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Mono is better than Stereo Studio Monitors
Old 30th July 2014
  #61
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whestworld's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
I just worked with a top opera voice. He has those recorings, not in the youtube facsimile, but on original discs.
He also has a collection of ancient/old record players.

He swears he never heard any stereo reproduction that was as tangible, physical as these old recordings on his mono sources.
I believe him.

Does that mean these are superior in every way to stereo ?
Of course not !

But in a few areas they are.

That is the point many are failing to see.

If you really do not want to have an open mind or ear about this, it is only your loss. There is something to be learnt here.

One of the easy things to get is, the phantom mono image sucks. Tonally.
And there is no way around that.
Yannick

KEL was saying that there are no stereo point sources because YOU said that a Grand Piano was a stereo point source. I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding.

Also if you find that the phantom image sucks (TONALLY) then I suggest you buy a pair of ATC active monitors I've never had a problem. I own 3 pairs, different model sizes. The phantom images are VERY VERY strong, tonally pretty spot on depending on the recording and they have dimension. That is the great thing about stereo when done properly.

As for the top opera singer you worked with...that's like asking a violinist to mix the string section - you'll end up with it all centred around 500hz! I can't see how a top opera singer has any more credentials than anyone else on this forum. The problem as I see it from his point of view is that he hears in 'singular' point sources. If he is on stage he is hearing the performance as individual point sources. This is probably why he prefers mono.

I have no idea what he listens to at home but I find that the majority of domestic loudspeakers (not pro-audio monitors) are unable to reproduce phantom images properly, their location in the soundstage and any phase/ eq processing applied to those images.

I have a question for you.
I how would you place a Jazz septet in a mono recording so you are able to properly hear everyones performance?
Old 30th July 2014
  #62
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I think there is confusion between stereo recording and stereo reproduction recordings we buy?

Take a Sine Wave, let us call him Ricky!

Ricky wants his photo taken for a modeling competition. He hires two photographers, Mr Mono and Mr Stereo.

Mr Mono takes a simple picture of Ricky while Mr Stereo sets up two cameras and takes Ricky's picture from two positions simultaneous.

Ricky holds up Mr Mono's picture with one hand then holds up Mr Stereo's two pictures in either hand.

It is much easier to see Mr Mono's picture because Ricky's eyes are focused on one position but it is impossible to see Mr Stereo's two photographs at the same time, Ricky's eyes are moving continuously left to right as Ricky tries to decide which photo he should pick? After a while Ricky's eyes get fatigued and Ricky stops looking at the two pictures.

But Ricky has an idea. He kindly asks Mr Stereo to layer the two photos on top of each other using photoshop.

Sadly the result was all blurred, but it looked cool.

In the end Ricky decides to enter Mr Mono's photo and wins the modeling competition. This put Ricky in the public domain and it was not long before allegations of historic sensory crimes were published in the tabloids. Ricky was found guilt of 6000 counts of assaulting the publics hearing. In a statement released by Ricky's legal team, Ricky states "I did not realise dubstep caused such an offense, I am deeply sorry to all my victims."

Old 30th July 2014
  #63
KEL
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Analogy ricky story is cute. Two photos and eyeballs different than how ears work, no?
Old 30th July 2014
  #64
KEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whestworld View Post
Yannick

KEL was saying that there are no stereo point sources because YOU said that a Grand Piano was a stereo point source. I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding.
Actually I quoted the article and made an attempt at a couple funny comments. In no way was it a response to anyone's posts .
Old 30th July 2014
  #65
KEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Ok, point me to ONE stereo sound source in nature. One that has two sound sources and a phantom image.

You can view a piano as a wide source, or a gazillion point sources, but NOT a stereo source.
well, first of all I was quoting the article then making a couple cheesy jokes.

You are more than welcome to label sounds however you want and have your opinion about stereo vs mono. I really don't care. My job has been to capture musicians, singers, TV show talkers, Nat sounds etc.. Then I mix and present those sounds however I feel is best given that the delivery and consumption of those rendered products is typically a "stereo" file, played back on systems with two or more speakers; car, headphones, TVs, stereo system, earbuds, live sound system. However I decide to capture a sound is up to me, whether it's one mic then placed in a "stereo" field at mix time or two mics capturing a sound(s) then still placed in a stereo field at mix time.

I think a lot more credit to how well something ultimately turns out has been attributed to stereo vs mono techniques or mixes. In my opinion more credit goes to the source primarily, and then the person capturing and finally mixing. I simply want to like the piece. Sometimes I don't mind being made aware of the process but ultimately I don't want to hear the process of recording.
Old 30th July 2014
  #66
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roonsbane's Avatar
KEL said:
Quote:
"It is important to understand that there are no stereo sound sources. From any given position in space, all sound sources are monophonic"
I am not sure why anyone who who has ever sat around a piano with their fingers not in there ears while someone else played it would ever suggest this. Clearly sound comes from all around a piano. Just like it comes from various parts of a bassoon, harp, guitar etc. etc. etc. It is actually amazing to sit in the bell of a piano while a great pianist plays for hours and listen to how the sound comes from everywhere around the piano. Indeed certain single notes jump out at you from a specific side of the piano you would necessarily predict. Besides that, the sound then bounces off of every boundary around that source and builds a series of colored reflections that our mind decodes as being in a space. It does this in a way far beyond "mono". Indeed, "space" is the thing that I miss the most when I listen to the Beatles albums in mono. Those glorious sounding spaces just collapse in mono.
Cameron
Old 30th July 2014
  #67
KEL
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roonsbane, just to clarify, that was a quote from the article the OP posted.
Old 30th July 2014
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEL View Post
Analogy ricky story is cute. Two photos and eyeballs different than how ears work, no?
They both convert frequencies into electrical signals. So NO they are no different.

Some people can hear light and see sound, it is called Synesthesia.
Old 30th July 2014
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roonsbane View Post
KEL said:

I am not sure why anyone who who has ever sat around a piano with their fingers not in there ears while someone else played it would ever suggest this. Clearly sound comes from all around a piano. Just like it comes from various parts of a bassoon, harp, guitar etc. etc. etc. It is actually amazing to sit in the bell of a piano while a great pianist plays for hours and listen to how the sound comes from everywhere around the piano. Indeed certain single notes jump out at you from a specific side of the piano you would necessarily predict. Besides that, the sound then bounces off of every boundary around that source and builds a series of colored reflections that our mind decodes as being in a space. It does this in a way far beyond "mono". Indeed, "space" is the thing that I miss the most when I listen to the Beatles albums in mono. Those glorious sounding spaces just collapse in mono.
Cameron
I once recorded a very old and rare piano which belonged to some fella whose name escapes me for the BBC. I only had one Microphone and a two track tape machine and it sounded fantastic on air, FM too....

So many people asked me for the technique.
Old 30th July 2014
  #70
KEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBackDrop View Post
They both convert frequencies into electrical signals. So NO they are no different.
heh
Old 30th July 2014
  #71
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whestworld's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBackDrop View Post
I once recorded a very old and rare piano which belonged to some fella whose name escapes me for the BBC. I only had one Microphone and a two track tape machine and it sounded fantastic on air, FM too....

So many people asked me for the technique.
I've done the same but with 2 mics and not for the BBC. I also got the same response. This thread is getting into nowhere land !

Let's face it. Some of us prefer stereo and others prefer to have one ear chopped off and record on a mono recorder with a single mic. As long as we get to pay the mortgage at the end of the month we're all equal
Old 30th July 2014
  #72
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roonsbane's Avatar
Got it KEL! Sorry I missed that.
Cameron
Old 30th July 2014
  #73
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Bob Olhsson said:
Quote:
Traditional recording consoles always had a mono switch in the monitor section. I can't tell you how many times I hit the mono switch and every musician in the room asked "What did you do? It sounds so much better!"
If this is as you say Bob let me ask, why didn't you just master it to be released in mono? Surely if it was so obvious to so many folks, the majority would have been released in mono???? This just doesn't seem to add up at all. It seems to me if it was so obvious that mono sounds better, that is certainly where we would be today. It would certainly solve the problem of soooooo many folks not knowing how to place speakers. One in the kitchen, one in the living room! Ouch!
Cameron
Old 30th July 2014
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Traditional recording consoles always had a mono switch in the monitor section.
Checking for mono-compatibility is very important for audio that will be broadcast to AM/MW or TV.

Quote:
I can't tell you how many times I hit the mono switch and every musician in the room asked "What did you do? It sounds so much better!"
Almost certainly because they are off-center and not hearing the stereo mix properly.

Same reason I prefer to run monaural sound reinforcement systems. I don't see the point of "stereo" SR when only the people sitting in the center seats will really hear "stereo" while everyone else hears mainly what is on THEIR SIDE of the speakers.
Old 30th July 2014
  #75
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[QUOTE=Richard Crowley;10300539

<snip>

I don't see the point of "stereo" SR when only the people sitting in the center seats will really hear "stereo" while everyone else hears mainly what is on THEIR SIDE of the speakers.[/QUOTE]

I guess this is why most amp'ed concerts have mono on each side. I know in club gigs the bands broadcast mono on each side for this reason.


However, being alive when the transition from mono to stereo was made I can tell you I much preferred the stereo, and still do whether I sit centered or not. Perfect reproduction is not possible; better is. Other that Good Vibrations , I like stereo.
Old 31st July 2014
  #76
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Thank goodness Norman Granz recorded all the songbooks with Ella, Louis, Nelson Riddle orch, and the Getz, Gilberto etc in glorious stereo.

Those are still the most prized recordings in my collection.
Old 31st July 2014
  #77
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Music fans like myself love real stereo. Most musicians don't listen the same way we music fans do.
Old 31st July 2014
  #78
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We also must not forget that listening to stereo is a learned skill.

Any kid below 4 when walking into a room with a highend hifi playing a great stereo recording (ghosh, those speakers really disappear !) will walk straight up to one of the speakers and begin hitting it.

Its here, its here, here is the noise coming from !
Old 31st July 2014
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
We also must not forget that listening to stereo is a learned skill.

Any kid below 4 when walking into a room with a highend hifi playing a great stereo recording (ghosh, those speakers really disappear !) will walk straight up to one of the speakers and begin hitting it.

Its here, its here, here is the noise coming from !
I don't think listening in stereo is a learned skill. It is just another part the things we do. My children have been listening to live and recorded music since the day they were born. To them it just music. I don't listen to my playback system and put on a 'different' pair of ears. It is just listening.

Now... training your ear/brain system to mix on headphones successfully is a skill, and one that I will probably NEVER master!
Old 31st July 2014
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Any kid below 4 when walking into a room with a highend hifi playing a great stereo recording (ghosh, those speakers really disappear !) will walk straight up to one of the speakers and begin hitting it.

Its here, its here, here is the noise coming from !
But that behavior of the child might have been biased a bit by his earlier household experiences...e.g. his dad seemed to have some awfully important big things in the room that he was constantly being warned not to scratch. (You could try playing a "find the hidden noise" blindfold game with him.)

Has nobody in an idle moment ever teased and tormented the pet cat by playing back a recording of cat-meows or sudden dog-growls. What was the reaction and focus direction of the little creature?. Did pan-potted mono suffice to fool him, or did it need real 2-channel stereo? :-)
Old 31st July 2014
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whestworld View Post
I don't think listening in stereo is a learned skill. It is just another part the things we do. My children have been listening to live and recorded music since the day they were born. To them it just music. I don't listen to my playback system and put on a 'different' pair of ears. It is just listening.

Now... training your ear/brain system to mix on headphones successfully is a skill, and one that I will probably NEVER master!
Stereo is learnt.

Up and Down is learnt.

Potty Training is learnt! lol
Old 31st July 2014
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosajjao View Post
The only way to truly enjoy the stereo experience is to sit in a perfectly measured listening position, such as how a mixing engineer positions him or herself in front of the monitors. Otherwise you're getting an inaccurate stereo image. I think the consumer market has been brainwashed and confused enough to not realize this. Mono would be better, the same mono signal being played on two speakers, for just enjoying music would work fine.
No, no, and no. And did I mention, no?


There you go, quadraphonic.
Old 31st July 2014
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosajjao View Post

I'll put it this way, if you were in a bar and the speakers were playing in dual mono (both speakers each receiving L & R signals) and no one told you, you would not be able to tell the difference. It wouldn't even occur to you, you might even enjoy it more, but you would not notice.
Did you write that ridiculous article too?
Old 31st July 2014
  #84
KEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post

Its here, its here, here is where the noise coming from !
Same thing I say to guitar players on my live sound gigs
Old 31st July 2014
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Traditional recording consoles always had a mono switch in the monitor section. I can't tell you how many times I hit the mono switch and every musician in the room asked "What did you do? It sounds so much better!" Pop music usually employs multi-mono and not real stereo. And FYI, late '50s 3 track Elvis Presley records were recorded live and probably employed more real stereo that DSOTM!
Bob, I usually agree with most of your posts, but not on this one. I think it is a matter of definitions, what is "real stereo"?

On ANY system of sound reproduction (in other words, not hearing the sounds live in the room without any electrical enhancement) it would then have to be argued it is not real stereo. I have always thought of stereo reproduction as a collection of mono sounds. Those three track Presley recordings are still multiple mono sources of sounds arranged in a stereo field. Because it was captured that way live and laid down on tape in that manner, does that make it real stereo? To be truly real stereo, wouldn't one have to be in the room at the time and experience the natural effects of the room, reflections and all?

Also I have never found that hitting the mono button made anything sound better. I find that the sound stage just collapses and makes it more difficult to pick out individual sounds that are going on. And the sound is never as interesting. Of course that is just my experience and opinion.
Old 31st July 2014
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBackDrop View Post
Stereo is learnt.

Up and Down is learnt.

Potty Training is learnt! lol
We don't learn how to hear - we hear

The meaning of Up and down is learnt ( a baby will try and go up as part of its development to stand up)

Potty training is learnt

Lol
Old 31st July 2014
  #87
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I'm with Sounds Great on this one and "ridiculous" is the right word. The fact of the matter is, unless we have a hearing issue, just by waking up in the morning we perceive sounds at least stereo and possibly using spacial cues in surround. We would hear the environment around the players on that stage in a bar. We would also perceive the sound stage of the instruments on the stage itself. It would all have very little to do with "mono". Even if a support sound system is in mono, never in a million years would this be a "mono" listening experience. How many others ways can I point out that this particular argument is "ridiculous"
Cameron
Old 31st July 2014
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Bob, I usually agree with most of your posts, but not on this one. I think it is a matter of definitions, what is "real stereo"?

On ANY system of sound reproduction (in other words, not hearing the sounds live in the room without any electrical enhancement) it would then have to be argued it is not real stereo. I have always thought of stereo reproduction as a collection of mono sounds. Those three track Presley recordings are still multiple mono sources of sounds arranged in a stereo field. Because it was captured that way live and laid down on tape in that manner, does that make it real stereo? To be truly real stereo, wouldn't one have to be in the room at the time and experience the natural effects of the room, reflections and all?

Also I have never found that hitting the mono button made anything sound better. I find that the sound stage just collapses and makes it more difficult to pick out individual sounds that are going on. And the sound is never as interesting. Of course that is just my experience and opinion.
Rob

Totally agreed
Your last paragraph is exactly what I wrote a while back. How can you place 15 instruments in a mono soundfield to make it listenable? Take any jazz septet and record them for mono playback! It's hard enough trying to decipher Charlie Parkers work....and that's mono !! If it was stereo they'd be space !
Old 31st July 2014
  #89
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One only needs to watch a cat in the backyard to realize stereo is not learned. As that cat hears every sound around them, their ears will turn to follow every bird, leaf, barking dog etc. etc. This is the farthest thing from mono. I am seeking to recreate some of these perceptions in my recordings.

So all of you monotians, have you put your money where your mouth is? How are all of your return clients feeling about all of your mono recordings these days? You must be like a recording god to them!
Cameron
Old 31st July 2014
  #90
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What amazes me is that well recorded mono can have depth on a good system
Where are the spatial clues coming from?
What is our brains DSP perceiving?
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