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mono tracks in daw Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 23rd April 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

mono tracks in daw

Hi.

What is the deal with no mono tracks in some daws?

Studio one, cubase, protools lets you create a mono track.

Plugin developers like waves even provide mono plugins. I think uad does too.

Reaper lets you not create a mono track, but some threads here say that is something you don't have to care about. You can adjust the with of each track and sum the two channels. But is there a difference in the place in the stereo field or is it only a audible difference because summing two tracks increases gain.

In sonar you have the option to switch between mono and stereo, nothing changes but the loudness.

I dont get the whole thing.
Old 23rd April 2017
  #2
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brother85 View Post
Reaper lets you not create a mono track
Multiple methods of creating and working with mono tracks and sources in Reaper.

(1) Drag in a stereo source file, right-click on the audio item on the timeline and select "Item settings" in the contextual menu followed by either the:
"Take channel mode: Mono (downmix)" option (I have assigned F3 shortcut)
OR
"Take channel mode: Mono (left)" option which uses the left channel of the file only (I have assigned F1 shortcut)
OR
"Take channel mode: Mono (right)" option which uses the right channel of the file only (I have assigned F2 shortcut)

The result is a mono item on a mono track in the timeline.

In the tracks output routing (click the track's "routing" button), select a single output track assignment from the Audio Hardware Outputs drop down (e.g. Channel 1). Reaper lists the output assignments in groups first (i.e. Channel 1/Channel 2, Channel 3/Channel 4, et cetera) and further down that drop down the Mono assignments (i.e. Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Channel 4, et cetera) are listed.


(2) On a track, right click on the record button and select:
"Record Input (force format)" and "Record: Input (force mono)"

(3) On a track, right click on the record button and select:
"Input: Mono"

The result will be a Mono audio item recorded on to a Mono track in the timeline. Follow instructions from (1) for mono hardware output assignments.


(4) On a track, right click on the record button and select the:
"Record Output (force format)" option followed by the "Record: output (mono, latency compensated) option
OR
"Record Output (force format)" option followed by the "Record: output (mono)" option

The result is a recording of the mono output of the mono track and placed on the same track. The source file is available in the default file directory as specified in Reaper's settings (for importing to another application or on to another track in the Project).
Old 23rd April 2017
  #3
Here for the gear
 

ok, that seems to be a lot to do. back to my main question. how can it be that some daws don´t "need" mono tracks. if i mix a song with 4 mono audio tracks and do nothing in a daw like reaper or live, simply load them in mix them and bounce the result. A little panning, applying fx, all routed to a stereo mixbus. and then i do the same thing with a daw that provides mono tracks. will the result be different?
Old 24th April 2017
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Seriously, no mono tracks? The fvck are these developers thinking?
Old 24th April 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brother85 View Post
ok, that seems to be a lot to do. back to my main question. how can it be that some daws don´t "need" mono tracks. if i mix a song with 4 mono audio tracks and do nothing in a daw like reaper or live, simply load them in mix them and bounce the result. A little panning, applying fx, all routed to a stereo mixbus. and then i do the same thing with a daw that provides mono tracks. will the result be different?
If we take an example with mono material placed at stereo track in Reaper, an equal signal level contributing to L and R channels at the track is being taken from this mono item.
Other DAWs may have "real" mono tracks, but the same thing happens there.. just a bit later in the signal chain, because this mono track is also contributing to stereo bus with equal levels from each channel, unless you twist the pan knob from center.

Other thing is, sometimes it's feasible to avoid that center build-up, but this is bit different topic, which is about so called pan-law. Basically it is about two things, how much attenuation is applied to center panned tracks to compensate for that level increase and also about used curve (pan position/level).

This can be different among DAWs.. Reaper is pretty flexible with that, by default it doesn't attenuate (eg. 0dB law) and if you move pan-pot, then it just gradually attenuates one channel, but you can change it either globally at project level or at track level, when you right click to any pan-pot, it's possible to override that behavior and in center position it can have arbitrary attenuation (although typical levels are rather -3, -4.5, -6dB).

Generally this only makes sense to tweak (IMO), if you're exchanging material or replicate mixes from another DAW/console, which has different pan-law. When you mix everything in one DAW from the scratch.. you naturally compensate for that with fader level. Only thing, which is sometimes feasible to do in Reaper, is per-track switching to stereo pan mode, if you're panning some stereo sources.. that way, if you twist pan knob, channels are gradually blended together, so panning feels more natural. If you switch to that mode, another width knob appears there, so you can further tailor track spread in stereo space.

So only remaining concern for missing mono tracks there is increased processing load with some plugins, which detects track channel count from DAW. That's why some vendors has either some mono switches in plugin UI, which forces one channel processing or two variants of their plugins.
Otherwise there aren't any issue with that.. AFAIK. And it has also some benefits.. for example in Reaper you can mix and match stereo and mono items at the same track.. similarly if you add any insert effect during mixing process, which mangles with stereo information (like delay or chorus), you don't have to care whether it was added to mono or stereo track and what about another track inserts after it.. tracks are simply always stereo at least.

Maybe it will help to clarify it,

Michal
Old 24th April 2017
  #6
Deleted User
Guest
Pan law doesn't matter unless the absolute gain is set before pan is dynamically altered and then not corrected.

If pan is fixed and the fader position is adjusted afterwards, then it doesn't matter what the pan law is.
Old 24th April 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Weird. I never heard that about Reaper.
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