Using mono sampled instruments, only to get a cool refreshing

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by germancomponist, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. OP

    germancomponist Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Thanks for your good post, Sir!

    I underline all what you said, especially the last part of your post, the things I care about and was talking about.
  2. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

    May 1, 2014
    Are we talking about mono miced instruments or instruments which are recorded mono in an anechoic room?I am no scientist when it comes to that, so I ask because most of the instruments on the market are even if close miced that they still contain enough information so that they are mono sounding but still containing some kind of room information in them. I actually don´t care that much about that, I go by what sounds good to my ear in first place. If a room miced sample sound good and cohesive I most of the time go by that as I go by the philosophy not to make me less work in my mockups as possible. The mockup and blend and relative dynamics are for me mostly important and of course the right expression. I think most mockups could sound better if the people would treat expression and dynamics and the right balance volume with more care to mimic a real orchestra.
    Sanlky likes this.
  3. Andrew Souter

    Andrew Souter Active Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    We have something interesting coming very shortly on these kind of topics...
    germancomponist and Nite Sun like this.
  4. pderbidge

    pderbidge Senior Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    True, the sound waves produced by an instrument aren't mono or stereo and each listener will even hear the sound differently due to their biology and even psychological impact that sound may have on the listener, but now we're getting into the weeds. I think the "spirit" of what germancomposers post is all about is a good one, which to me is, "if you have tried monoizing your samples to create your own sense of "width" - try it. I find that more often than not I do like to work with mono samples or at least make them mono first and then mix from there as it gives me a lot more control over how much width and space I want to give that sample in my mix. Of course it is convenient to have instruments that are pre-positioned as with a lot of orchestral samples but if you're not doing traditional mockups then the freedom to put those instrument in any space you want and to give them as much or as little width that you want is something I tend to prefer. Plus, with mono samples you have less chance of having to deal with phasing issues. I'm surprised at how many guitar sample libs have phasing issues and therefore I almost always monoize and then simulate a double tracking of my own making. Becoming a good mix engineer is a lot like composing where experimentation is key, so if anyone hasn't tried mono samples or Monoizing your samples and mix from there then it's a worthy experiment and you will learn a lot. At first the sound will definitely sound dull compared to that extra wide sample you are used to hearing but as you give it space and depth and width of your own making you may find that your mix is more cohesive and you have much more control over its sound. Having said that, on the current mix I'm working on I chose to keep most everything as presented (stereo) and that seems to be working just fine, so it depends. Just always watch for phasing issues. I'm also a big believer in making sure your mix is mono compatible but that comes from my years as a live engineer setting up portable audio rigs for local events where keeping the music mono ensures that everyone, no matter where they are located, can hear the same thing. But then again, how many people are even paying attention as they walk around the county fair.
    germancomponist likes this.
  5. Ashermusic

    Ashermusic Senior Member

    Mar 27, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I pretty much agree with all of this, Piet.
  6. robgb

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    I'm pretty sure most DAWs will allow you to do this. In Reaper you select the take, right click and select Item Processing > Explode multichannel audio or MIDI items to one channel items.
  7. Markus Kohlprath

    Markus Kohlprath Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Thank you rob. For sure no big thing in cubase. I just didn’t think of doing this and I always thought, that one channel of a stereo signal sounds inferior alone. But this might only be true for big stereo mixes. For a single instrument it might be a solution I’ve been looking for more than one time. I always collapse the stereo field. Often in spat which is good in controlling the width.
  8. jonnybutter

    jonnybutter Active Member

    Jun 13, 2016
    this. The mix tends to sound bigger - more stereo - w/a lot of mono tracks in it that you position. This is a great tip!
    germancomponist likes this.
  9. OP

    germancomponist Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    If I had time now I would post examples, but later I will gladly do it. The first reflections are the most important thing, and these can be wonderfully faken. Best by hand and not with plugins. You have to understand the physics and think deep inside, in everything you do here. But at last, it is easy! :)
  10. Sanlky

    Sanlky Member

    Dec 15, 2014
    You can use simple EQed delays for ERs, chain of Delays feeding each other, and anything you may wanna try... but room accoustics cannot be beaten, they will always be better than you can fake them. Problem is if its not right for the sound you are looking to. If you have a busy mix, you may choose to use some instruments without accoustic information and some instruments you might choose to use to use only stereo or far mics. Its not a rule, its creativity but also going for a track that sound awesome, there is no rule for that.
    When i mix an orchestra track, i prefer to have a dry mix first, all balanced out, and later work on sections reverbs, ERs... music style might demand more or less reverb, short or longer rooms, natural or artificial you can work a lot on that, but also, if a room from a sample is bothering making it mono(summing both channels) and pan them again is a good option, it may need some gate(or expander) to take out some of reverbs a bit dBs.
    But if i have some huge really nice sounding orchestra sample, i wont modify at all, just build from it.
  11. Divico

    Divico Senior Member

    In my experience having a mono track with verb gives you a more easy to locate panorama. I like to colapse stuff in mono for autopanning stuff f.e.
    When mixing rock tracks I often narrowed tracks or collapsed them for better positioning in a busy mix

Share This Page