Efe sez 'dun monofy baes'

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
18 Mar 2023
No, and I won't, until Efe makes at least reasonable clickbait splash images (or whatever the YT video "cover" images are called).
The video isn't so much about mono-ing the bass as other techniques, which I thought were quite interesting and she got a Subscribe from me for this video. That said, I think her solutions are waaay over-engineered for my tastes. My solution in this case would be to choose a different sound rather than all that arsing around. My personal opinion is that people have forgotten what a bass sound is and if you open any presets from a synth you'll hear all manner of stuff with loads of high frequency content and often without any kind of solid low frequencies. If having a solid low end in your track is important I'd suggest using digital like FM or Phase Modulation Osc in Thor rather than analogue – for the record the original Reese bassline is from a Casio CZ, possibly sampled. If you want to use analogue use a single oscillator or at least something like an SH-101 where all the waveforms are phase locked.

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
18 Mar 2023
Popey wrote:
16 Mar 2023
I tend to just split my bass so the sub is mono and the "top bass" so to speak (which tends to not contain frequencies below about 150) can have a subtle bit of width.
Depends if you do it only on the bass elements, or the whole mix. A Dan Worrall video showed, that a non-linear phase HPF on the SIDE will mess up all the pannings in case of the whole mix. That might be good, or bad. It adds depth to panned sounds, but makes the panning weaker and more difficult to localize.
My understanding is that it is better to apply a very weak filter like 6db or an EQ rather than the kind of thing I see on youtube where people are banging 48db HPFs on their sounds. The MClass Stereo Imager is ideal for this as the slope isn't so steep, maybe 6db from what I recall. The slope of the filter always seems to be missing from these discussions where people are saying cut at 50Hz, cut at 200Hz etc. I assume mastering engineers were always using something very mild and so it makes sense to cut high with a 6db slope, whereas now I'm seeing people slapping a 48db HPF on and then following advice they've read to apply the filter at 150Hz or whatever, which probably causes more problems than it solves.

For anyone who is really interested I had a bit of a nerd-fest a few years back comparing the splitter / crossover devices in Reason. In short 4Dyne is still broken to my knowledge and I tend to use Yoko for hard cuts. For mono-fied bass the MClass is ideal, as you'd expect as this is what it was designed for.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7492956

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
18 Mar 2023
The great thing is, if you are not mastering for vinyl or hoping for club play, there is no other technical reason I’m aware of to make the bass frequencies mono as a rule. Happy to be proven wrong, wouldn’t be the first time!
Perhaps it is a thing that will die out with time. Vinyl is supposedly having a revival but the vinyl runs I'm aware of continue to get smaller and smaller to the point people are doing limited run lathe cuts. If you're releasing to Bandcamp or some other digital outlet there's no reason to have to have all the subs in mono, you can do whatever you like. There are no rules really, just the ones you choose to follow.

That said I don't see the need for club system compatibility going away any time soon. I have a friend with way more years and experience than me, who is from a guitar music background and now is making electronic music for DJs and trap artists. I've had the mono discussion with him and I don't think he even cares about mono compatibility that much. He thinks that if there's a chance that the music will be played on a mono system, then it's tough luck and they should be playing things on a better system, so I assume he still isn't bothering with any of it. That's fine and I'm not going to try and change his mind, but if any of his material ever gets a vinyl release then there could be problems to fix. I know he has heard some of his mixes on festival systems but those systems are often very good, unlike the systems that you often find in venues and clubs.

Even with a self-released digital release I think it is worth checking mono compatibility. Assuming you put it on Bandcamp because you want other people to play your music, you don't want the bass disappearing in a club environment because it won't get played a second time. The same applies for music that never gets a release and is only played live. The gigs I've done I have never known beforehand how good or bad the system is, so basically you have to consider that it might be something that isn't so great.

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
18 Mar 2023
40 years ago there was no tool I was aware of in any studio I worked in that allowed us to mono bass frequencies. So it would have been impossible to do it even if I wanted to!
IMO it's something that still remains the mastering guy's responsibility. I'm definitely not checking my mixes for this until I send something to be mastered and it's usually to make sure that they don't have any problems and perhaps to get a better result as it's always better to fix it in the mix. I'm very much not following the advice of many Youtubers to do this on every channel because I'm actually not so much of a perfectionist when it comes to mixes. Some of these people take it a bit too far in my opinion. Efe's technique in the video is clever and it's good to know but it's really only required if you have a problem.

In all honesty I've only been caught out once by this but now it is something I always check. A track I had mastered had a kick drum in Kong that used Kong's built-in Drum Room reverb. It's super convenient to have built in effects but it can also cause problems. I was asked to fix it, which I was happy to do as it's easy in Reason, but it involved separating out the reverb as an aux effect so I could roll off the low end. He definitely had the tools to have a go at this himself with mid side as he had already asked for stems (again, rare) but I'm pleased he asked me to do this as I learned something in the process. These days I pay more attention to what is going on with my effect returns.

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

Apologies for my TLDR wall of text, just catching up on yesterday's posts :lol: For anyone who is still reading, I think this article is worth a read and he covers which tools can do this well and which ones can't.
https://flotownmastering.com/blog/center-that-sub

Also a well made point on the system compatibility for anyone who is making music that might get played in a club or festival.
Next up, single-channel subwoofer systems. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s only one subwoofer, but rather that any additional subwoofers are all being the fed the same signal. For example, many clubs may have an entire row or stack of subs, however they’re certainly not running in stereo. In fact many times the entire sound system is mono to provide a more consistent experience for club goers as they move around, but that’s a subject for another time. That aside, the number of playback systems out there with true stereo sub-bass reproduction is fairly limited, so if low frequencies are going to be reproduced in a predominantly mono fashion anyhow, why not take control of them at the source and ensure they’re mono-ed effectively before they leave the studio?

RobC
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Post 19 Mar 2023

dioxide wrote:
19 Mar 2023
RobC wrote:
18 Mar 2023


Depends if you do it only on the bass elements, or the whole mix. A Dan Worrall video showed, that a non-linear phase HPF on the SIDE will mess up all the pannings in case of the whole mix. That might be good, or bad. It adds depth to panned sounds, but makes the panning weaker and more difficult to localize.
My understanding is that it is better to apply a very weak filter like 6db or an EQ rather than the kind of thing I see on youtube where people are banging 48db HPFs on their sounds. The MClass Stereo Imager is ideal for this as the slope isn't so steep, maybe 6db from what I recall. The slope of the filter always seems to be missing from these discussions where people are saying cut at 50Hz, cut at 200Hz etc. I assume mastering engineers were always using something very mild and so it makes sense to cut high with a 6db slope, whereas now I'm seeing people slapping a 48db HPF on and then following advice they've read to apply the filter at 150Hz or whatever, which probably causes more problems than it solves.

For anyone who is really interested I had a bit of a nerd-fest a few years back comparing the splitter / crossover devices in Reason. In short 4Dyne is still broken to my knowledge and I tend to use Yoko for hard cuts. For mono-fied bass the MClass is ideal, as you'd expect as this is what it was designed for.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7492956
I happily watch these YT channels - IF they are BS-free. For example Dan Worrall is clickbaity, yet fair. I understand we have to get noticed somehow, but it's possible to ham up in an honest way. (In my case, it's natural, in fact, I have to keep myself at bay and save the expressiveness for music/vox/lyrics.)

I also saw stuff by the Streaky channel, but even there was this BS 'you only mix/master on HP/IEMs, if you have to'. That's just cringe. Either these people want all the clients for themselves, and discourage the 'smaller' engineers; or they are stuck in the past / don't have the skill to work on HP/IEMs.

The 6 dB HPF stereo imaging is understandable, because it's less damaging when applied to the whole mix.
A linear phase filter leaves the stereo image intact, and although pre-rings, it's not all that bad in the SIDE. Because, like I said, tamed/smeared transients in the SIDE, will make them actually more impactful, since the MID transients will be untouched.

Another factor with the filter slope, is how it sounds. Personally, I'd listen to all filter slopes between zero and brickwall filtering, and listen which sounds best.

And I already gave a reason, which might have revealed, why to some people, their headphone mixes don't translate well to speakers.

Let's simplify:

If there's a sub bass melody, made with just a sine wave, but it's out of phase ~ and you mix it on headphones to a drum and bass song, you will have no problems.
Then you listen on speakers, and notice that every note below 80 Hz is non-existent.

Next, let's say, the bass is only half out of phase.
You mix it on speakers, but are left wondering, why it takes up so much loudness in the mix according to the meters. Then you listen on headphones, and sure as heck will notice a 6 dB "boost".
If you mix it on headphones, then listen on speakers, you'll hear a 6 dB drop, yet you'll see the meters, heck, you could even see full range speakers working really hard, yet apparently barely pushing out much bass.

In conclusion, back to normal music with regular stereo bass, I'm getting closer to the decision of saturating the sub in the SIDE, then HPF and only adding the created harmonics. OR just removing it, and equalizing what's in the MID, to compensate for what we filtered from the SIDE. Possibly the latter.

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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

This might be worth checking out. The tests from the article I linked above ended up in the development of a new plugin, and there is also a free version.
https://www.toneprojects.com/basslane-pro.html
https://www.toneprojects.com/basslane.html

RobC
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Post 19 Mar 2023

dioxide wrote:
19 Mar 2023
This might be worth checking out. The tests from the article I linked above ended up in the development of a new plugin, and there is also a free version.
https://www.toneprojects.com/basslane-pro.html
https://www.toneprojects.com/basslane.html
That seems to do similar to what I was talking about, too.

At this point, I feel it's better to just monofy the sub bass, unless the mix is intended for binaural listening only.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 19 Mar 2023

I make club music. I don't mono the sub. 🤷‍♂️. It is mono compatible, for sure, yet it also has side info. It's important the stuff sounds good everywhere, the club and the home and the headphones etc.

Edit: should add that I haven't watched the video in question.
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RobC
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Post 19 Mar 2023

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
19 Mar 2023
I make club music. I don't mono the sub. 🤷‍♂️. It is mono compatible, for sure, yet it also has side info. It's important the stuff sounds good everywhere, the club and the home and the headphones etc.

Edit: should add that I haven't watched the video in question.
Depending on how heavy the stereo action is, on headphones, it might sound a bit bass boosted. At least if my theory is correct.

Lol, I won't watch it either. : D

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selig
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Post 19 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
18 Mar 2023
selig wrote:
18 Mar 2023


I’m just saying I worked in a lot of Nashville studios and a few studios outside of Nashville, never once saw those tools. Not sure how you can disagree with that, but OK.
You said, “there were no tools that you were aware of in any studio you worked in”, but surely those studios had EQs and mono-tracks to record to, right? Because THAT was what I said was available at the time that would have made it possible. So yes, I disagree with what you said, as I can't imagine you worked in studios that didn''t have EQs and recording equipment :puf_bigsmile:

But I guess you mean to say, “that's not what I meant” :puf_wink:
We’re talking about making only the bass frequencies of a mix mono, right? You need a tunable stereo crossover for that if you want to do what mastering engineers were doing and what I thought we were talking about here. Not sure how we’re talking past each other here…sounds like you’re talking about something totally different?
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selig
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Post 19 Mar 2023

dioxide wrote:
19 Mar 2023
selig wrote:
18 Mar 2023
40 years ago there was no tool I was aware of in any studio I worked in that allowed us to mono bass frequencies. So it would have been impossible to do it even if I wanted to!
IMO it's something that still remains the mastering guy's responsibility.
But if there’s an incompatibility with the stereo low frequencies and you only find this in mastering, you’ll have to go back to the mix to fix it. That’s why I was saying that if there’s an issue with phase in the low end, making the low frequencies mono will make it worse. Meaning, it can’t be left to mastering.
Or to put it another way, making the low frequencies mono doesn’t fix anything, it’s a preventative measure intended to address possible future issues either when cutting a vinyl master or playing a mix on a club system.

This is different from checking a mix in mono “just in case” it gets played on a mono system - because in this case you WILL be making the low frequencies mono for sure, not MIGHT be making them mono in certain cases. So it’s imperative (I would think) to not create these issues in the first place if you know your bass will be mono-ed in mastering.

That’s where tricks like removing the fundamental on stereo synth bass patches comes in handy IMO. This is discussed in this recent thread:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7531099

I provided an example Europa patch that has mono fundamental (and sub-fundamental for extra depth) and stereo ‘harmonics’. While this isn’t exactly the same as making ALL bass frequencies mono, it is 100% mono compatible with regards to the lowest frequencies of the patch since they are mono to start with. Check out the patch here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/97n6l9vptcrw5 ... h.zip?dl=0
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Post 19 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
19 Mar 2023
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
19 Mar 2023
I make club music. I don't mono the sub. 🤷‍♂️. It is mono compatible, for sure, yet it also has side info. It's important the stuff sounds good everywhere, the club and the home and the headphones etc.

Edit: should add that I haven't watched the video in question.
Depending on how heavy the stereo action is, on headphones, it might sound a bit bass boosted. At least if my theory is correct.

Lol, I won't watch it either. : D
Whether or not you agree with what is presented in the YouTube video or whether you think it is clickbait, I don't think it's fair to have a conversation about the topic in the video making assumptions about what the video says, without watching the video.

That's like responding to a thread title and not reading the post. Yours can be seen as clickbait as well.

I think it's fine to have a kitchen post about disliking clickbait. And it's certainly fine to have a conversation about different practices when it comes to mono'ing bass or sub frequencies or whatever. But I don't think it's fair to combine the two and make assumptions not having watched the video with the video being the source of this topic for this thread.

Maybe consider:

A) Have a thread about mono'ing bass frequencies and present the sources you want
B) Have a kitchen thread about clickbait in general and we can all talk about how we dislike it
C) Have a thread about this video, having watched the video, and discuss what this video has to say

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 19 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
19 Mar 2023
You need a tunable stereo crossover for that if you want to do what mastering engineers were doing and what I thought we were talking about here.
You didn't clarify (as you do now) that you meant “the way mastering engineers did it”. That is why I later said that you probably meant something else (without you saying so up to that point). You stated that there were no tools to do that, and I just pointed out that it was certainly possible with what was available.

Of course, it wouldn't have been easy, but I also said I never saw someone actually do it that way. But, as I also said, it was hardly needed, as 40 years ago almost anything that created bass notes was mono to begin with. Double tracking guitars was rather standard back then (and still), but I never encountered a session where they were double tracking the bass... except that session where I did it myself with two linked DX7s :puf_wink:

Where we are talking past each other (I think) is that you come from the premise that making bass frequencies is something that is done at the mastering stage because that is where it (of course) has its historic origin (with vinyl records). But in today's use (good or bad) of these mono-maker plugins (for lack of a better name), they are often used directly on the bass parts of a track, so more at the mixing stage. There are examples of that right here in this topic. Of course, you can throw it on the main bus, but because of that other myth, high-passing everything (to death) that is not bass-related, everything else is already out of that frequency range anyway.

So, I get it (I already did, as I posted before): you meant something else :thumbup:
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dioxide
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Post 19 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
19 Mar 2023
But if there’s an incompatibility with the stereo low frequencies and you only find this in mastering, you’ll have to go back to the mix to fix it. That’s why I was saying that if there’s an issue with phase in the low end, making the low frequencies mono will make it worse. Meaning, it can’t be left to mastering.
I check my stuff over when I do a pre-master mix when it's going off to be mastered. Anything before this is a demo mix as far as I'm concerned so this is my chance to do a better mix before it becomes final. As part of that I'll check for any phase issues. I don't mono the bass unless I find some kind of problem, so it's up to the mastering guy to do this as it's going to be put on vinyl and I'd rather leave it to the people with a better understanding of this. Final masters rarely sound very different from the final mix in my experience and I leave it to them to decide what needs to be done. My job is just to send them something that isn't obviously broken and I always ask that they tell me if there is any kind of problem. If there is a problem that needs to be fixed, going back and forth with the mastering guy isn't a problem at all. This has only happened once mainly because I know to not send something with stereo low frequencies.
selig wrote:
19 Mar 2023
Or to put it another way, making the low frequencies mono doesn’t fix anything, it’s a preventative measure intended to address possible future issues either when cutting a vinyl master or playing a mix on a club system.
Usually if you're having a track mastered you'll know whether or not it will end up on vinyl. If not then there are plenty of things you don't have to think about. However if you've released something as digi only then in any genre where a DJ might play your music (pop music included) then it's 100% sure that that material will be played on a club system and so you should be considering these things. It's no different to preparing your music to play at a reasonably high volume to go on YouTube, Spotify etc., you're just preparing the music so it transfers well to the system where it will end up being heard.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 19 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
19 Mar 2023
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
19 Mar 2023
I make club music. I don't mono the sub. 🤷‍♂️. It is mono compatible, for sure, yet it also has side info. It's important the stuff sounds good everywhere, the club and the home and the headphones etc.

Edit: should add that I haven't watched the video in question.
Depending on how heavy the stereo action is, on headphones, it might sound a bit bass boosted. At least if my theory is correct.

Lol, I won't watch it either. : D

I will when I get a chance. You should too if you're critiquing it; that's just common sense and basic respect. I mention that i haven't watched it not because of an aversion to clickbait (which i imagine we all have) but because I can't speak for the contents described within it. My stated opinion is based on reading this thread on the requirements or lack thereof of collapsing the bass to mono and in the context of dance music to be played in clubs. As a dance music maker and mixer who does not do that, i weigh in with my humble opinion based off experience. If you analyse professionally produced dance records of the past which weren't made specifically for vinyl but were definitely played in clubs, you'll find that most of them do have side information on the bass AND sub.

:shocked face:

I wonder how is that, if the myth is you have to collapse your bass to mono to sound good at club systems 🤔 then all the dance tunes you can buy would be totally centered under x Hz and not have anything at all on the sides...
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RobC
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Post 19 Mar 2023

Honestly, there's not much else I can add to the topic - especially since nobody considered what I said about how stereo sub bass translates between binaural, stereo and mono listening.

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