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Loss of quality when converting to mono from stereo DAW Software
Old 11th June 2013
Gear Maniac
LeoRapture's Avatar

Loss of quality when converting to mono from stereo

For some odd reason, Native Instruments hasn't yet implemented a way to export sounds in mono. I make beats exclusively in Maschine, and when i go to mix, or send a song out to mix, everyone bitches at me for sending them a bunch of stereo files. Now, I know how to convert stereo tracks to mono in Pro Tools, but my question is, will I be losing anything, quality wise, dynamically? Obviously they might be a littler softer sounding, but I'm not as worried about that. My question is: Will the mix sound the same as it did when it was in stereo?
Old 11th June 2013
no it wont. some producers actually mix in mono to hear any flaws that might be in the mix. but for what you want todo i imagine it wouldn't be that much degradation.
Old 11th June 2013
Lives for gear
If you think they will be softer sounding then the mix will not sound the same. I'm not trying to be smart ass, but you may have something hitting a comp threshold, that can affect balance. It also depend on pan laws, a lot of stuff that we don't know.

So I say yes. Changes.
Old 11th June 2013
Lives for gear

Yes, it may result in less quality, or a different sound.

It depends on if it's really stereo or just dual mono (the actual sound) and if the former, what it actually sounds like collapsed to mono (phase correlation). Especially with samplers where a lot of instrument sounds have exaggerated stereo images and very poor phase correlation.

Use your ears. If a track is really stereo, leave it stereo. If it's just mono that came out of two outputs, get rid of one... unless it has stereo FX printed on it where the above might still apply. Any phase meter will tell you right away if the same signal is on both sides... if you can't hear it.

But yeah, if you're sending the mix guy a bunch of dual mono tracks, don't do that. It's a waste of upload / download time and a lot of unnecessary housekeeping. If he has any sense he'll split them and toss one of their channels anyway. My guess is he's complaining (as would I) because he doesn't want to keep doing that.
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