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Member Since: Jul 21, 2010

I record in stereo(2 tracks split right and left). Does mixing to the center channel mean to pan both stereo tracks to the center or zero position or one split left and the other split right? I'm confused and thinking myself to death. Please help me.

T hanks A Million!

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Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Aug 24, 2010 02:14 pm

Common misconception. Depending on the instrument you will most likely record in mono. By panning mono that is how we achieve a stereo effect. The only thing I have recorded in stereo was a keyboard player.

Just think about the instrument your recording and it should be pretty obvious. Guitars have one output and is indeed mono. Vocalists are mono. Heck even for my OH's on drums I record them seperate as two mono tracks so I have more control over each mic and just pan them for the setereo effect.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Aug 24, 2010 02:15 pm

Establish -- If you're recording a single source to two tracks, you aren't recording "stereo" -- You're simply recording a mono signal to two tracks. If you pan them out, it's still mono. If you pan one to the right and leave the other centered, it's exactly the same as panning one 6dB to to the right and not even having the other.

"Stereo" is the difference between left and right.

Now - If you're recording a single source with two discrete inputs (two microphones through two preamps into two individual input channels) then you can pan them however you want. If you have an XY or ORFT pair in front of a drum kit, you can pan them wide or you can keep it as narrow as you like.

And unless you're mixing to DTS or some sort of discrete surround, there is no 'center channel' -- There is equal output which creates a 'phantom center' of sorts, but no true discrete center. Semantics to some extent, but important.

Since: Jan 05, 2009

Aug 25, 2010 12:54 am

good question - there are many concepts for that.

if you want to build a "realistic virtual" room where all the instruments have their places and are positioned well in the mix you might record each signal dry mono and pan, eq and reverb it.

some mixes require single stereo recording tracks if you use echo and reverb or other stereo sound effects which are important for the song with particular instruments.

in the early ages of recording there was a microphone in the room which captured the overall sound of musicians and room to one monoaural signal

later with the first stereo recordings the voice was e.g. on the left side and the instruments panned right.

when les paul invented the multitrack recorder it was possible to lay track over track and produce artificial soundimages, btw already in the 1960's

with echo, delay and other stereo effects guitarists like brian may, the edge and many others made a monoguitar sound like a whole orchestra over the stereo bandwidth

if i once have found the perfect sound on the guitar with amps and effects, i record it stereo with two or more additional microphones, sometimes for one guitar riff up to seven tracks to have enough choices for the mix.

with todays digital sound-pug ins you will get a limited result, another reason i prefer to stereo record a boss-stereo-corus or other famous analog devices.

i would not THINK too much about it - there are no limitations - use your ears and your imagination to create the sound you like. it was never as easy as today to create any sound you want.

so far - so good!
cheers jp

Since: Jul 21, 2010

Aug 26, 2010 12:41 pm

Hey thanks guys. Your explanations helped a lot. There should be another classification of sound quality -- "kinda-sorta-stereo" along with the usual stereo and mono!


bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Aug 27, 2010 02:08 am

is turbologic 16 similar to turborgrafx 16? Bonk?

Since: Sep 12, 2010

Sep 12, 2010 11:22 am

Hi all. Another panning question. I just bought a new 8-track digital multitrx w/burner. Lots of fun but I'm new at multitracking and therefore stumped on something. The rhythm guitar positioning I want to produce is the split between xtreme left and xtreme right ears to get the wide stereo. I learned that recording 2 trx at once does NOT yield stereo and I cannot pan them out wide at playback. Therefore I record 2 separate times using 2 separate trax. Fine. Now, here's my question: When I record on one track, with pan at 12 and input mode on stereo, the meter shows the signal only on the left. On playback, I pan to the left and get only a slightly panned mono, and when I pan to the right, there is nothing, zilch. What am I doing wrong? Please help cuz this wide positioning is how I want to record my rock and I cannot continue until I resolve this... Thanks much. -Nico

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Sep 12, 2010 11:44 am

If you're recording one track, your input is mono - Not stereo.

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