Efe sez 'dun monofy baes'

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RobC
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Post 16 Mar 2023

Okay, first off, soz, but I won't watch anything clickbait, and I will assume that the title is what the video is about.

Image

If somebody wants clickbait, but remain objective, then just add "ZOMG, WAT R U DOING WITH UR STEREO SUB?!!1!1ONE"

Popularity comes with power. But power comes with responsibility. Owning your online presence doesn't entitle anyone to spread misinformation.

So, months ago, on here, we came to the conclusion, that unless it's for vinyl, monofying (hope, everyone understands monofying) sub frequencies, is entirely optional and up to taste.

With a professional speaker system, you won't hear a thing in stereo below around 80 Hz.
In case of binaural listening, you will hear stereo sub, but definitely won't localize it. In my experience, stereo sub pulls the mix's stereo image towards the center, and weakens the impact of any element that has sub bass frequency content. If out of phase, it can even be sickening to some people.

Now, in the SIDE, if you HPF sub bass frequencies (preferably only on stereo bass elements; or if on the whole mix, then gotta go linear phase filter), then you may get extra headroom. But you don't have to just waste it. You can try isolating it with a LPF, distorting it, HPF, to remove the sub, and add the new higher harmonics to the rest of the mix - all still done in the SIDE, only, leaving the MID untouched. Of course, with further engineering, you can inject these new harmonics to the MID as well if you want to, so that it becomes mono compatible.
The result can sound very interesting; but (depending on the stereo sub content) even just monofying bass can make the mix sound more free, wider and impactful.
Of course, know what and why you're doing!

I'm not going to try to stop youtubers from spreading bullshit, cause it's impossible. But at least, I wish they would stop making people doubt themselves at what they are doing. Especially wrongfully, or at least, subjectively.

P.s. yes, I know my opinion sounds like you would have to monofy those sub bass frequencies. Well, nope, you don't. I would still compare with and without stereo sub, at least, and THEN decide, which sounds better.

Now, if Efe's video sez, if it's an OOPS(ie) baes, flip da polarity. Then yes. But like this, that clickbait is a no go for me.

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visheshl
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Post 16 Mar 2023

Exactly...my teacher taught me that as long as possible make sub frequencies mono...you will be better off in most cases...sub wavelengths are too long...and when they interact they screw around in the higher harmonics too...as far as i know...i could be wrong though. ..but to each their own technique...

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joeyluck
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Post 16 Mar 2023

RobC wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Okay, first off, soz, but I won't watch anything clickbait, and I will assume that the title is what the video is about.
So does that mean you didn't watch this video?


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selig
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Post 16 Mar 2023

joeyluck wrote:
16 Mar 2023
RobC wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Okay, first off, soz, but I won't watch anything clickbait, and I will assume that the title is what the video is about.
So does that mean you didn't watch this video?

I just watched it so you don't have to. Sure, it's a click bait title, but some decent information there. Also some mis-information (of course, right?).
They say that there is a difference whether you make the signal mono before vs after compression (around 4:45). This is false, and easily provable by doing the same thing on a parallel channel but change the place where you make the signal mono - and it will null.

This is super easy to explain. Unless a stereo compressor has a link/unlink button, it's always using a MONO signal to control compression. That means, it won't compress ANY differently when it "sees" a stereo vs a mono signal at the input because it always compresses BOTH channels identically. So no, the problem is not "still there" and I'm not sure why they say it is. When you make the output of the compressor mono vs making the input mono - the results are exactly the same (unless there is a stereo link button as mentioned earlier, and that parameter is set to UNLINK).

Sadly, once I see one obviously (and easily provably) wrong part of a presentation, I instinctively don't trust the rest even though much of it is factually accurate.

Finally, I don't get the title at all, as it appears to say making the bass mono makes it worse - but they imply the opposite (or it's not clear to me) in the video.
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visheshl
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Post 16 Mar 2023

Ok giles, just tell me tl;dr...should i apply a lows monofication plugin to my generative tracks or not......no seriously....i have no idea what they will generate in the lo end...am i better off having a lo end mono plugin on all the tracks or am i better off without the plugin? I have no idea when i export the track what it will generate...all i want is there should be lesser phase cancellation etc...kind of issues in the mix...if monoing the bass on all the tracks means ill have a better mix overall, id love to do it... expecting an answer... preferably yes or no...yes monofy the bass or no leave the bass stereo...since this is Generative stuff, i have no control over what will be generated, hence im asking what would you do in such a situation...

Popey
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Post 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.

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visheshl
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Post 16 Mar 2023

Hmm makes sense... I'll add a sub bass monoizer to the master of my next mix, just to be sure that ut does not go crazy with phase problems....

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selig
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Post 16 Mar 2023

visheshl wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Ok giles, just tell me tl;dr...should i apply a lows monofication plugin to my generative tracks or not......no seriously....i have no idea what they will generate in the lo end...am i better off having a lo end mono plugin on all the tracks or am i better off without the plugin? I have no idea when i export the track what it will generate...all i want is there should be lesser phase cancellation etc...kind of issues in the mix...if monoing the bass on all the tracks means ill have a better mix overall, id love to do it... expecting an answer... preferably yes or no...yes monofy the bass or no leave the bass stereo...since this is Generative stuff, i have no control over what will be generated, hence im asking what would you do in such a situation...
I have never once done this, nor have any mastering engineers I've had the pleasure of working with have done this. BUT, I don't produce EDM tracks on the regular, and all of the mixes I've done that have been professionally mastered have not been in that genre.
So no, I don't find it solves any problem nor improves the quality of my projects in any way.
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visheshl
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Post 16 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
16 Mar 2023
visheshl wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Ok giles, just tell me tl;dr...should i apply a lows monofication plugin to my generative tracks or not......no seriously....i have no idea what they will generate in the lo end...am i better off having a lo end mono plugin on all the tracks or am i better off without the plugin? I have no idea when i export the track what it will generate...all i want is there should be lesser phase cancellation etc...kind of issues in the mix...if monoing the bass on all the tracks means ill have a better mix overall, id love to do it... expecting an answer... preferably yes or no...yes monofy the bass or no leave the bass stereo...since this is Generative stuff, i have no control over what will be generated, hence im asking what would you do in such a situation...
I have never once done this, nor have any mastering engineers I've had the pleasure of working with have done this. BUT, I don't produce EDM tracks on the regular, and all of the mixes I've done that have been professionally mastered have not been in that genre.
So no, I don't find it solves any problem nor improves the quality of my projects in any way.
Okay, ,👍👍👍

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dioxide
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Post 17 Mar 2023

IMG_20230317_120923 small.jpg
It's not strictly necessary to do this but it is more or less standard in my world even if you're not mastering for vinyl. Of course if you want to self release on Bandcamp then you can do whatever you like.

In case you're wondering who Tim Young / Metropolis are:
https://www.thisismetropolis.com/engineers/tim-young/
https://www.thisismetropolis.com

So the pros do use this technique, even if it's not strictly something that you MUST do.
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selig
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Post 17 Mar 2023

dioxide wrote:
17 Mar 2023
IMG_20230317_120923 small.jpg

It's not strictly necessary to do this but it is more or less standard in my world even if you're not mastering for vinyl. Of course if you want to self release on Bandcamp then you can do whatever you like.

In case you're wondering who Tim Young / Metropolis are:
https://www.thisismetropolis.com/engineers/tim-young/
https://www.thisismetropolis.com

So the pros do use this technique, even if it's not strictly something that you MUST do.
Taking a step back, this appears to be according to a guy who usedTim Young to master a project. Taken out of context it could be made to appear as something "the pros" do on every genre etc. But this quote isn't from Tim Young, so it's out of context IMO.
I only know about the mastering guys that have mastered my mixes in the past including Bob Ludwig, Glenn Meadows, Bob Olhsson, Denny Purcell, George Marino, and others.
Again, and for context I'm not mixing EDM where I believe it's a more common thing to do for club play, right? That's all I've found in a brief internet search on the subject, FWIW. Seems like a case of horses for courses as far as I can tell, but happy to be proven wrong - don't want to appear to be 'standing my ground' on this subject, just sharing my direct experiences.
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dioxide
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Post 17 Mar 2023

Likewise I can only speak for my own experience, but I just wanted to counter the idea that this might be some kind of new myth that has spread over time between YouTubers.

The quote above is discussing an album that came out in 96 and was also released on vinyl. It's not what I would call EDM and neither are most of Tim Young's credits. Perhaps the Pet Shop Boys are the closest to EDM I can see, most is what I would consider to be pop and rock music of various types:

https://www.discogs.com/master/140614-P ... -Remilixir
https://www.discogs.com/artist/327238-T ... v=0&page=1

The only person that really knows for sure is Tim and the people with whom he has discussed his methodology. Perhaps he only used this technique for music that was being cut to vinyl or maybe it was abandoned later in his career as he was still working right up to this year – perhaps just not at Metropolis. Who knows. However I don't consider it to be something new or unusual and to my knowledge it is something still being done.

MuttReason
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Post 17 Mar 2023

I had the whole ‘everything under around 100Hz in mono’ thing engrained in me when I used to chat with the engineers mixing for various bands I played in 40 years ago and I tried to understand what the guys at the desk were doing (and what would happen when our tracks went off to be mastered). That’s pretty much how I began to learn about audio stuff back in the day… asking lots of questions, both in the studio (when we weren’t pushed for time and nobody minded a late teens/early 20s bloke asking daft questions) and when my bands went on tour (ditto). I knew the mono sub thing was about vinyl (something about the needle jumping) but I kept hearing this as a kind of engineering orthodoxy long after CDs displaced vinyl. No idea if it’s still genuinely a thing now, judging by previous similar threads to this one on RT and I’ve seen elsewhere, maybe it isn’t. FWIW I still tend to do this if I have a bass-heavy mix. Sounds cleaner to me when I do. But maybe I’m wrong.

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selig
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Post 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!

But more importantly, making something mono doesn’t solve any issue present in the mix. If the bass has phase issues, making it mono can make it worse.

So why does this persist? Dance music, aka EDM. A lot of rules come from specific cases - if you only make dance music then you always mono the bass. Not a problem if that works for you, but what if you don’t JUST make dance music designed to be played in clubs?

Ask someone like Streaky:


The two technical reasons I’ve heard to make bass frequencies mono are cutting vinyl and club playback, reinforced by the above video and other information I’ve heard. Creatively speaking, if you want something to hit hard make it mono. If you want something to envelope you, make it stereo. Sometimes I like big wide snares, more often I like a snare dead center (which I like to call a sound “you can point to” in the stereo field). Same for bass. I’ve used super saws in stereo for bass lines and it sounds AWESOME to me.

So if you’re cutting vinyl or expecting club play, make the bass mono. If not, it’s your choice - you can have a hard hitting focused low end or a low end that wraps around you. And again, I gotta say stereo bass sounds AWESOME (to me), but line anything I’m not following a rule here one way or the other, because there is no technical reason for me to do so.
Horses for courses, as always.! :)
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RobC
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Post 18 Mar 2023

visheshl wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Exactly...my teacher taught me that as long as possible make sub frequencies mono...you will be better off in most cases...sub wavelengths are too long...and when they interact they screw around in the higher harmonics too...as far as i know...i could be wrong though. ..but to each their own technique...
I actually saw a thread on here that some odd things can happen in the air with the sub, like you described. Any more info on that?

RobC
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Post 18 Mar 2023

joeyluck wrote:
16 Mar 2023
RobC wrote:
16 Mar 2023
Okay, first off, soz, but I won't watch anything clickbait, and I will assume that the title is what the video is about.
So does that mean you didn't watch this video?

No, and I won't, until Efe makes at least reasonable clickbait splash images (or whatever the YT video "cover" images are called).

RobC
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Post 18 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
16 Mar 2023
joeyluck wrote:
16 Mar 2023


So does that mean you didn't watch this video?

I just watched it so you don't have to. Sure, it's a click bait title, but some decent information there. Also some mis-information (of course, right?).
They say that there is a difference whether you make the signal mono before vs after compression (around 4:45). This is false, and easily provable by doing the same thing on a parallel channel but change the place where you make the signal mono - and it will null.

This is super easy to explain. Unless a stereo compressor has a link/unlink button, it's always using a MONO signal to control compression. That means, it won't compress ANY differently when it "sees" a stereo vs a mono signal at the input because it always compresses BOTH channels identically. So no, the problem is not "still there" and I'm not sure why they say it is. When you make the output of the compressor mono vs making the input mono - the results are exactly the same (unless there is a stereo link button as mentioned earlier, and that parameter is set to UNLINK).

Sadly, once I see one obviously (and easily provably) wrong part of a presentation, I instinctively don't trust the rest even though much of it is factually accurate.

Finally, I don't get the title at all, as it appears to say making the bass mono makes it worse - but they imply the opposite (or it's not clear to me) in the video.
Welcome to the internet…
Yeah, this is the problem with tutorials alike, that people will learn stupid things. I fell for such, too. If somebody doesn't realise or know about stereo linking and unlinking, then a teaching like this will cause some unnecessary trouble and misunderstanding.

And indeed, the title is a trick clickbait then. Youtube tried recommending the video, after I watched some Dan Worrall videos.

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Post 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.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 18 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.
I'm not convinced that I can agree with that. It was certainly possible to split frequency bands with EQ and bounce the lower spectrum to a mono track and use that during mixing. Besides that, bass guitars are mono by default, and so were most synthesizers at that time.

Having said that, putting that DX7 patch 15 Bass through a slow stereo chorus always sounded great to me. I once recorded in a studio where I brought my DX7, and they had one there too. We hooked them up with MIDI and stereo-tracked them with the same bass patch on both, super stereo but tight as a rock :puf_bigsmile:

But if you mean there were no 'monoizer' units to plug in, then yes :puf_wink:

By the way, I really miss those days.
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RobC
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Post 18 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!

But more importantly, making something mono doesn’t solve any issue present in the mix. If the bass has phase issues, making it mono can make it worse.

So why does this persist? Dance music, aka EDM. A lot of rules come from specific cases - if you only make dance music then you always mono the bass. Not a problem if that works for you, but what if you don’t JUST make dance music designed to be played in clubs?

Ask someone like Streaky:


The two technical reasons I’ve heard to make bass frequencies mono are cutting vinyl and club playback, reinforced by the above video and other information I’ve heard. Creatively speaking, if you want something to hit hard make it mono. If you want something to envelope you, make it stereo. Sometimes I like big wide snares, more often I like a snare dead center (which I like to call a sound “you can point to” in the stereo field). Same for bass. I’ve used super saws in stereo for bass lines and it sounds AWESOME to me.

So if you’re cutting vinyl or expecting club play, make the bass mono. If not, it’s your choice - you can have a hard hitting focused low end or a low end that wraps around you. And again, I gotta say stereo bass sounds AWESOME (to me), but line anything I’m not following a rule here one way or the other, because there is no technical reason for me to do so.
Horses for courses, as always.! :)
I read everyone's points and opinions here; the only thing I can add with stereo bass: it could be a problem if you hear the stereo bass when mixing (HP, IEMs). With speakers, when at least the low end gets monofied, then what was there during binaural listening, will be gone. This might be the reason why headphone mixes don't translate well to speakers ~ which is a bit tricky, due to this illusion.
I feel, people mixing on speakers kind of rather just don't care that there's the extra stereo bass on headphones.
Say, if there's a 3 dB loss after monofying: if it was mixed on speakers, then to headphones, people will say, it sounds great. Extra bass. They don't even notice.
Mix precisely on headphones, then listen on speakers, the 3 dB drop will be noticeable, especially compared to other commercial mixes.

All in all, I think a stereo speaker & mono compatibility shouldn't be ignored. Maybe, if people don't like my distortion trick, then they should temporarily HPF the SIDE bass, when mixing on headphones; mix/engineer the temporarily monofied sub bass, and then bypass the aforementioned SIDE-HPF. This way, there should be no surprises with speakers.

So, finally, what I can say: if the music is intended for mono, stereo, and binaural listening, then, dare I say, a professional decision would be to monofy below 80 Hz. Not because I want to sound like a smart-ass, but because the bass frequencies will translate perfectly, and the 80 Hz cut is very common anyway.

Otherwise, optional, up to taste. For binaural listening - no need to do anything.

As for me, I might just do mono, stereo, and binaural mixes. : ) Yes, 3. If the song is worthy.

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visheshl
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Post 18 Mar 2023

I see that there's a sudden interest in binaural audio...its been there since decades, dormant, no one cared...but suddenly everyone seems to want to hop on the binaural train...
Last edited by visheshl on 18 Mar 2023, edited 1 time in total.

MuttReason
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Post 18 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
18 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.
I'm not convinced that I can agree with that. It was certainly possible to split frequency bands with EQ and bounce the lower spectrum to a mono track and use that during mixing. Besides that, bass guitars are mono by default, and so were most synthesizers at that time.

Having said that, putting that DX7 patch 15 Bass through a slow stereo chorus always sounded great to me. I once recorded in a studio where I brought my DX7, and they had one there too. We hooked them up with MIDI and stereo-tracked them with the same bass patch on both, super stereo but tight as a rock :puf_bigsmile:

But if you mean there were no 'monoizer' units to plug in, then yes :puf_wink:

By the way, I really miss those days.
I should have clarified, from memory back in the day it meant that instruments/sounds with a lot of low end (bass guitar, kick drum, Moog Taurus pedals etc) were recorded in mono and were not sent into stereo FX unless the FX were high passed in some way (eg Dimension D chorus on a fretless bass). So not so much a case of putting something across the master to ‘monofy’ sub frequencies as making sure that anything with a strong sub bass element to it was mono in the first place and remained mono in the mix.

The point that lodged in my brain was why this was done (the vinyl thing).

Caveat here is that unlike some in this thread I do not have proper audio engineering chops, I’m a musician stumbling through the engineering side of things not a proper audio guru who also happens to be a musician!

And yes I miss those days too, not least because I was able to make a living running a horn section with various bands (most of whom were touring constantly). I averaged 300 gigs a year at my peak and loved it. Much harder to do that now I think, most of my mates from that era who are still in the game are flat broke now, even the brilliant players who played with the biggest names.

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selig
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Post 18 Mar 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
18 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.
I'm not convinced that I can agree with that. It was certainly possible to split frequency bands with EQ and bounce the lower spectrum to a mono track and use that during mixing. Besides that, bass guitars are mono by default, and so were most synthesizers at that time...
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.
To be clear, those tools were 100% available and used by mastering engineers all the time for many years. Same for multiband compressors, which were all over FM radio around that time. But I never once saw either one in any recording studio I worked in. But I realize it’s impossible to prove a negative, so I’ll leave it at that.

As for stereo bass, synths like the Jupiter 8 could work in dual mode and split the two ‘voices’ to separate outputs for fantastic sounding stereo bass. There were several stereo chorus effects, such as Roland’s Dimension D. But beyond that, there were obviously ways of producing stereo bass frequencies or why would vinyl masters need to make the bass mono?

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!
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RobC
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Post 18 Mar 2023

MuttReason wrote:
18 Mar 2023
The point that lodged in my brain was why this was done (the vinyl thing).
The SIDE is cut into the depth of the groove on the vinyl (up and down) - that's how jumping can happen, I think. And that must be why vinyl-ready mixes seem to have very compressed SIDE. Truth be told, taming the peaks on the SIDE can sound pretty cool! It snaps transients to the center, making them sound harder.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 18 Mar 2023

selig wrote:
18 Mar 2023
crimsonwarlock wrote:
18 Mar 2023
I'm not convinced that I can agree with that. It was certainly possible to split frequency bands with EQ and bounce the lower spectrum to a mono track and use that during mixing. Besides that, bass guitars are mono by default, and so were most synthesizers at that time...
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:
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