Thanks Everyone, This Was a Great Experience!!!
All, I wish to sincerely thank you for the wonderful advice, some of which I didn't quite get to in time for this session, but will surely use on the next. I worked on two projects simultaneously that couldn't be more different. One was singer-songwriter folk while the other was David Bowie inspired indie-pop with a lot of experimental sounds thrown in.
If you are reading this and, like me, have never attempted a mono mix before, I highly recommend it. Honestly, I feel like I learned so much in four days from this project.
1.) As some already mentioned, this project really highlighted for me how 90% of the instruments I record are inherently mono. Mixing those instruments in stereo sounds great, but it really is a special effect (especially on drums!).
2.) Couldn't agree more about using as few microphones on a source as possible, if not only one. Whoever said that stereo miking a piano will cause problems in mono was dead on. I suppose I never realized how much purity is lost when using multiple microphones on a source. This was especially evident in hearing a live acoustic/vocal take through one microphone (Gefell UM92.1) versus hearing it combined with a second mic on the acoustic (Neumann TLM102). The single mic wins hands down, both in stereo and mono.
3.) Mixing in mono is a GREAT way to reveal aspects of a mix that don't belong or conflict. We recorded an overdub of an electric guitar that simply couldn't coexist with the piano...in stereo I can get away with it, but it sounds absurd in mono.
4.) Great tips on M/S, but I was working so quickly that it wasn't utilized much. However, I'm amazed at how much better my stereo mix sounds by simply taking mono sources through a stereo reverb. I get the clarity of the mono mix, but the spaciousness of the stereo field in the reverb returns.
Again, thanks everyone. I did get a chance to hear a previous recording of this artist that I did last year on a mono record and it really does sound timeless. Excited to see how the project ends up...I have at least two or three more sessions to complete by December for these two projects.
Some pics for your enjoyment...note the record lathe built into the desk I was using!