Mixing in mono is one of the most effective methods to create simple, well-defined mixes. However, understanding what mixing in mono really entails may be difficult.
As you’ll soon see, mixing in mono has a lot of benefits. To pull that off, you’ll need to understand how it differs from stereo mixing. Let’s get started.
Mono vs. Stereo
Let’s begin with a definition of mono in music development. Mono applies to discrete audio signals, such as a single microphone-recorded voice stream.
You will also record in stereo by using a second microphone on a single channel to record the same vocal.
The knowledge is simple to grasp, but it becomes more complex as we discuss mono vs. stereo mixing.
When recording or importing mono signals into the DAW (digital audio workstation), the signal is normally divided 50/50 between the left and right speakers of the listener. When the left and right signals vary in some way, the track is said to be stereo.
What does it mean to mix in mono?
Mixing in mono isn’t just about arranging layers of single audio tracks in your albums, while it may be. Starting the mixing phase by listening in mono is, without a doubt, the easiest way to go. This is so if the tracks are mono or stereo.
Some producers, in particular, mix levels in mono for the majority of the operation. This is due to the fact that mono has not only clarification when listening, but also the potential to detect mix errors.
Mixing in mono, for example, may aid in the detection of phasing problems across various waveforms.
For certain producers, mixing in mono from beginning to end might not be feasible. However, remaining in mono for a long enough period of time to provide a stable basis in your mix is a smart idea.
Why does mixing mono make it go easy?
Why use mono because there are benefits such as having individual tracks sound “wider”?
Bigger isn’t always better, particularly in the world of music development. Surprisingly, widening the tracks in stereo will also render them sound too thin.
Mono mixing has a slew of other benefits in addition to adding clarity to the mix:
1. Mono reliability is ensured (many mono listening environments)
Let’s begin with one of the more compelling arguments for mixing in mono. Not all audio formats are made equal. You are leaving out mono listeners if you combine in stereo.
This ensures the possibly crucial audio material would be omitted from what these listeners hear. Some clubs and venues may not have the required facilities to perform stereo tracks.
2. Allows you to concentrate on frequency scales without being distracted
When it comes to EQ-ing the songs, mixing in stereo creates a lot of distractions. It’s tempting to use stereo effects to expand and colour your mix, but shaping it in mono first is a far safer option.
3. Makes judging relative volume simpler
If your mix has volume problems, your work as a producer can be far more difficult than it needs to be. When essential aspects of the mix are crowded out by louder, less important elements, the whole song fails.
Adjusting volume settings is as simple as practicable.
Consider it a blank canvas to begin on rather than tinkering with anything that has already taken form. If you start from scratch, you’ll end up doing less work in the long run.
4. Addresses masking issues
When sounds in your mix compete for space, the mono method allows you to form them properly by changing frequencies.
Stereo mixing hides masking problems, but it may lead to muddier mixes in the end. This method necessitates a lot of effort, but it pays off.
Panning after mixing in mono
After mixing in mono, you’ll definitely notice that panning gives your mix a lot of depth and energy. This is due to the clarity you’ll get from mono mixing, which will provide you with a stable base to work with.
The LCR panning process is easy to experiment with once your mix is crystal clear. The letters LCR stand for “Left-Center-Right.” It’s the concept of panning each track fully to the left, right, or middle.
Vocals and bass are sometimes placed in the center of a mix. Panned to the left or right, important sections such as synth and guitar riffs are illustrated.
LCR panning, like mixing in mono, is a simple way to add consistency and directness to your mix. However, it is not for all, much as mixing in mono.
If a good mono mix shows a track that isn’t enjoyable to listen to, no amount of production magic can help. The accuracy of your recordings and the musical ideas you use are crucial.
However, if the content you’re dealing with is sound, a mono mixing strategy will help you succeed.