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Mixing Drums in Mono or Stereo?
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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Mixing Drums in Mono or Stereo?

Here is my question for professionals on here.

Should I mix my drums in stereo or mono. I have already panned each drum slightly off center to create a sense of space for a listener, but should I do it?

Is it going to cause phase issues, and should I just mix drums in mono, and keep just Left and Right Overhead hard panned to the left/right?
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted View Post
but should I do it?
Do you cook? I'm not talking about full blown-out meals, but even say, some eggs and toast - do you add salt and pepper to taste, or do you call someone and say "Hey, I'm making some eggs and toast. I can add salt and pepper and butter on my toast, should I do it?"

This is exactly the scenario when mixing audio. I wish you the best of luck!
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted View Post
Is it going to cause phase issues...
It's a good idea when mixing, to check your mix in mono and listen to hear if anything disappears. If so, you have phase issues and you then check the tracks that might be getting lost a bit and adjust them.
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifted View Post
Here is my question for professionals on here.

Should I mix my drums in stereo or mono. I have already panned each drum slightly off center to create a sense of space for a listener, but should I do it?

Is it going to cause phase issues, and should I just mix drums in mono, and keep just Left and Right Overhead hard panned to the left/right?
Concerning phase issues, you can easily check for these by listening to your song in mono. Phase issues will be audible as weird, flangy-like sound or a certain element might even completely disappear in mono. If you have a monitor controller/console/mixer, it might give you the option to listen in mono or your sequencer might, or you might have to put a plugin on the master bus that lets you choose mono.

Anyway, this is probably not the right forum section for mix questions.
But whatever, I've made myself an accessory now ;-)
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korbes View Post
Anyway, this is probably not the right forum section for mix questions. But whatever, I've made myself an accessory now ;-)
Besides saying the same thing I had already said, how so?

That's one thing I see on internet forums a lot, people saying the same things already said. I sometimes am guilty of doing the same thing on posts that are pages long, where I might have missed someone saying what I was in another way, but on this one? C'mon dude, there are only two replies above yours and you have added nothing to help this dude out.

Make "become a responsible poster on message boards" a new years' resolution, please. LOL

EDIT: and YES this would be a place to ask mix-related questions. One of the most important and crucial first steps a mastering guy does is critique mixes. You should know where to guide people in mixing before you can master!
Old 18th November 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
It's a good idea when mixing, to check your mix in mono and listen to hear if anything disappears. If so, you have phase issues and you then check the tracks that might be getting lost a bit and adjust them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
It's a good idea when mixing, to check your mix in mono and listen to hear if anything disappears. If so, you have phase issues and you then check the tracks that might be getting lost a bit and adjust them.
I know guys , but is there generally a rule to mixing drums in mono or panned to make it sound like it actually is in the room?

I know that most mixes are completely mono ready before they get send out, so when they play something on the radio and TV it still sounds good.

Sorry for making a post in the wrong section.

Moderators you can move this to the right section, I don't mind, I just thought it was the place for it.
Old 18th November 2009
  #7
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The bigger the mix's sound scape is, the more mono I tend to mix the drums.

An acoustic tune or a lightly orchestrated tune will have the drums harder panned but when there's tons of elements, I tend to keep everything except the room mics within the 10 o'clock-2 o'clock positions. I may hard pan the overheads, as well but it really does depend on how wide I want my guitars to feel.

The more mono the drums, the more stereo and wide everything hard panned will seem.
Old 18th November 2009
  #8
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It's pretty rare for drum mixes to be mono these days. I usually pan everything according to the drummer's perspective. I won't hard pan any toms though because they (especially floor tom) need the support of 2 speakers in the low end. For the most part, I hard pan the overheads (usually ORTF) and pan any close mics to match what the overheads hear.
Old 18th November 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Never1 View Post
The bigger the mix's sound scape is, the more mono I tend to mix the drums.

An acoustic tune or a lightly orchestrated tune will have the drums harder panned but when there's tons of elements, I tend to keep everything except the room mics within the 10 o'clock-2 o'clock positions. I may hard pan the overheads, as well but it really does depend on how wide I want my guitars to feel.

The more mono the drums, the more stereo and wide everything hard panned will seem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
It's pretty rare for drum mixes to be mono these days. I usually pan everything according to the drummer's perspective. I won't hard pan any toms though because they (especially floor tom) need the support of 2 speakers in the low end. For the most part, I hard pan the overheads (usually ORTF) and pan any close mics to match what the overheads hear.

VERY HELPFUL replies +1000
Old 19th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Besides saying the same thing I had already said, how so?

That's one thing I see on internet forums a lot, people saying the same things already said. I sometimes am guilty of doing the same thing on posts that are pages long, where I might have missed someone saying what I was in another way, but on this one? C'mon dude, there are only two replies above yours and you have added nothing to help this dude out.

Make "become a responsible poster on message boards" a new years' resolution, please. LOL

EDIT: and YES this would be a place to ask mix-related questions. One of the most important and crucial first steps a mastering guy does is critique mixes. You should know where to guide people in mixing before you can master!
Let me explain:

I read the OP's post, clicked "post reply", began typing my reply, did some other things, then finished my reply and submitted it.
While I was doing other things, you wrote your reply and posted it before me. If I hadn't interrupted my typing,
my reply might even have been the first one!

The only thing you could say against me is, that I could have edited or deleted my post afterwards. Ok, I admit didn't do that...

So you see, there's really no need to become unfriendly and I am not one of the legions of Franco-supplied-information-copycat-posters
you seem to run into so often.

Make "unbecome a jump-to-hasty-conclusions-poster on message boards" a new years' resolution, please. LOL
Old 19th November 2009
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

I am not a pro...but i do nice work! I really don't like mono drums and we're talking mostly overheads here....the OV's are the only real drum peices that are constantly showing up in the mix from beat to beat as mono or stereo - as most would agree on centering the kick and snare!

i like to pan my toms about 20% left (high) - 15%right(mid) - 60% right(low)

Overheads anywhere from 100% - 80% hard left and right

I like the perspective where the high hats are left and the ride is right! drummer perspective i beleive....and the toms follow logically....

cheers
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
It's pretty rare for drum mixes to be mono these days. I usually pan everything according to the drummer's perspective. I won't hard pan any toms though because they (especially floor tom) need the support of 2 speakers in the low end. For the most part, I hard pan the overheads (usually ORTF) and pan any close mics to match what the overheads hear.
Nigel Godrich's drum imaging is quite often mono, depending on the circumstance.

Listen to Beck's "Nausea" off of The Information.

Mono presentation of any instrument can be very satisfying, but it's always about context and the surrounding musical "environment."

Mono drums can sound HUGE, lest we all forget...

- c
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyp View Post
I am not a pro...but i do nice work! I really don't like mono drums and we're talking mostly overheads here....the OV's are the only real drum peices that are constantly showing up in the mix from beat to beat as mono or stereo - as most would agree on centering the kick and snare!

i like to pan my toms about 20% left (high) - 15%right(mid) - 60% right(low)

Overheads anywhere from 100% - 80% hard left and right

I like the perspective where the high hats are left and the ride is right! drummer perspective i beleive....and the toms follow logically....

cheers

Thanks a lot for your reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Nigel Godrich's drum imaging is quite often mono, depending on the circumstance.

Listen to Beck's "Nausea" off of The Information.

Mono presentation of any instrument can be very satisfying, but it's always about context and the surrounding musical "environment."

Mono drums can sound HUGE, lest we all forget...

- c
About to listen to it
Old 19th November 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korbes View Post
Make "unbecome a jump-to-hasty-conclusions-poster on message boards" a new years' resolution, please. LOL
You're right! I sincerely apologize and will make that a new years resolution for sooth!

I'll tell you what doesn't work for me: extreme pans and letting them sit there for the duration of the song. Slight panning and sometimes even automation (when something else in the mix might be fighting for space) works for me. I sometimes mix like I'm conducting traffic on a freeway and might have to move something a little out of the way for something else to get in the lane.
Old 20th November 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
You're right! I sincerely apologize and will make that a new years resolution for sooth!

I'll tell you what doesn't work for me: extreme pans and letting them sit there for the duration of the song. Slight panning and sometimes even automation (when something else in the mix might be fighting for space) works for me. I sometimes mix like I'm conducting traffic on a freeway and might have to move something a little out of the way for something else to get in the lane.

Good stuff man, I will def try this technique next time, it has just sparked about a dozen different ideas in my head when it comes to mixing.

Old 22nd November 2009
  #16
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Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Awesome. Now that I'm attempting to wear all hats, I'm more impressed with the Beatles now than I was when I wasn't aware of the engineering side of making music. Very very cool link. thumbsup
Off topic. Apologies.
(BTW, I always check my mixes summed to mono)
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