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Thread: MONO or STEREO in live mixing?

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    music4all is offline Newbie
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    MONO or STEREO in live mixing?

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    To all experience sound experts,

    In live performance (stage), what type of sound system arragement, mono or stereo, do you frequently set up for the best result in both power and sound quality?

    As for most live concerts you have seen on TV, what type of setup they usually have? Stereo or Mono?

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Alann

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    TexRoadkill's Avatar
    TexRoadkill is offline Audio Bum
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    It depends on the room and the speaker system but usually smaller club gigs are mono. Some big acts will do stereo but it's usually just a couple of effects that are stereo. Most of the main music is still mixed mono. If you mix stereo for a club then people on one side may miss out on the stuff panned to the other side. You can get away with stereo easier if it is theater style seating. For general admission standing crowds mono is probably safer.

    Almost all TV stuff is stereo but it is mixed in an iso truck with it's own feeds off of a splitter.

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    Lt. Bob's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TexRoadkill
    It depends on the room and the speaker system but usually smaller club gigs are mono. Some big acts will do stereo but it's usually just a couple of effects that are stereo. Most of the main music is still mixed mono. If you mix stereo for a club then people on one side may miss out on the stuff panned to the other side. You can get away with stereo easier if it is theater style seating. For general admission standing crowds mono is probably safer.

    Almost all TV stuff is stereo but it is mixed in an iso truck with it's own feeds off of a splitter.
    Tex has it exactly right......stereo just makes people on one side or the other miss stuff.

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    barefoot's Avatar
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    Unless you're in one of those screwed spaces where the audience is unevenly distributed in various little nooks and crannies, I say stereo all the way.

    I've even used 5.1 with great success. Of course, when I play live I have the luxury and free reign over a mid sized space (60'x60'x20') with rather nice acoustics, and the audience is mostly positioned towards the center of the space.

    Thomas
    Thomas Barefoot
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    chrisharris is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    My Vote

    Mono

    I play mostly arenas and stadiums, and you want as many people "on axis" as possible.

    The last sentence was mostly a lie, but "mono" is my vote.

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    TexRoadkill's Avatar
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    Barefoot- How are you doing live surround mixing? Do you just use busses for the different pairs or a true surround matrix mixer? Is it just for special effects or also the main musical elements?

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    music4all is offline Newbie
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    I think stereo effects for the vocals sound better than they're in mono setup. I guess many of you also know that. I totally agree with TexRoadkill on his opinion about sound panning. My idea is to set up all equipment going stereo, but panning all channels to the middle, or just slightly left and right on the keyboard and drums. On the master slides, I slightly pan on the left and right, just to have stereo feel of the music.

    I think setting up this way would allow me to have total control of the stage sound; mono or stereo if I want to change during the performance.

    What do you think?

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    sjoko2's Avatar
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    I don't understand the "mono in smaller places" statement?
    Especially in smaller places the sound generated on stage can be very directional - so isn't it obvious to compensate for this by using placement?

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    Tex,

    I'm doing electronic music, so it's not such a big deal. Except for one outboard lead synth and vocals, everything is mixed on the computer. Virtual synths and loop tracks are pre-assigned to one or more of the 6 output busses (sound card outputs) so I don't have to think about that during a performance. Various "surround" effects are used on the rear channel busses. I use a 16 channel midi fader (Doepfer Pocket Fader) to control my track levels. I typical don't need to touch the bus levels during a performance. I just preset those levels with the mouse, so I don't have to waste any of my 16 faders on them.

    Thomas
    Thomas Barefoot
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    Lt. Bob's Avatar
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    The number of clubs that are shaped well and have audiences in the proper place for stereo to work well are vanishingly small. I play about 200 dates a year and I can't think of a single club I play in where that's the case.

    Also......I certainly think that there are those who need it and can use it properly......I'm just saying that for the vast majority of bands.....the benefits aren't enough to bother with it although stereo FX do sound better and, of course, you can pan everything else centered.
    For me, that's not a big enough reason to bother with it so I go mono.

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