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Why aren't most CDs these days mixed in mono? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 28th December 2010
  #1
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Horking My Lunch's Avatar
 

Why aren't most CDs these days mixed in mono?

I feel like you can get a really powerful mixes in mono. Take The Beatles or The Beach Boys, the mono mixes (imho) sound WAY better than the stereo. They feel a lot less vacant.

Has anybody made mono recordings in recent years?
Old 28th December 2010
  #2
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Sigfried Chicken's Avatar
They sound better only because the early albums were recorded on early multitracks that did not allow for more than 3 or 4 tracks. As a result, everything got panned hard left, right and center. This did not sound natural.

By Abbey Road, EMI got modern 8 tracks and it was possible to make great stereo recordings that would not have been matched in mono.
Old 28th December 2010
  #3
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Because stereo sounds way cooler.
Old 28th December 2010
  #4
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StratSvante's Avatar
 

because you listen in stereo?
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
I feel like you can get a really powerful mixes in mono. Take The Beatles or The Beach Boys, the mono mixes (imho) sound WAY better than the stereo. They feel a lot less vacant.

Has anybody made mono recordings in recent years?
I think you will find you are in the minority. There is just so much more you can do in stereo
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I agree about the Beatles (and others) however -- "Ticket to Ride" sounds even more glorious in mono
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
Why aren't most CDs these days mixed in mono?
Why aren't Most?

Quote:
Take The Beatles or The Beach Boys, the mono mixes (imho) sound WAY better than the stereo.
Many songs in the 'transitional period' were recorded with the intention of mixing them into mono. The stereo mixes of these songs were often an 'afterthought' and suffered.

Some of the multis from these albums are Out There and if you check them out, you can see that on a 4 track recording, the Entire Band (guitars and drums) was on track 1, for example, but the bass was on track 2. Panning each one left and right just sounds stupid because it is so unbalanced.

Panning them up the middle is just back to mono. To do stereo right with 4 tracks, you have to be planning to do stereo from the get-go.

Once people actually started thinking in terms of utilizing the stereo field, and had enough tracks to span that field, the stereo mixes started equaling or beating the mono mixes.

I always check my mixes in one-speaker mono. And I think you can learn a lot from listening to the old mono mixes, and trying them yourself, but it's kind of like swinging a bat with the metal donut on it: Putting yourself under an artificial handicap as a discipline.

You take the donut off before you step up to the plate.
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
Ouch! I thought I could sneak a bite from the donut!
Old 29th December 2010
  #9
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Character.ofLand's Avatar
 

Panning in mono lts you hear where the track will sit, Mono is very important, but if i told you all my mono secrets they would not be secrets.
Old 30th December 2010
  #10
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I always mix in mono and then pan to taste. I'm trying to finish recording an ep, I might just make it mono to SHAKE THINGS UP A BIT.

So I take it there hasn't been any recent albums solely in mono ?
Old 30th December 2010
  #11
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why aren't most televisions these days strictly black & white?
Old 30th December 2010
  #12
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skythemusic's Avatar
Mono rules
Old 30th December 2010
  #13
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Horking My Lunch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
why aren't most televisions these days strictly black & white?
That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm sure there are bands that have at least considered it because they enjoy it stylistically. I was just making an inquiry.
Old 30th December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm sure there are bands that have at least considered it because they enjoy it stylistically. I was just making an inquiry.
I doubt it
Old 30th December 2010
  #15
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John Melloncamp's latest is mono, isn't it? I think it was field-recorded with an antique mono tape recorder and one mic, and everyone just gathered 'round. Like the old days.
Old 30th December 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm sure there are bands that have at least considered it because they enjoy it stylistically. I was just making an inquiry.
some people enjoy black and white photography stylistically

most find it limited, even as they admire the skill of those in the past who dealt with the limitations

few modern filmmakers would choose to shoot a film today in B & W, except as a gimmick for a 'retro' vibe

in fact, the common reaction would probably be that it was an affectation

I think the comparison is apt!
Old 30th December 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
I feel like you can get a really powerful mixes in mono. Take The Beatles or The Beach Boys, the mono mixes (imho) sound WAY better than the stereo. They feel a lot less vacant.

Has anybody made mono recordings in recent years?
Those original mono recordings sound way better because the mono mixes were the ones that the band and producer slaved over. The stereo mixes were often left to an assistant engineer to whip out in an hour.

There are several great books on the Beatles recording experiences (Here, There and Everywhere is a must read) and the technology dictated different priorities, ie. AM radio was mono and that's where the hits were. Plus, the above mentioned limitations in multitrack were a big part of it as well.
Old 30th December 2010
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

most cds aren't mixed in mono because most people don't want to listen in mono
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
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LeeYoo's Avatar
 

God gave us two ears. Why not use both of them.
True stereo recordings are amazing. The ones with just two microphones and no extra gear to #uck it up.
Unfortunately we have gotten used to two mono channels, and people telling us that that is stereo.
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
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Okay, as I've pointed out before, I'm just a dumb folksinger. Isn't one mic on one source mono? So, isn't two mics on two sources, say guitar and vocals, two mono tracks? If you have one mic on every noise in the room, ain't that a bunch of mono tracks? Even if you have two different mics at different placements on a cab, ain't that two mono tracks?

I wait with baited breath...
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
I doubt "Dark Side of the Moon" would have as much of an impact on the listener in mono as it does in stereo. There are so many sounds that pan left and right and create a great "atmosphere".
Old 30th December 2010
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Goat View Post
Okay, as I've pointed out before, I'm just a dumb folksinger. Isn't one mic on one source mono? So, isn't two mics on two sources, say guitar and vocals, two mono tracks? If you have one mic on every noise in the room, ain't that a bunch of mono tracks? Even if you have two different mics at different placements on a cab, ain't that two mono tracks?

I wait with baited breath...
Ed, guys like you just have a one track mind!
Old 30th December 2010
  #23
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T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

I think a return to mono would be very apropos for the current popular musical climate.

How many clueless fu#ks are walking around with just one earbud in or listening to their moronic "music" on a cellphone speaker?

Hell, I think it's the perfect time for mono! No one but me and a few other peeps even care about such esoteric things like surround sound... and since stereo is really only good for spatial dimension, artistic panning of instruments and depth of field in recording, maybe we have too much concern for quality in audio playback...

I say take the current crop of over compressed, auto-tuned, everything mixed to maximum volume drivel and feed it back to the peasents in a way that even they can understand. Treat the human ear(s) like a singular butt-like orifice to the brain!

One man, one speaker!

It's the new thing! YEAH!




heh
Old 30th December 2010
  #24
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Old Goat is right.

People that use mono tracks can never make a true stereo recording.

Old Goat must hear a binaural recording.

Try Wiki.
Old 30th December 2010
  #25
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robstercraw's Avatar
 

i caught mono once......and i drew a moustache on her face in the yearbook picture.
Old 30th December 2010
  #26
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T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeYoo View Post
Old Goat is right.

Indeed Old Goat is right about many things!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeYoo View Post
People that use mono tracks can never make a true stereo recording.

Bullsh#t! I don't think that's really what OG was saying. He was just trying to exercise your brain meats and think about what is stereo.

If you use multiple mono tracks you can indeed make stereo.

If you are a purist (like Rudy Van Gelder) and you are recording a sound event in real time, then you just need two microphones to capture a "true" stereo recording.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeYoo View Post
Old Goat must hear a binaural recording.

I bet Old Goat's heard one... He's probably heard all kinds of stuff!

Hell, he probably forgot more about recording than you in the time it took me to type this!

Binaural is a version of recording that simulates human hearing, not really the traditional "stereo" we are talking about.

Lou Reed did a lot of binaural type stuff way back in the day.


Old 30th December 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horking My Lunch View Post
That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm sure there are bands that have at least considered it because they enjoy it stylistically. I was just making an inquiry.
LOL,

don't wear yourself out back-pedaling.....

HAHA, I kid......

sort of.
Old 30th December 2010
  #28
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T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
John Melloncamp's latest is mono, isn't it? I think it was field-recorded with an antique mono tape recorder and one mic, and everyone just gathered 'round. Like the old days.

Cool idea! Didn't Cowboy Junkies record their debut album live in a theater with just two mikes?

Fu#k, I'm so disgusted with most modern stuff I'm ready to bring back the motherfu#kin' Victrola!

Hell, wire recording is probably the most purist way to capture sound...



Old 30th December 2010
  #29
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DigitMus's Avatar
 

Aside from everything that's been brought up already here's another consideration. There are no (or very very very few - essentially none) mono media for delivery any more. You can't buy a mono CD player, MP3 player, TV, VCR etc. Playing mono through a system designed for 'stereo' (technically 2 track) only introduces potential phase and room reflection problems to any mono source material.

Face it; stereo (or fake stereo 2 track) is the format of choice - not that you have any choice nowadays. heh

Scott
Old 30th December 2010
  #30
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The Beatles sound "better" in mono because they put all their EFFORT into making the mono mixes, and considered the stereo the afterthought (leaving aside those tracks released from two track, non reduced, taps that weren't intended to be stereo at all), not because of the intrinsic 'magic' of mono


mono can be great; you'll never get the kind of depth in a stereo mic you can in mono

but the obvious bottom line answer is that everyone making records (Phil Spector notably excepted) preferred making them in stereo, thought stereo sounded better on the whole, and started to do just that.


judging by how adventurous and experimental they were, it's hard to believe an active Beatles today wouldn't be doing everything in surround; and thereby, singlehandedly, forcing everyone to go buy surround playback to not be left out of appreciating it.
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