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Mixing club music. Start in mono?
Old 4th February 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 

Mixing club music. Start in mono?

I know it doesn't really matter where you start...as long at the track sounds good at the end.

But if you start your mix in mono, how do you decide the width? Do you go by sound only or do you use an analyzer as well?

Listening to club music at home or on headphones it sounds really wide and if you listen in mono it sounds just good. What am I missing?
Old 5th February 2020
  #2
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Bignatius's Avatar
All of my mixes start in Mono and without FX and stay that way for quite some time. When and if I'm satisfied with that, then I start adding things. Sometimes I never change a thing...

Generally speaking. I break my own rules often enough. If I happen to be messing with a cool Stereo source it can be the core, too. But this is my general approach. OTB, too, fwiw.

Challenge yourself... mix some tracks in Mono and with no FX.
Old 5th February 2020
  #3
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Volt9's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by droppingdeuces View Post

But if you start your mix in mono, how do you decide the width? Do you go by sound only or do you use an analyzer as well?
You can use metering indeed and more important use reference tracks!
Old 6th February 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
All of my mixes start in Mono and without FX and stay that way for quite some time. When and if I'm satisfied with that, then I start adding things. Sometimes I never change a thing...

Generally speaking. I break my own rules often enough. If I happen to be messing with a cool Stereo source it can be the core, too. But this is my general approach. OTB, too, fwiw.

Challenge yourself... mix some tracks in Mono and with no FX.
So even if you use a synth that has effects built in you will not use them?

I went back to the tracks I am working on and made each track in Reaper o on the width and started to mix the tracks from the beginning
Old 6th February 2020
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volt9 View Post
You can use metering indeed and more important use reference tracks!

That is something I have never done. I probably should start
Old 6th February 2020
  #6
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rhythmtech's Avatar
 

I like to start out in stereo. Get my levels and pans to where I want them to be in a stereo mix, no processing yet. Then I'll switch to mono and re-adjust as needed. Most of my processing is done in mono comp/eq etc.

Generally I'll keep the energy in the middle and pan the ear-candy.

I also keep stereo widening tool on my master, which I mix into from the start and it exaggerates my panning. In turn this leads me to pan less drastically and retain mono compatibility. It used to be BX Digital (with a slight hi-shelf on the sides) but recently I've switched to AA's CelestialMB.
Old 6th February 2020
  #7
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Bignatius's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by droppingdeuces View Post
So even if you use a synth that has effects built in you will not use them?
Correct, at least sometimes or at first.

Unless effect-X is just SO crucial to the given idea.

But that's rare and not how I generally work and part of why I don't care for most built-in effects.
Old 6th February 2020
  #8
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NawSon's Avatar
 

My last track is straight up mono lol
Old 7th February 2020
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmtech View Post
Generally I'll keep the energy in the middle and pan the ear-candy.
That makes sense
Old 7th February 2020
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Correct, at least sometimes or at first.

Unless effect-X is just SO crucial to the given idea.

But that's rare and not how I generally work and part of why I don't care for most built-in effects.
I notice on the tracks I was working on, Omnisphere's reverbs, chorus & flangers had the width to 100%. No wonder they did sound good in mono
Old 7th February 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NawSon View Post
My last track is straight up mono lol
cool
Old 15th February 2020
  #12
WDM
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I think it is not clear what mono means.

I do record all instrument tracks in mono (99% of the time). Dry.
Then I mix al that to stereo Mix bus, setting gains, levels and pans to all, before applying any FX.

I do have "Mono" button on my stereo out, which I flip frequently, to make sure everything is good in mono, but that's just a button.

I guess in that case mono means, left and right speaker work together like two mono sources at the same time. Is that what you all mean Mix in Mono?
Old 19th February 2020
  #13
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Mantik's Avatar
Starting in mono helps getting the ideas right, adding stereo at the end will be even better.

But using stereo and even reverb/delay too early in the beginning can be a mindgame of trick yourself to hide weak elements that would not be interesting enough in mono.

Same when using clap/snare/hihat. Just dont use it. Still you need a groove right? So get it without first, maybe you even never need a snare till the end.

A lot of modern club techno / techhouse stuff I hear lately are a bunch of mono synth / drummaschines recorded tracks that recieve some kind of autopanned or modulated panned afterwards, so widening the old school way. It sound very organic and very alive without beeing overprocessed and unnatural. It can be an indicator maybe that these producers start things in mono and automate the pan pot later on.
Old 20th February 2020
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDM View Post
I think it is not clear what mono means.

I do record all instrument tracks in mono (99% of the time). Dry.
Then I mix al that to stereo Mix bus, setting gains, levels and pans to all, before applying any FX.

I do have "Mono" button on my stereo out, which I flip frequently, to make sure everything is good in mono, but that's just a button.

I guess in that case mono means, left and right speaker work together like two mono sources at the same time. Is that what you all mean Mix in Mono?
I can only speak of Reaper, but there is a setting on each track with a "width" One can set it at 0 to 100% or even -100%. I believe the default is 100% and I was writing and mixing in 100%.

I watched a Producer Master Class with Dom & Roland and he was talking about writing club music and he always writes/mixes in mono and makes it sound good in mono first. Then he mixes in stereo and adds panning.

I have a friend that writes/mixes in stereo and occasionally checks to make sure it sounds good in mono.

My question was (which might not have been clear enough) how to get a good mix for a club music and how do producers go about their mixes. I have been writing ambient for years and just started to write music hopefully to be played in a club, I just wanted to get some tricks.
Old 20th February 2020
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantik View Post
Starting in mono helps getting the ideas right, adding stereo at the end will be even better.

But using stereo and even reverb/delay too early in the beginning can be a mindgame of trick yourself to hide weak elements that would not be interesting enough in mono.

Same when using clap/snare/hihat. Just dont use it. Still you need a groove right? So get it without first, maybe you even never need a snare till the end.

A lot of modern club techno / techhouse stuff I hear lately are a bunch of mono synth / drummaschines recorded tracks that recieve some kind of autopanned or modulated panned afterwards, so widening the old school way. It sound very organic and very alive without beeing overprocessed and unnatural. It can be an indicator maybe that these producers start things in mono and automate the pan pot later on.
I started to automate panning on the tracks that I have been working on
Old 20th February 2020
  #16
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Bignatius's Avatar
Yeah, I'm of the mind that things come out better if you endeavor to write, arrange, track, mix, and generally "produce" music that sounds good (excellent, even...) in mono and without any FX...

It's like baking a cake.

Spatial, Panning, Stereo bits are the Sprinkles...

Effects are the Icing.

Everything else... that's the Cake, which ought to be able to stand on its own. Otherwise why not just eat the F-ing icing out of the container?

Bear in mind, this is a basic philosophy, and not a dogmatic approach I adhere to. I break my own "rules" often enough, but that's the general idea...

Endeavor to make your music sound great, as great as you're able, without effects and in mono, *then* add the rest to taste, but sparingly...
Old 20th February 2020
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bignatius View Post
Yeah, I'm of the mind that things come out better if you endeavor to write, arrange, track, mix, and generally "produce" music that sounds good (excellent, even...) in mono and without any FX...

It's like baking a cake.

Spatial, Panning, Stereo bits are the Sprinkles...

Effects are the Icing.

Everything else... that's the Cake, which ought to be able to stand on its own. Otherwise why not just eat the F-ing icing out of the container?

Bear in mind, this is a basic philosophy, and not a dogmatic approach I adhere to. I break my own "rules" often enough, but that's the general idea...

Endeavor to make your music sound great, as great as you're able, without effects and in mono, *then* add the rest to taste, but sparingly...
Great analogy I need to be my own personal Cake Boss

Old 25th February 2020
  #18
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Mantik's Avatar
I changed my mind lately.

Reverb and Delay on Synthesizers are much of an integrated part, it can help a lot when playing into the fx right from the beginning. Delay is a part of the melody and performance itself.

Its especially true if you “perform” your synth lines in a recording. Instead of editing/programming it.

The thing is you have to take care to not overdo it.
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