Is stereo widening wasteful, since most club systems are mono?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Sixth Sense, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Sixth Sense

    Sixth Sense Member

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    Pretty much as the title says..

    Since most club systems are mono, is there any point in using widening on your tracks if it is going to end up being played in mono in the club, therefore losing the "width" that you created when mixing in stereo?

    Surely the parts that you have widened (presumably the highs mainly) are going to lose dB or have some sort of phase effect when played in mono.

    I understand that keeping the low mids and bass in mono is good practise but I like the brightness and width that can be achieved by widening atmospherics, percussion and other sounds above approx 3.5khz. I've read a little bit about side filtering, but don't really fully understand it.

    At the end of the day I'm trying to make music to be played in a club, not on a hifi, so is the whole "Stereo Image" thing counter-productive? Or is it a matter of trying not to overdo it so that the track benefits both environments?

    Any help or thoughts appreciated.

    SS
     
  2. rythmatix

    rythmatix Well-Known Member

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    surely all systems over there won't be mono? that's just laziness...
     
  3. Mason John

    Mason John 21st Junta

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    It's pretty useful for pads. Also if most people are also listening on headphones I'm sure they'll appreciate widening on certain parts of the track.

    Just comes down to when to use it and when not to use it.
     
  4. rysk

    rysk Part-time waster

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    most are.

    stereo doesn't make sense in a club unless you've got everyone standing slap bang in the middle between the two speakers stacks.
     
  5. ICQ

    ICQ Member

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    Personally I was told just recently by a massive producer to concentrate on where I am putting sounds within the stereo field. He then proceeded to play me a track by an artist on his label and detailed various areas as to where this producer had placed sounds.

    So my point being although most club systems might be mono, if your sending tracks to a label then they will be listening to them in stereo and where your sounds are in the stereo field.
     
  6. Gloxxy

    Gloxxy I SNORT COAL

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    I would have thought that only 30% of the people would actually listen to a tune in a club anyway, kind of makes your point invalid.
     
  7. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    Listened to any neuro-hop lately? Also stereo field placement is quite important to sound separation within the mix. You can always chuck a mono plug on your master to check that the main elements are still coming through clearly. Ideally your tune will 'work' in both stereo and mono.
     
  8. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    for a good example of how to effectivly mono a large part of the track, without having to make everything mono....check Breaks stuff, its pretty much straight down the middle, but the details, are stereo, and it works with great effect, allows the music to be mastered to very high volume and sound huge on a rig, but at the same time, gives home listeners a nice soundscape to be absorbed into.


    my favorite sound systems in clubs/squats, are setup in stereo, I understand why club systems are mono, its virtually impossible to get a correctly spaced stereo setup in a strangly shaped building, espcially when it needs to be permanent....but in a big fuk off wharehouse, imo it should be stereo all the way (but doing it in mono means the sound engineer can effectively double the volume of the rig). unfortunetly only Psy squats tend to have stereo rigs set up :(




    its important to check your track in mono regardless of the rig you intend it to be played on - its amazing how many tracks I get thru for mixdowns/mastering which have major phase issues, which turn what appears to be a fat track, into a feeble mush of shit...all because of phase problems, esp in the bass end
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  9. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Listen to nearly any commercial tune and they sound wide as fuck. With a mix of panning placement (imo the best way to go wide), and image widening tricks, I find its really easy to get my tracks wide so they have that bigger commercial feel. Especially before you get big, it's likely the majority of your audience will be listening with headphones, so it's probably a good thing when your tracks are wide.
    The only thing to watch out for when having a wide track is the phase. You can seriously do whatever the fuck you want with a sound, as long as its not out of phase. I always have Logic's Multimeter on my screen, next to my spectrum analyzer, so i can make sure none of my sounds are out of phase.
     
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  10. rysk

    rysk Part-time waster

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    i've noticed this.

    to be fair...i'd be fine with a stereo set-up at a squat party...only problem is you'd have a huddle of audiophiles all fighting for space in the middle :teeth:
     
  11. rosssss224

    rosssss224 Member

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    pretty sure most install systems are stereo. The bass/sub will be mono but the tops will almost defintely be stereo surely. squat rigs will often be mono for simplicity, way the are stacked and due to availability of amps

    i reckon awa
     
  12. bantam

    bantam Sam Chills

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    I'd agree with this. Compare to released tracks to see what they are like.
     
  13. Raptor's Den

    Raptor's Den Member

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    Dude hell yeah you should use stereo widening, And use it right! Thats all that matters is using it right but OH YEAH! Everyone and their grandma should use stereo wideners... Some sounds when you place the effects on them even widen naturally. But to be honest these club systems and pro systems are made to be soo high detail and soo strong and nice, that if you over do it. Your mix is going to smush in its width and really muddle out... losing its full body and flavour. But as long as you are doing it to a touch to a point where the sound can no longer widen without overwidening it! To widen something, you are really maximizing its width in the stereo field. In any sound system its not just about the mono aspect but just as important the stereo field. Without stereo youd have a 100% full mono mix in which case not ALL sound and frequency will be 100% full mono unless you made them that way and/or recorded them in full and complete mono!

    So yes, you'd really have to learn how to properly widen tracks. Some sounds may need it you might find, and some dont. Just to each its own unique aspect of idea! The best way I can explain is listening and practicing. You want to keep your mixdown crisp and fresh as it was before the widener and then widen the parameters slowly so its still not too wide but not too mono either... otherwise you could leave it in mono, but tbh like i said every artist and their grandma use stereo widening in track mastering most importantly and a LOT in actual tunes! It works great! But can for sure be WAYYY overdone... you'll have a static like sound that sounds like mud is literally on your sound muddying and trashing up the dynamics! :) So long answer is YES absolutely do use widening but use it right!

    I almost forgot the name, but phasing is one thing to avoid for, and it is when your sounds have too little space nor transparency in the limiter to fit in the actual field of sound. Henceforth the extra bit of width clips and clips hard.. or what its really called, phasing! and it sounds HORRIBLE on any system! :p There are many techniques to getting it as wide as possible, and yet also pushing that sound to its maximum limit without any single phasing! That of which comes through practice! <3 ill explain more later!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
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  14. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    I've recently run into the problem that when I make my master out mono with a stereo imager, a lot of my stuff gets more quiet and lost in the mixdown (everything that I've widened or put reverbs and delays on)
    what are possible ways to avoid this from happening or at least to minimize the damage it does
     
  15. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    What I do with certain sounds (especially if I want them really wide). Is place Logic's sample delay on an insert and adjust on of the sides by a small amount whilst switching from mono to stereo. I'll then do it to the point where there is minimal cancellation/phasing.

    Also check out Smartelectronics Ambience. It's a brilliant free reverb plug in that doesn't disappear when switching to mono. It doesn't sound as wide as the matrix reverb or a decent convolution verb but it is ideal for music that is meant to be played in mono
     
  16. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    the thing is since i am using reason i don't have access to vsts, will try working something out with the delay unit

    cheers anyway
     
  17. Raptor's Den

    Raptor's Den Member

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    try using the ozone imager if you can use that, or try to use any of the free stereo widening vsts. There is a GREAT one I have, except you cannot see the phasing, only hear it. lemme find it and ill get back with you on the name
     
  18. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    I'm assuming you dont have any of the M-Class stuff, cause you could use this
    [​IMG]

    If you dont, the using delays is a great easy way to go stereo.
    Using extremely quick no-feedback delays phase the image to it's widest point, and the Wet/Dry controls how much of the effect you want
     
  19. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Little thing Ive been doing is automating width with Logic's Directional Meter. Start with a really wide sound, bring the sound mono and automate out. Works beaut in Logic X as they have made the graph a curve now rather than stupid steps up the scale.

    If that makes any sense to anyone lemme know if you dig!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
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  20. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Yeah I do the same on builds! It works wonders