Stereo tracking & synth presets

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Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby gcoudert » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:37 pm

I am only just beginning to show interest in recording after noodling with synths for almost 30 years.

My preference goes to recording dry mono tracks to make the mixing process easier and more flexible. The only exception is stereo pads when I use them. Has anybody ever recorded stereo tracks or used stereo samples successfully (my sampler is full of stereo snare drums, for example, but I just can't make them fit in a mix)?

Secondly, why is it that ROMpler manufacturers fill every single memory location with lush, wide stereo sounds (including basses, which is beyond me)? Do they expect musicians to use them as they are or are they there solely to demonstrate what the machine CAN do, regradless of whether the patch is usable in a mix? Do you ever find yourself turning off most or all of the effects and reducing patches to their mono equivalent before you use them or am I being weird?

Just wondering...
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby Z » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:50 pm

gcoudert wrote:I am only just beginning to show interest in recording after noodling with synths for almost 30 years.

My preference goes to recording dry mono tracks to make the mixing process easier and more flexible. The only exception is stereo pads when I use them. Has anybody ever recorded stereo tracks or used stereo samples successfully (my sampler is full of stereo snare drums, for example, but I just can't make them fit in a mix)?


I was taught 25 years ago to not "print" (record) effects to multi track so you can adjust the fx levels in the mix after all instruments and vocals have been tracked.

Regarding stereo tracking, I do it all the time. Occasionally, I'll adjust the balance to make things sit better. I'm no real engineer, though.

why is it that ROMpler manufacturers fill every single memory location with lush, wide stereo sounds (including basses, which is beyond me)? Do they expect musicians to use them as they are or are they there solely to demonstrate what the machine CAN do, regradless of whether the patch is usable in a mix?


The latter.
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby ninja6485 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:24 am

I enjoy working with mono in the bass frequencies as well, but one thing you can do of you're working with stereo (or in mono for that matter) is to make sure your sounds are panned even just slightly apart so that they're not competing with eachother if there are sounds panned in that area/ frequency range
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:08 pm

I record in Ableton Live which has an interesting plugin called Utility. This has a control for stereo width from 0% (mono) through 100% (stereo) to 200% (out of phase). This easily lets me collapse overly wide stereo sounds prior to panning them where I want them.

Both my analog monos are stereo. I usually set my Evolver to either mono or narrow stereo. On my Voyager, I simply use the mono output jack...I never use it in stereo. My Motif has front panel buttons to turn off both the insert and global FX processing, I always kill the master FX before recording and sometimes the inserts depending on the patch.
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby vicd » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:03 pm

gcoudert wrote:Has anybody ever recorded stereo tracks or used stereo samples successfully


How is that different from multitracking just twice as much hard-panned mono tracks and then processing/mixing them totally at your will?

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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby gcoudert » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:32 pm

vicd wrote:
gcoudert wrote:Has anybody ever recorded stereo tracks or used stereo samples successfully


How is that different from multitracking just twice as much hard-panned mono tracks and then processing/mixing them totally at your will?


Sorry, you've lost me... :? :? :?
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby ninja6485 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:33 am

gcoudert wrote:
vicd wrote:
gcoudert wrote:Has anybody ever recorded stereo tracks or used stereo samples successfully


How is that different from multitracking just twice as much hard-panned mono tracks and then processing/mixing them totally at your will?


Sorry, you've lost me... :? :? :?
I think Vicd may have misunderstood the post? If you only have a mono out, than you could definitely make stereo sounds by hard panning two mono signals. OP however has a stereo signal, and is wondering about comparing that to using a mono signal @ that frequency range. One simple solution might also be to just record either the left or the right as a mono signal, treat it as such and just leave the other one out. I sample that way all the time.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: Stereo tracking & synth presets

Postby Stab Frenzy » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:02 am

vicd is talking about just treating the stereo signal as two mono signals and panning/mixing them however you want. :idea:

Personally I find stereo stuff a lot of the time only sounds ideal when hard panned, as the stereo effects get mushy as they're mixed in with one another as you pan each track away from hard left and right. This means that running stereo tracks in Pro Tools or any other DAW where a stereo track has one level fader and then two pan pots, one for each channel, makes stuff sound less than idea if you try to move it around the stereo field. A DAW with a balance pot rather than twin pan pots (so the control changes the relative levels between the two tracks but the left still goes 100% left and the right goes 100% right) works better, that way you can get the feeling that a sound is coming from one side of the stereo field while still having it work as a stereo signal. In this case the width is always set to 100%, which when you're dealing with tracks that have stereo effects on them is usually what you want.

To get the same result as having a Balance pot in Pro Tools and other DAWs that don't have one, I split the stereo track to two mono tracks, hard pan them left and right and then adjust the position in the stereo field by moving the two faders up and down individually instead of touching the pan pots. Give it a try, it works pretty well. :thumbleft:
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