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Thread: Guitar solo in mono vs stereo mix

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    Guitar solo in mono vs stereo mix

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    Hey guys, in the last couple of mixes Ive made, I find myself struggling to get the guitar solo levels right. When I hear the solo in the full stereo mix, it sounds ok, but hearing it in mono makes it super loud in comparison with the other instruments. I havent found a good solutions to make it sound good in both mono and stereo. Any advice? Ill leave a mini song I made where the solo heard in stereo sounds low to me...


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    Are you mixing on headphones or with monitors that are set much wider than your distance from them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Are you mixing on headphones or with monitors that are set much wider than your distance from them?
    I'm mixing with monitors, they are at an appropiate distance. The thing is, I check my mixes through other speakers (Phone, smart TV, etc.) and the results are the same: loud solo on mono, normal on stereo, or normal on mono, but low on stereo

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    To some degree that always happens. Maybe if you give the solo some subtle stereo effect you can reduce the effect.

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    Could you could have possibly some things in your 'music bed' out of phase?
    It would sound fine in stereo but when put in mono, things would cancel out.

    If this was the case it would 'seem' like the solo was louder, when in fact the backing tracks were getting lower in volume.

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    The only thing getting lower in volumen in mono are the rythm guitars, which are panned hard left and right. Flipped the phase and they seem fine. Is this something that just "happens"? should I just find the balance (cause Im never satisfied with how it comes out)?

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    This is normal if you have a solo in stereo it's going to increase in level when mono'd. For me it is preferable to consider guitar solos like vocal solos and just keep them mono. If i want to add any effects that might "widen" the image to stereo i put them on an aux bus and then i can control the volume separately. IMHO there is no real reason to have a stereo solo. You can do ping pong, offset delays for excitement on an aux and to my mind, a solo instrument should be somewhere i can "point to" in a mix. IOW not diffuse through the whole stereo field. YMMV

    On the other hand, if you double the solo by playing/recording twice, there is usually enough difference bertween them that splitting them side to side wont result in as much increase in level when in mono than a single stereo track collapsed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Cachi View Post
    The only thing getting lower in volumen in mono are the rythm guitars, which are panned hard left and right. Flipped the phase and they seem fine. Is this something that just "happens"? should I just find the balance (cause Im never satisfied with how it comes out)?
    Ah, now it makes perfect sense. Anything out of phase between left and right will drop in volume when combined. How did you create the left/right difference?

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    this makes me think. I tend to record everything in stereo, because ... why? I guess because I can, DAWs make it so easy. Going try doing some mono and see what that brings to the table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    I tend to record everything in stereo, because ... why? I guess because I can, DAWs make it so easy. Going try doing some mono and see what that brings to the table.
    If it is a single point sound source (a bass DIed, a mic on an amp, a vocal into a mic, for example,) there is no good reason to record in stereo.
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