The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Mono is better than Stereo Studio Monitors
Old 14th August 2014
  #151
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

And what about headphones? I admit that I have never tried surround headphones, but I find the idea a bit questionable, anyone try them?

Also, positional processing has been around for a while. Roland's dimensional processors like the SDE330 can make sounds appear to be behind you, above you, etc. And somehow, with just two speakers in front of you, I've heard it work.

So much music is listened to on headphones, and we have two ears, I think two channel playback works fine.
Old 14th August 2014
  #152
nkf
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
But also, even if the mix is done perfectly, the playback system has to be set up properly to benefit, and this is much more difficult than setting up a stereo system.
For consumers it is easy, similar to stereo - you need some space to place the monitors. If you're talking about the production for surround it is a different story and you're right. But this has to be separated from each other.
A lot of gamers also have simple surround setups which work for them.
A surround field can be enjoyed even stepped outside of it - try it, you will be able to locate sounds surprisingly well. I think there is a lot of exaggeration going on describing surround applications.
In my studio I demonstrate this to sceptic people by letting them stepping out of the surround field powered by five ADAM S3A. In the recording and listening room I have five passive Dynaudio BM15 for surround monitoring and people are sitting or standing around freely in the surround field and I never had people complaining. Don't think about a 'sweet spot' being the only place for listening. In my understanding the whole thing with surround is to create a kind of artificial diffuse soundfield with elements standing out being quite directional. The balance between these is where the fun for me starts. The better the artificial soundfield is made, the better (hopefully) it blends into the 'natural' noise floor and room tones. This goes far beyond what can be delivered with stereo.
Old 14th August 2014
  #153
nkf
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
And what about headphones? I admit that I have never tried surround headphones, but I find the idea a bit questionable, anyone try them?

Also, positional processing has been around for a while. Roland's dimensional processors like the SDE330 can make sounds appear to be behind you, above you, etc. And somehow, with just two speakers in front of you, I've heard it work.

So much music is listened to on headphones, and we have two ears, I think two channel playback works fine.
I tried the AKG system and it didn't work for me. Roland's RSS and the abandoned Q-System is in my view a stereo add on (nice ones!) but cannot seen as surround.
Fraunhofer Institute, who developed the mp3 standard, have developed mp3surround (MPEG surround) with virtualized binaural playback.
MPEG Surround - Fraunhofer IIS
(I talked with the pictured Mr. Rose about this in person)
I think we will need (and get) a new file format one day that combines stereo, binaural and surround playback which automatically switches to the correct playback format depending on the player device.
Old 15th August 2014
  #154
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
And what about headphones? I admit that I have never tried surround headphones, but I find the idea a bit questionable, anyone try them?

Also, positional processing has been around for a while. Roland's dimensional processors like the SDE330 can make sounds appear to be behind you, above you, etc. And somehow, with just two speakers in front of you, I've heard it work.

So much music is listened to on headphones, and we have two ears, I think two channel playback works fine.
The Hughes Sound Retrieval System worked about the same. I still have mine. It is way better than Bob Carver's "Sonic Hologram" which had a very narrow window. This puppy works from anywhere in the room and spreads the instruments out as far as you would like and as deep as you would like. It can also have its effects added to an output file which will carry them and you will hear them when that file is played.
Old 16th August 2014
  #155
Lives for gear
 
roonsbane's Avatar
Sounds great said:
Quote:
But also, even if the mix is done perfectly, the playback system has to be set up properly to benefit, and this is much more difficult than setting up a stereo system.
This can be true in certain rooms, with certain wives (not mine), but when setup correctly it can be a far more enveloping experience. It is just "more" capable of translating space and imaging by its very nature. I really believe those who have not liked it were not hearing a nice, well setup system, or a mix done with no taste. I have certainly heard many those in mono, stereo, and surround recordings.
I don't use the center channel for music.
Cameron
Old 16th August 2014
  #156
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Most pop music isn't stereo. It is multi-channel mono with pan-pots.

Exactly.
Old 17th August 2014
  #157
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktadoussac View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Most pop music isn't stereo. It is multi-channel mono with pan-pots.
Exactly.
But doesn't that actually mimic reality?
Old 17th August 2014
  #158
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
But doesn't that actually mimic reality?
Depends on what you mean by "reality".

If you mean a bunch of musicians with headphones tracking in iso booths or between a couple of gobos, maybe not even playing on the same day, then isolated multi-track mono is the definition of popular music in modern times.

OTOH, if you mean a genuine ensemble performing together in a decent acoustical space, then multi pan-pot mono is a poor excuse for the kind of sound you would hear if you were actually present with both of your ears.
Old 17th August 2014
  #159
Deleted User
Guest
"If you mean a genuine ensemble performing together in a decent acoustical space" -- I would like to select from the best of various microphone and gear configurations. I my own case I haven't jumped on the bandwagon and acquired more than two channels of mic preamps and recorders -- but I have the choice of a pair of cardioid condenser microphones, which I can set up in any number of ways, including dual monaural, or one big lantern mic -- the c700a Josephson.

I think with two channels, and no mix bus, and no need to add the noise of summing amps and pan pots, I quite like the direct sound of my one big lantern mic. Even going into a sound devices SD700, or into the computer with a USBPre2, and no additional mic preamps, it sounds amazing. It's mono.
Old 17th August 2014
  #160
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
We are not born with the ability to localize sound. Young infants can only react but not localize (turn to) sounds. Near the middle of the first year infants learn to localize sounds in a left vs right plane. By 9 mos they learn to localize sounds in 3 dimensions-including up or down (ie they can turn immediately/ directly to a sound regardless of where it is.

Bill, MD (pediatrician)
I was finally able to ask this to a pediatrician friend.
She confirmed my anecdotal experience (three kids) : somewhere around 2-3 months there are clear signs of babies turning towards sound sources.
Younger than two months it becomes difficult to observe the difference between a learnt ability and a "born with" ability.

Anyway, give of take a few national/continental differences, or differences between studies/tests/interpretation of those test, we can still safely conclude that sound localization in the natural world is a given.

Sound localization on stereo playback is learnt. Some people hear a convincing sound stage, with real width and depth. (like me). Some hear the stage bigger than the speakers separation (not me)
Some people claim to hear height (not me)
Some people hear sounds on the left and sounds on the right, or are actively seeking for that. Stereo has a completely dual-mono-like meaning for them.

Other people just listen for tonal differences, and are not bothered by the stereo experience at all.
Old 17th August 2014
  #161
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Depends on what you mean by "reality".

If you mean a bunch of musicians with headphones tracking in iso booths or between a couple of gobos, maybe not even playing on the same day, then isolated multi-track mono is the definition of popular music in modern times.

OTOH, if you mean a genuine ensemble performing together in a decent acoustical space, then multi pan-pot mono is a poor excuse for the kind of sound you would hear if you were actually present with both of your ears.
Indeed. There still seems confusion about 12 discrete (real) sound sources panned from left to right, and a two ch speaker system playing back those 12 panpotted sources.

The human ear hears 12 phantom images. Our brain convinces us that they are floating somewhere between the speakers.

That is something enterily different from 12 real sources. Also tonally, as diffraction around the head/nose will be completely different in both cases.
Old 19th August 2014
  #162
Lives for gear
 

I guess there's a few people here who, like me, can actually remember the transition from mono to stereo recording. I know the first time I heard playback from a stereo recording during a live concert rehearsal, somebody spoke casually near to the stereo pair, behind and to one side, and on replay through headphones when soundchecking I whipped my head round to see who it was who had unexpectedly come up behind me. These days, my ears are so blase about stereo that I doubt whether I'd react in the same way. And of course today's up and coming engineers may experience mono as some kind of new experience, given that stereo is very much the norm.
Old 19th August 2014
  #163
Lives for gear
 
Grant Ransom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightSide View Post
STEREO: A MISUNDERSTANDING.

Well he got the title right.
Yep. Another great paper gleefully demonstrating bias over science without any awareness of the fact.
Old 19th August 2014
  #164
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozpeter View Post
I guess there's a few people here who, like me, can actually remember the transition from mono to stereo recording. I know the first time I heard playback from a stereo recording during a live concert rehearsal, somebody spoke casually near to the stereo pair, behind and to one side, and on replay through headphones when soundchecking I whipped my head round to see who it was who had unexpectedly come up behind me. These days, my ears are so blase about stereo that I doubt whether I'd react in the same way. And of course today's up and coming engineers may experience mono as some kind of new experience, given that stereo is very much the norm.
I, too remember the emergence of the new technology. It was magic. My first stereo amp was a nice Leak with about 8 watts to a channel. The spaciousness of stereo was a vast improvement over mono. Instruments had places in the sound field.
Old 19th August 2014
  #165
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya View Post
I say, anyone who thinks mono is better than stereo should commit to it! The rest of us will clean up on the business you all lose as a result of your misguided dogma.
Monochrome Recordings seems to have accepted the challenge.
Old 19th August 2014
  #166
Deleted User
Guest
I have an example of a radio, or ghetto blaster, that isn't exactly sonic excellence, but it effectively cancels out the panoramic effect of positioning instruments across a sonic stage -- since the darn speakers are so close together. Even if the sound is a tad boomy, I find it sounds good on most FM stations.

DC011 Worksite Radio/Charger | DEWALT Tools
Old 19th August 2014
  #167
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Monochrome Recordings seems to have accepted the challenge.
Huh?
From the link:
The producer also says that all sessions are recorded in stereo in the digital domain using a pair of Neumann SDC's through Grace pre-amplification.
Old 19th August 2014
  #168
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
Huh?
From the link:
The producer also says that all sessions are recorded in stereo in the digital domain using a pair of Neumann SDC's through Grace pre-amplification.
It was said "offline" that they were using an Ampex 351 Full-Track mono 1/4" tape machine. I guess the article contradicts that (but on re-read it appears the stereo LPCM is merely a backup).
Old 19th August 2014
  #169
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Monochrome Recordings seems to have accepted the challenge.
I wonder how many of each 100 pressing run they will sell and how long they will be in business. Mono recordings is not a crowded field, for a reason.
Old 19th August 2014
  #170
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktadoussac View Post
I have an example of a radio, or ghetto blaster, that isn't exactly sonic excellence, but it effectively cancels out the panoramic effect of positioning instruments across a sonic stage -- since the darn speakers are so close together. Even if the sound is a tad boomy, I find it sounds good on most FM stations.

DC011 Worksite Radio/Charger | DEWALT Tools
This old GE Superadio is a mono champ. Amazon.com: GE 72887 Superadio III Portable AM/FM Radio: Electronics

But, you are too late. It is out of stock. The RCA look alike is a dog.
Old 19th August 2014
  #171
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I wonder how many of each 100 pressing run they will sell and how long they will be in business.
I have a suspicion profit isn't the primary focus here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Mono recordings is not a crowded field, for a reason.
Very niche, agreed, but it does not make it any less interesting.

If the performances are stellar, the carrier and format is less of a concern.
Old 19th August 2014
  #172
Gear Nut
 
NathanShirley's Avatar
 

I don't know, LPs came back. Next mono and then who knows, maybe people will again rediscover the superiority of wax cylinders?? I personally would take tin cans and string over electrified headphones anyday.
Old 19th August 2014
  #173
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanShirley View Post
I don't know, LPs came back. Next mono and then who knows, maybe people will again rediscover the superiority of wax cylinders?? I personally would take tin cans and string over electrified headphones anyday.
LP's never left.
Old 20th August 2014
  #174
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
The RCA look alike is a dog.
yuck yuck yuck

Old 20th August 2014
  #175
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Mono also never left.
Old 20th August 2014
  #176
Lives for gear
 
Grant Ransom's Avatar
 

Right
Old 20th August 2014
  #177
Gear Nut
 
NathanShirley's Avatar
 

And wax cylinders never REALLY left either, if you want to be that literal.
Old 24th August 2014
  #178
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Another example of the great use of stereo, even if it was assembled. How could one make such a song with this kind of impact without the use of the stereo field? I don't see how.

Check out this video, put on your stereo headphones (or speakers) and enjoy!

Old 8th September 2014
  #179
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Without stereo there is no heaven!

Old 8th September 2014
  #180
Well... something to think about, especially in this new modern age we're in, is that as a rule you can expect that playback systems may well be dreadful-- half a set of earbuds, the microscopical speakers on an iPhone, along with whatever passes for the usual suspects... and so with a nice balanced mono mix, it WILL sound gorgeous wherever it ends up.

I have been thinking alot about this... and that's where I end up.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump