Why the #1 Thing You Should Do to Stereo Synths is Convert Them to Mono
I love this article Graham Cochrane wrote over at The Recording Revolution about Getting more Width and Separation the Backwards Way.
I loved it because it reminded me of an interview with a top mixing engineer. I can’t remember his name but I believe it was from one of Howard Massey’s Behind the Glass books.
Their thought on synths sounds and massive stereo patches was simple.
Make it Mono
They first thing they always did when they received a thick stereo synth track was to throw away one side of the track just to leave more room in the mix. If they wanted it in stereo they could alway send it to a mono aux, pan it to the opposite side and add some EQ and effects to make it sound different.
From a mixing standpoint the synth didn’t need all that room. It wasn’t the focus of the song so they threw away half of it.
I can understand how a thick stereo synth can sound super powerful and massive on its own.
But in a busy mix?
It’s just in the way!
Having them in mono is simply easier. It also means you don’t have to worry about weird stereo issues from system to system. Mono sound sources translate easier than stereo sound sources because there’s simply not that much to think about.
Don’t overcomplicate things. Make it easier on yourself and do it in mono.
I’ve always been a big fan of making things simple and mono mixing is one of the into place.
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