produce comb-filtering-type effects. So, hop on over to the main bus, and click the Channel Mode button to convert the output to mono (Fig. 3).

Figure 3: The Channel Mode button (circled in yellow) can switch the output between mono and stereo.

Hopefully, everything will sound correct-just collapsed to mono. But if not, start soloing channels and comparing what they sound like with the Channel Mode button in stereo and mono, until you chase down the culprit. Make the appropriate tweaks (which may be as simple as tweaking the delay time in one channel of a stereo delay processor), make sure the mix still sounds good in stereo, and you're done.
LINK: https://blog.presonus.com/index.php/2019/08/02/friday-tips-mono-matter...
See more stories from presonus

More from PreSonus

24/01/2020

Komplete Kontrol Integration in Studio One, Part 2/3: General-Purpose MIDI Control

In Part 1 ( A New Hope ) of the NI Kontroller trilogy, we covered how to integra...

21/01/2020

Paul Drew + The Studio (One) Rats

The Studio Rats The Studio Rats are a band hailing from the UK, led by none other than our good friend Mr. Paul Drew; a longtime Studio One user. About the man...

17/01/2020

Komplete Kontrol Integration in Studio One, Part 1/3

Studio One 4.53 introduced integration with Native Instruments' Komplete series of keyboards, which is a big deal. Although these keyboards are theoreticall...

16/01/2020

Introducing ioStation24c

ioStation24c: The collaborative partner for the solo artist. When you're a solo artist, you have to be more than just creative to realize your vision-you m...

15/01/2020

Celebrating 25 years of PreSonus

Let's take a minute to look at all the firsts PreSonus has had in our first 25 years, from 1995-2020. It's been quite a ride, and we've been glad to...

14/01/2020

Using StudioLive Series III in the Studio

Let's take a closer look at the Studio in StudioLive, with special guest host Matt Osgood! In this six-video series, Matt covers everything from basic s...

13/01/2020

Welcome Joe Gilder to the PreSonus Fam!

Please join us in welcoming the esteemed Joe Gilder to the PreSonus family! He has a new Studio One playlist full of tips started with more episodes to come! C...

11/01/2020

How to Play Faster-By Playing Slower

In the comments for last week's tip on varipseed-type formant changes, reader Randy Hayes asked if it was possible to change the tempo similarly so that you...

10/01/2020

FREE CDL Speaker Covers!

Starting now through the month of March 2020, get a FREE speaker cover when you buy any CDL Loudspeaker! Our award-winning CDL Loudspeakers come with a six-yea...

03/01/2020

Varispeed-Type Formant Changes

Back in the days of tape, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and gas station attendants checked your oil, variable-speed tape recorders allowed changing the pitch o...

30/12/2019

Bi-Amping the Ampire

I'm still wrapping my head around PreSonus giving us amp sims that are light years beyond the original Ampire in a free update and also making them availabl...

28/12/2019

Notion WINS KVR Readers' Choice Award!

We're honored to close out the decade with a win from KVR Audio for Favorite Notation Software voted on by their readers! Thanks to everyone who voted. Chee...

26/12/2019

Notions WINS KVR Readers' Choice Award!

We're honored to close out the decade with a win from KVR Audio for Favorite Notation Software voted on by their readers! Thanks to everyone who voted. Chee...

24/12/2019

The Force is (Studio) One with Maarten Vorwerk

We had the recent opportunity to talk with Maarten Vorwerk about how he's been using Studio One for his studio work and he was kind enough to share these in...

20/12/2019

The Vinyliser FX Chain

Nostalgic for vinyl? Miss the glorious sound of dragging a rock through yards of plastic, the wild frequency response gyrations of analog RIAA curve filters, th...

18/12/2019

Hzel Talks Studio One

H zel is a Grammy-nominated producer, sound designer and mixer based in Melbourne, Australia who has been in the music industry for about 15 years and have work...

14/12/2019

Resonator FX Chain

This FX Chain complements the Tightener FX Chain presented in the October 25, 2019 Friday Tip. Whereas the Tightener reduces the presence of the key center in a...

10/12/2019

Studio One 4.6-what's new

Studio One 4.6 is here! To get it, launch Studio One and click check for updates from the help drop-down menu. What's new in 4.6 We've responded to...

06/12/2019

Track Matching with the Project Page

Okay, this is an unusual one. Please fasten your seat belts, and set your tray tables to the upright and locked positions. Personal bias alert: With pop and ro...

06/12/2019

Tommy Finke Talks Theater, EDM and Studio One!

Tommy Finke, also known as T.D. Finck von Finckenstein, is a singer-songwriter as well as a composer of electronic computer music, theatre music, and modern dan...

03/12/2019

Friday Studio One Tip: Virtual Nashville Tuning

Nashville tuning is a popular sound for rhythm guitar parts, and not just in country music: a few hit songs with Nashville tuning include Wild Horses (Rolling S...

29/11/2019

Christmas CashBack 2019

Christmas CashBack Promo 29th Nov 31st Dec. Happy Holidays! We're extending a special Christmas Cashback offer to customers in Austria, Belgium, Eston...

25/11/2019

Studio One Black Friday Sale! (and Notion)

This offer includes upgrades but excludes crossgrades and EDU licensing-ends December 1, 2019. Available worldwide right out of the PreSonus Shop and at your fa...

25/11/2019

Black Friday - Biggest Savings of the Year!

It's finally here! Take advantage of the deepest discounts of the year during Black Friday week. Click here to shop! 50% Off Studio One and Notion. Novemb...

22/11/2019

The Studio One Stereo Separator

A couple previous tips dealt with how to give mono instruments, like guitar, a stereo image that won't degrade when collapsed to mono. Widen Your Mono Guita...

22/11/2019

Ari Ahrendt's Pure Synthetic Drums

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner Hi, mein Name ist Ari Ahrendt und ich bin der Macher der Pure Synthetic Drums. Bei PreSonus tagsu ber als Quality Specialist, ku m...

22/11/2019

Introducing Ari Ahrendt's Pure Synthetic Drums

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner Hi, My name is Ari and I'm the creator of Pure Synthetic Drums. In my day job, I'm a Quality Assurance Specialist at PreSo...

16/11/2019

HD7 Promo

From Nov. 1 2019 until Dec. 31, 2019, we're offering a free set of HD7 Headphones with new purchases of Studio C Series Interfaces to customers in select re...

16/11/2019

Molly and Denton Making Jams in the Red Stick!

One of the best things about PreSonus is having our roots run deep into the heart of the Louisiana music scene. Louisiana has long known that the things that ma...

15/11/2019

How to Use FX Chain Transition Curves

FX Chains are a powerful Studio One feature, yet I can't help but notice that when I write tips about FX Chains, some people are lost without a download so ...

14/11/2019

How to get multiple outputs from Kontakt in PreSonus Studio One

In this video, Gregor shows you how to set up multiple outputs in a single Native Instruments Kontakt instance. Fortunately, this is extremely easy to do in Stu...

13/11/2019

PreSonus CDLs Headline at Spasskaya Tower in Moscow!

Spasskaya Tower is an annual music festival held in Moscow, Russia. It's a spectacular, week-long event, staged on the background of the monumental walls of...

09/11/2019

Football, Podcasts and Studio One

Over here stateside, Tis the season for family, over-eating, traveling, watching football, and more eating. You may not be a huge fan of the holidays, but I lo...

08/11/2019

Sound Design? Commitment Recording? Say What?

Maybe it's not a well-known feature, but Studio One allows inserting effects or FX Chains before a track, not just in a track. Open up the Input section, an...

07/11/2019

All Fat Channel Plugins and Bundles are 30% Off All Month!

Click to Shop! For this month only, SAVE 30% on the entire Fat Channel Collection right out of the PreSonus Shop! Buy the individual plug-ins at a discounted p...

07/11/2019

A Solid Deal - Save 30% on ALL MVP Loops!

For ONE month only, SAVE 30% on ALL MVP Loops right out of the PreSonus Shop! Sale prices start at only $20USD! MVP Loops provide some of our most popular, to...

01/11/2019

The VoxTool FX Chain

Y'all seem to like FX Chains, so here's one of my favorites-the VoxTool, a toolchest for bringing out the best in vocals and narration as quickly as pos...

31/10/2019

Studio One Tutorials!

These PreSonus Studio One Tutorials starring Gregor Beyerle will help you learn how to make beats on Studio One and more! You'll find everything you need ...

28/10/2019

Nigel Trego of DMT Productions: Commited to The StudioLive Series III Ecosystem

Nigel of DMT Productions [This just in from Nigel of DMT Productions!] Hi everyone, my name is Nigel Trego, I am the Technical Director at DMT Productions, a ...

26/10/2019

Tighten Mixes with the Tightener FX Chain

Sometimes when you're mixing, sounds conflict because they have too much energy in the same part of the spectrum. The usual solutions are to lower the level...

25/10/2019

New Arcades and Studio One!

Instagram isn't just for cute, filtered images of yourself and your dog or gear! It's a great community uniting musicians and artists brave enough to pu...

25/10/2019

A Special Treat 50% OFF the Audio Batch Converter for 7 Days only!

Click here to shop! For the next 7 days, SAVE 50% on one of the PreSonus Shop's top-selling add-ons, the Audio Batch Converter! Audio Batch Converter is a...

25/10/2019

Jonny Doyle of DMT Productions: Commited to The StudioLive Series III Ecosystem

Nigel of DMT Productions [This just in from Nigel of DMT Productions!] Hi everyone, my name is Nigel Trego, I am the Technical Director at DMT Productions, a ...

24/10/2019

Free e-bass bundle

Get lots of electric bass-four instruments in all-for FREE! A $99 USD value! Ends Nov. 22, 2019. These recordings of a real-deal 1970s P-bass have been recorde...

23/10/2019

OS X 10.15 Catalina Updates

Hey PreSonus users! We released a few updates today in support of Apple OS X 10.15 Catalina that we would like to tell you about. Universal Control v3.1.1, Cap...

19/10/2019

Double Guitar with Faux Bass

This technique dates back to when I was doing live gigs with Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy-me on guitar, him on drums. Since there was no bass player, we n...

17/10/2019

WAVE AKADEMIE was a blast!

On October 11, our own Software Specialist Gregor Beyerle attended WAVE AKADEMIE Berlin's Dissertation Presentation of Audio Engineering and 3-D/Game Design...

16/10/2019

How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One-New from Craig Anderton

Available NOW at shop.presonus.com from Craig Anderton How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One! This is Craig's third book on Studio One, and it weig...

15/10/2019

FaderPort 16 went to Rock in Rio with Helloween!

[This just in from Charlie Bauerfeind, producer for genre-defining power metal pioneers, Helloween! In his search for the perfect DAW Controller for his ultra-c...

11/10/2019

Friday Tip: Percussion Part Generator

Just as we can use plug-ins to process audio, Studio One's Note FX are plug-ins for MIDI data. They tend to be overshadowed by our shiny audio plug-ins, but...