Mono or Stereo


Junior Members
Reaction score
Mono or stereo, how do you choose?

How do you guys decide wether to record a track in stereo or mono? Is there any difference in a mono track panning and a stereo track panning?

Do all your tracks reside in the middle of the stereo field or do you place them slightly offset so that they have different positions?

How do people approach this or does it really not make that much difference with this kind of sound?
</div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (eMpTy-1 @ Mar 29 2004, 09:44 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> mono track panning [/quote:2f0de47ef2]
How does that work?
</div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (SketchySteve @ Mar 30 2004, 03:16 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (eMpTy-1 @ Mar 29 2004, 09:44 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> mono track panning [/quote:1cd3c4f452]
How does that work? [/quote:1cd3c4f452]
When a mono (single channel) signal is panned between the left and right speakers.

I'm not too up on the original question, 'cos I know everyone's different in their methods. The only rule of thumb I work to (based on advice from EVP) is to keep the kick and bass in mono, completely centered in the stereo field (to prevent unwanted phase cancellation/anomaly) - with everything else it depends on the track.

With Cubase, as far as I'm aware a stereo track is effectively just two tracks that happen to be linked and hard panned left and right - you can pan both tracks individually. I'll leave the Logic description to a more seasoned Logic user, methinks. :Smile3:

Some one once said on another forum that if your tune is gonna be played mainly on a big venue sound system, you might as well keep everything mono. True or false?
not that I had any of my tunes played on a big sound-system :Smile3: but it seems reasonable to put it in mono, because if you have a vary large hall and have left-channel speakers on the left and right-channel speakers on the right then people who dance near them will hear only a part of your track. Quite often melodic lines or effects are made to constantly switch their position in stereo field, and many times when my friend played some trance it sounded weird, just because he had only one speaker (the other was broken).

on the other hand mono tracks seems to be less clear and sounds tend to interfere / overlap eachother which isn't a good effect too... stereo just sounds more spacey and there is more room, but for the venues set up the way I described above I'd choose a mono version...
Not much point panning frequencies below aproxx. 300Hz as the wavelength starts getting too big for the brain to be able to perceive directonality. That is one of the reasons kick and bassline are best kept as mono, besides the fact that wide stereo image bass will cause phase problems and throw the needle of the record. Anyway if you get your tunes cut on vinyl the mastering house will monofy everything below 300Hz..I know Heathmans and Transition do.
A good idea is to record snares and main leads in mono as well.
Pads, effects sounds, effects returns, percussion...etc I prefer to record in stereo.

Peace out.
for me its pretty simple

Stereo : everything
Mono : nothing

flying in the face of convention really, but i've decided if i'm making ambient/atmospheric spirally swirly immersive soundscapes it may as well be stereo. i've given up on any pretense at mono compatibility - i dont forsee my 10 minute psychadelic jungle indulgences being played on radio any time soon!

well... to be fair... kicks never have stereo fx to speak of. snares have stereo reverb but are otherwise mono and down the middle. subbasses stay in the middle. basslines generally go down the middle, but i've given up stopping myself from using stereo fx on them (reverb, chorus, etc) - at least the upper end of them.

at the end of the day my tracks are made primarily for stoned people to listen to with headphones on their own at 2am, so i'm damned if i'm compromising their experience because some retard putting on a party doesnt know how to set up a stereo PA.