Is there utility in Reason 12 to make specific range mono?

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Propellerhands
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Post 14 Jan 2023

Is there an utility in Reason 12 which does the same stuff that Ableton's utility, which makes the bass below 120 Hz into mono?
I assume it would be Stereo Imager, or not? Then again, I am not sure how to use that X-over Freq knob, until now I always used it by ear. Can someone explain like I'm 5? :mrgreen:
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thedjjudah
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Post 14 Jan 2023

You are absolutely correct. Stereo Imager is exactly what you would use.

The low-band is on the left side of the X-over freq knob, the high-band on the right. In order to set the lows below 120hz to be mono, set the X-over freq knob to 120hz, and move the low-band knob all the way down to "mono".

There you have it!

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Propellerhands
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Post 15 Jan 2023

thedjjudah wrote:
14 Jan 2023
You are absolutely correct. Stereo Imager is exactly what you would use.

The low-band is on the left side of the X-over freq knob, the high-band on the right. In order to set the lows below 120hz to be mono, set the X-over freq knob to 120hz, and move the low-band knob all the way down to "mono".

There you have it!
thank you so much!
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selig
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Post 15 Jan 2023

Thoughts for your consideration:
Now you just have to figure out if it’s actually needed or not! Not that there’s anything wrong with mono, but (personal note) it’s not something I’ve ever needed and if you don’t actually need it I wouldn’t add it. No reason do add unnecessary processing at any stage IMO. The only time I’ve heard it is necessary is A) when you have actually recorded stereo bass information and B) when mastering for vinyl (in which case you would probably hire a pro to do the vinyl mastering).
That said, I LOVE stereo bass and was very excited way back when the mixes I made were no longer being released on vinyl, and I was free of having to worry about stuff like this!
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Propellerhands
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Post 15 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
15 Jan 2023
Thoughts for your consideration:
Now you just have to figure out if it’s actually needed or not! Not that there’s anything wrong with mono, but (personal note) it’s not something I’ve ever needed and if you don’t actually need it I wouldn’t add it. No reason do add unnecessary processing at any stage IMO. The only time I’ve heard it is necessary is A) when you have actually recorded stereo bass information and B) when mastering for vinyl (in which case you would probably hire a pro to do the vinyl mastering).
That said, I LOVE stereo bass and was very excited way back when the mixes I made were no longer being released on vinyl, and I was free of having to worry about stuff like this!
Totally agree. Stereo bass is what I am after most of the time too (especially when it's sustained bassline). I thought I got it under control while making music only using headphones . Ten years later I found out I didn't :D So I just attempt to separate certain frequencies right now and see how it translates while listening through monitors.
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raymondh
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Post 16 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
15 Jan 2023
Thoughts for your consideration:
Now you just have to figure out if it’s actually needed or not! Not that there’s anything wrong with mono, but (personal note) it’s not something I’ve ever needed and if you don’t actually need it I wouldn’t add it. No reason do add unnecessary processing at any stage IMO. The only time I’ve heard it is necessary is A) when you have actually recorded stereo bass information and B) when mastering for vinyl (in which case you would probably hire a pro to do the vinyl mastering).
That said, I LOVE stereo bass and was very excited way back when the mixes I made were no longer being released on vinyl, and I was free of having to worry about stuff like this!
Interesting. What is the problem with stereo bass and vinyl?
Does that mean my friends who are into the whole vinyl/LP resurgence are compromising over CDs?

MuttReason
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Post 16 Jan 2023

raymondh wrote:
16 Jan 2023
selig wrote:
15 Jan 2023
Thoughts for your consideration:
Now you just have to figure out if it’s actually needed or not! Not that there’s anything wrong with mono, but (personal note) it’s not something I’ve ever needed and if you don’t actually need it I wouldn’t add it. No reason do add unnecessary processing at any stage IMO. The only time I’ve heard it is necessary is A) when you have actually recorded stereo bass information and B) when mastering for vinyl (in which case you would probably hire a pro to do the vinyl mastering).
That said, I LOVE stereo bass and was very excited way back when the mixes I made were no longer being released on vinyl, and I was free of having to worry about stuff like this!
Interesting. What is the problem with stereo bass and vinyl?
Does that mean my friends who are into the whole vinyl/LP resurgence are compromising over CDs?
Too wide a stereo image in the lowest (sub 100Hz) frequencies apparently increases the chance the needle will jump out of its groove and skip. Something like that. I remember being told about this back when vinyl was all there was. Don’t know if that’s still a factor now though. Separate but related point… I was also always told it’s always worth summing a mix to mono before finalising for mastering as there’s always the risk of phase cancellation with a more extreme stereo effect which means a particular track won’t reproduce well when played on a mono speaker (eg Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo etc).

Steedus
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Yeah even if it's properly mono etc, you can still have issues on vinyl if it's "too" bassy.

I have an ambient album which is meant to signify deep underwater drones or something. It was originally intended for a vinyl release but it's so bass heavy / low in some parts the artist said it just wasn't physically possible, so reverted to CD.

I think you're also supposed to roll off the extreme highs too to minimise distortion. I want to try it for my recent album. I've also dreamed of making my own vinyl record.

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dioxide
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Post 16 Jan 2023

Mono compatibility is still a thing with club soundsystems from what I understand, although that's a different subject to making low frequencies mono which is a limitation of cutting to vinyl. In some cases the mastering engineer can do this but it's always good practice to bear in mind that low frequency elements should be mono below a certain cutoff point. Note that this applies to send effects that have low frequency sounds sent to them. I've been caught out before by a reverb that has low frequencies in stereo.

RobC
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Post 17 Jan 2023

Stereo sub bass feels to the human ear, like it pulls the stereo image to the center.
It can sicken people that are sensitive to it.
You hear something on headphones, but it's not all that great. In fact, after centering sub frequencies, bass becomes harder IMO. So, a stereo sub kind of weakens it.
It cancels out / "thus gets monofied" in the air in case of speakers - so it's like a natural stereo filter applied - but the woofers will still work hard to recreate the sound, all for nothing, which is needless drain on them.

So, that's why I don't really understand what's so great about stereo sub frequencies...

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EnochLight
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Post 17 Jan 2023

Vinyl itself can have a frequency response from 7Hz to 50kHz and beyond, along with more than 75dB of dynamic range. The advantage of CD is that the audio will never degrade and always sound the exact same on the 1000th play as it did on the 1st, an attribute that simply cannot physically exist on vinyl (unless you spring for a $20,000 laser vinyl player - and yes they exist). CD frequency response in the audible range is also perfect, with no audible loss of data or distortion.

And yeah, those lower frequencies can still make your vinyl stylus jump out of the groove and skip, and too high of a frequency will distort AF. Can’t beat those physics.
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selig
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Post 17 Jan 2023

EnochLight wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Vinyl itself can have a frequency response from 7Hz to 50kHz and beyond, along with more than 75dB of dynamic range.
Yes, but most cartridges top out well below 20 kHz, and signal to noise is often no more than 60-70 dB range and varies with frequency. And add to this the frequency response is very uneven, especially in the super sonic frequencies, so saying “7-50,000 Hz” without give a plus/minus gives the misleading impression the frequency response across that range is flat. On the low end, turntable rumble tends to muddy the low response below 25-30 Hz or so, making the lower range unpractical (if your playback system can even handle it). :)
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DaveyG
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Post 17 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
17 Jan 2023
EnochLight wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Vinyl itself can have a frequency response from 7Hz to 50kHz and beyond, along with more than 75dB of dynamic range.
Yes, but most cartridges top out well below 20 kHz, and signal to noise is often no more than 60-70 dB range and varies with frequency. And add to this the frequency response is very uneven, especially in the super sonic frequencies, so saying “7-50,000 Hz” without give a plus/minus gives the misleading impression the frequency response across that range is flat. On the low end, turntable rumble tends to muddy the low response below 25-30 Hz or so, making the lower range unpractical (if your playback system can even handle it). :)
Worse than all that, you have to turn the record over after about 20 minutes! #lazyass

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selig
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Post 17 Jan 2023

Propellerhands wrote:
15 Jan 2023
selig wrote:
15 Jan 2023
Thoughts for your consideration:
Now you just have to figure out if it’s actually needed or not! Not that there’s anything wrong with mono, but (personal note) it’s not something I’ve ever needed and if you don’t actually need it I wouldn’t add it. No reason do add unnecessary processing at any stage IMO. The only time I’ve heard it is necessary is A) when you have actually recorded stereo bass information and B) when mastering for vinyl (in which case you would probably hire a pro to do the vinyl mastering).
That said, I LOVE stereo bass and was very excited way back when the mixes I made were no longer being released on vinyl, and I was free of having to worry about stuff like this!
Totally agree. Stereo bass is what I am after most of the time too (especially when it's sustained bassline). I thought I got it under control while making music only using headphones . Ten years later I found out I didn't :D So I just attempt to separate certain frequencies right now and see how it translates while listening through monitors.
Remember that making bass mono was initially done to prevent tracking problems with vinyl. But like many things that are repeated without context, folks don’t remember the problem they only remember the solution. So we tend to apply the same solutions even after the problem no longer exists, like with this example, or like recording “hot” to avoid noise on analog tape and still recording hot with 24 bit dynamic range, or the idea of using cut EQ (no boost) only because of headroom issues even when headroom issues no longer exist (with floating point audio), etc.

But still, consider that wide stereo sounds won’t be as focused as mono, which have what I call a “you can point to it” quality that wide stereo sounds do not. So if your goal is a tight focused element of a mix that “you can point to” then you likely need mono. But sometimes you want a wide diffused sound field where the sound wraps around you and comes from ‘everywhere’.

Basically meaning, it’s a creative choice not a technical choice (when not cutting vinyl). And as always, check mono compatibility.
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EnochLight
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Post 17 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
17 Jan 2023
EnochLight wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Vinyl itself can have a frequency response from 7Hz to 50kHz and beyond, along with more than 75dB of dynamic range.
Yes, but most cartridges top out well below 20 kHz, and signal to noise is often no more than 60-70 dB range and varies with frequency. And add to this the frequency response is very uneven, especially in the super sonic frequencies, so saying “7-50,000 Hz” without give a plus/minus gives the misleading impression the frequency response across that range is flat. On the low end, turntable rumble tends to muddy the low response below 25-30 Hz or so, making the lower range unpractical (if your playback system can even handle it). :)
Correct, though I did state "can", which I would hope people wouldn't interpret as a misleading impression - especially as I made no suggestion that the response was flat at all. :)

Back when the industry shifted from vinyl to cassette, and then to CD - I was one of the biggest proponents of switching to CD. If it wasn't for the fact that streaming/digital files killed those formats, I'd still be CD's biggest fan. I still own a record player, though (and way too many records). But they're rarely played these days.
DaveyG wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Worse than all that, you have to turn the record over after about 20 minutes! #lazyass
HAHAHA - ^^ THIS ^^

Though I'll raise that frustration by a mile and present to you - reel-to-reels. UGH.
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moalla
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Post 17 Jan 2023

Propellerhands wrote:
14 Jan 2023
Is there an utility in Reason 12 which does the same stuff that Ableton's utility, which makes the bass below 120 Hz into mono?
I assume it would be Stereo Imager, or not? Then again, I am not sure how to use that X-over Freq knob, until now I always used it by ear. Can someone explain like I'm 5? :mrgreen:
Struggled with right the same problem these days, at the end I go for this tiny tool in sale 1,60€. Wich frequency is still the best depends on music, but for me a takeover frequency beetween 150-500hz, for electronic music it works fine
https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/hornet-elliptiq/
https://soundcloud.com/user-594407128
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RobC
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Post 18 Jan 2023

Don't do it on the whole mix with non-linear phase filtering, though. It will screw up panning for example. Only use an analog style on the bass or kick, etc.

On the other hand, I find it silly that people don't give a reason why they would like stereo sub frequencies. If I'd understand better, I might give it a shot, too.

A final thought: don't just cut the stereo sub, if you do. Try distorting/saturating what you've cut from the side channel, then high pass filter that again, and mix the resulting new high frequencies to your signal, to add back what you've cut away.

EdGrip
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Post 18 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
17 Jan 2023
But like many things that are repeated without context, folks don’t remember the problem they only remember the solution. So we tend to apply the same solutions even after the problem no longer exists, like with this example, or like recording “hot” to avoid noise on analog tape and still recording hot with 24 bit dynamic range, or the idea of using cut EQ (no boost) only because of headroom issues even when headroom issues no longer exist (with floating point audio), etc.
Love things like this. Engineering folklore.

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mcatalao
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Post 18 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
17 Jan 2023

Remember that making bass mono was initially done to prevent tracking problems with vinyl. But like many things that are repeated without context, folks don’t remember the problem they only remember the solution.
Yep, this is real. But there are "solutions" like this that work really well on an artistic standpoint even when you're not bound by the same limitations. For example, the order of songs in vinyl masters had to be specific, taking content in consideration, so you didn't have sonic problems (dinamics and frequency content are conditioned by track groove at the end of the record).

However, artistically i like more when a record has a more "LP" feel and sequencing, with more energetic songs in the beggining, and middle, then finish with a good melodic soft, less full song. It's a great example where we are not bound to the Vinyl limits but it is still pleasant to build up like that. I never mastered for Vinyl, but i still discuss sequencing with dynamics and energy in my mind in my projects. But there's something good about CD's and digital - if you wanted to end a record in a bang, it would be more difficult in a record.

Of course with streamming this mindset loses a lot of strenght... :/

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EnochLight
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Post 18 Jan 2023

That’s one thing I really hate about the new streaming generation - the loss of the full “album listen”. Very few people sit down and listen to an entire album start to finish these days. It’s no longer an event.


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Aosta
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Post 18 Jan 2023

DaveyG wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Worse than all that, you have to turn the record over after about 20 minutes! #lazyass
But if you had the money you could buy the album twice, put one on the turntable and flip the other above to drop after the first side had played. Side A and side B from the comfort of your 1970s polyester paisley patterned armchair :thumbup:
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selig
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Post 18 Jan 2023

RobC wrote:
18 Jan 2023
On the other hand, I find it silly that people don't give a reason why they would like stereo sub frequencies. If I'd understand better, I might give it a shot, too.
Same here, but the other way around! ;)
And you don’t have to do what others say, or wait to explore areas only after folks convince you to do so, or wait until you understand something to explore it. Just do it, if you’re curious!
But seriously, my point is do what sounds good TO YOU, as you no longer need to worry about issues with vinyl.
That said…If you produce music that is only played in clubs, you likely want most/all frequencies to be mono, so there are obviously exceptions to every rule out there. Horses for courses, always consider the delivery format and the intended audience. For example, I do a lot of ambient music where there is no ‘beat’ for the most part, where I am free to explore any sonics I want because it’s intended to be ‘ambient’. Taken to the extreme, binaural beats are super low frequencies with reversed polarity in each channel, going totally against the ‘mono low frequency’ concept!
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selig
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Post 18 Jan 2023

Aosta wrote:
18 Jan 2023
DaveyG wrote:
17 Jan 2023
Worse than all that, you have to turn the record over after about 20 minutes! #lazyass
But if you had the money you could buy the album twice, put one on the turntable and flip the other above to drop after the first side had played. Side A and side B from the comfort of your 1970s polyester paisley patterned armchair :thumbup:
And save the unplayed sides for ‘special occasions’. ;)
My older brother worked in radio all his life, and had multiple copies of his favorite records - would only play the ‘clean’ ones on very special occasions!
I’m extremely lucky IMO that a large percentage of all my professional work was album based. I ‘think’ in albums. I CAN do singles, but seem to think of them as something you do only to promote an album! I’m well aware I’m a dinosaur and the times they are a changing, but I still enjoy the ‘ritual’ of setting time aside to settle in and enjoy the journey of a well conceived album of songs. :)
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RobC
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Post 18 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
18 Jan 2023
RobC wrote:
18 Jan 2023
On the other hand, I find it silly that people don't give a reason why they would like stereo sub frequencies. If I'd understand better, I might give it a shot, too.
Same here, but the other way around! ;)
And you don’t have to do what others say, or wait to explore areas only after folks convince you to do so, or wait until you understand something to explore it. Just do it, if you’re curious!
But seriously, my point is do what sounds good TO YOU, as you no longer need to worry about issues with vinyl.
That said…If you produce music that is only played in clubs, you likely want most/all frequencies to be mono, so there are obviously exceptions to every rule out there. Horses for courses, always consider the delivery format and the intended audience. For example, I do a lot of ambient music where there is no ‘beat’ for the most part, where I am free to explore any sonics I want because it’s intended to be ‘ambient’. Taken to the extreme, binaural beats are super low frequencies with reversed polarity in each channel, going totally against the ‘mono low frequency’ concept!
I wrote down plenty points.
All I usually see is people saying that it's good, or that it's bad.

Binaural beats are one thing. I usually rather think dance genres that have drums, melodic instruments, vocals, sfx, etc.

When checking out some modern dance and house music releases, I indeed noticed the stereo sub. It sounded fine. But I also noticed, that those productions had no panning whatsoever in them. They weren't centered for club music - it's just that those producers are just amateurs that were good at kissing up and eventually got somehow in.

Experimentation is fine, when knowing what we do.

Personally, though, I don't want to make mistakes that make my music sound worse. That's why I question and ask.

MuttReason
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Post 18 Jan 2023

selig wrote:
18 Jan 2023
Aosta wrote:
18 Jan 2023


But if you had the money you could buy the album twice, put one on the turntable and flip the other above to drop after the first side had played. Side A and side B from the comfort of your 1970s polyester paisley patterned armchair :thumbup:
And save the unplayed sides for ‘special occasions’. ;)
My older brother worked in radio all his life, and had multiple copies of his favorite records - would only play the ‘clean’ ones on very special occasions!
I’m extremely lucky IMO that a large percentage of all my professional work was album based. I ‘think’ in albums. I CAN do singles, but seem to think of them as something you do only to promote an album! I’m well aware I’m a dinosaur and the times they are a changing, but I still enjoy the ‘ritual’ of setting time aside to settle in and enjoy the journey of a well conceived album of songs. :)
First time I ever went into a professional studio aged 15 was with a band that set out to record a concept album as our first demo… 10 songs, each of which cross faded/blended into the other (think Pink Floyd)… and recorded in one day flat with all overdubs because one day of studio time was all we could all afford.

Great learning experience. Great ambition from a bunch of kids. Sounded absolutely terrible. You need serious chops to nail a ten-song concept album in an 8 hour recording session. We were good, but not that good…

But yeah, I still listen to music in album form wherever that exists, and I think about how best to sequence tracks as if they were on an album. My kids haven’t a clue what I’m on about.

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