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Post new topic Mixing / Mastering
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Author Topic:  Mixing / Mastering
Tim Kowalski


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2018 8:35 am    
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Hi,
I have seen several Internet articles suggesting that one should mix in mono and master in stereo. I would guess that this is to ensure that there is an overall balance of the tracks while mixing. Stereo mastering makes sense because it will become the final product.
I have a couple of general questions regarding this.

1. Would I be correct to assume that I would want to pan any tracks before setting my master channel to mono and then mix to proper levels?

2. When mastering, should I render the mix to a stereo wav before processing? I have heard that this will eliminate the temptation to change the mix while mastering.

3. Does anyone use these methods? Can you explain the benefits or enlighten me and others as to the reasoning? Does it affect the final results positively?
Thanks!
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mtulbert


From:
Plano, Texas 75023
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2018 1:17 pm    
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Hi Tim,

I would always mix in stereo but have a listen in mono to make sure that nothing that is panned disappears. Of course in these days one seldom ever listens in mono, but I always check the mix in mono to make sure. You never know.

Another good test is to listen on some small speakers at a low level and see how your mix holds up as well.

Hope this helps.

regards,
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2018 2:19 pm    
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When I worked in broadcasting I always set the mix up in stereo but then did the final balance listening in mono on one speaker. (I don't know if this is easy to do on a modern DAW.) This was to give the correct perspective for the vocal or solo instrument and the right amount of bass. We had to cater for mono listeners but everyone benefited.

And as Mark says, don't monitor too loud or you'll get a "middly" result.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2018 12:31 am    
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Interesting question. The MIX is typically PRE Master, it is the sonic picture of what the Engineer/Producer wants on record. The Musical pallet. The Artists picture.

The Mastering process is supposed to be getting the final mix MEDIA ready. Be it CD, Vinyl, MP3 etc. My gut tells me that if we are adjusting individual tracks, of which there may be many, during the Mastering process, the MIX is not ready for Mastering. Plus, if the Mastering engineer is not the arranger/ producer, how would he know what the musical pallet is supposed to sound like ? His or her job is supposed to take whats in their hands and make it Media ready.

I don't recall ever reading that we mix in mono and send it to be Mastered, but like Mark said above, we should CHECK the mix in mono to see if something is hidden or missing. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.

Then this, the available DAW Mastering Suites all use a 2 track as the source. I happen to use T-Racks, it uses a 2 track MIX, be it MP3 or wav. It has no way to change or alter the actual mix. If it's bad...back it goes to the DAW for editing.
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James Quillian


From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 18 Nov 2018 12:07 pm    
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I would never even consider mastering in mono. I don't care who says it is the right thing to do.

I record tracks, pan them each slightly one way or another, then mix them down to stereo tracks and master that. Left and right tracks can be in one track on a timeline but you are still working with two tracks. As long as with panning you can get different balances out of two speakers you are dealing with stereo.

Mastering a track is not the same as mastering a mono track. The one track is actually left right tracks presented as one track on a timeline. But, it isn't mono. As long as pan left sounds different than pan right, you are working with stereo.
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Tim Kowalski


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2018 7:34 am    
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Tony - I like the idea of checking the mix in mono before creating a stereo wav to master. That makes sense to me and I'll give it a try.

James - I think that there is some confusion. No one suggested mastering in mono. I do appreciate your comments, and understand the point that you are making.

When I mix, I pan my tracks to whatever position they sound best - in many cases I pan hard left or right if I want that type of separation. Every project is unique.

Thank you all for your input!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Tim
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2018 10:57 am    
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I often pan the tracks after sending some of them through a stereo reverb app to fatten up and widen the sound. The stereo reverb is just another advantage of a stereo mix!
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2018 6:08 am    
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Tim, just remember that when we PAN, we are not supposed to have two things sit in the exact same pan location . This is where the PRODUCER HAT comes into play, the pan fields are supposed to open up the track . Pan locations are an extremely important part of how the final mix sounds .

Just like a painting, which color goes where, which SHADE of each color goes where , as that correlates to all other colors.
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