Switch to mono — a thing you should consider while…

Hey guys, it’s Andre.

How often do you guys mix in mono? – A question, you should really ask yourself. A nice stereo mix might sound pretty cool on your studio speakers, but do you ever think about the worst case? Not everybody owns decent studio speakers or a hi-fi setup. A lot of people might hear your work on old mono speakers, which might end in a bad surprise, if you didn’t consider the switch from stereo to mono.

Hearing your mix in mono will give you an image on how your work will be heard on older mono systems. Check if everything is as clear as in stereo, so you can be sure all listeners will get it, either in stereo or in mono. Especially heavy stereo effects on your VO might sound weird in mono, so make sure your VO is clear and good to hear in mono as well.

Mixing in mono will focus your mix on volume more than in stereo. Some volume differences might be overheard in a stereo mix, because the sounds are more separated in stereo. In mono, you’re able to mix with less distraction by the position of the sounds and more focused on the actual volume.

Also keep an ear on phase cancellation, when you’re hearing your stereo mix in mono. Different phases, which were separated correctly while mixing in stereo, might collide and cancel each other in mono. (A short insight on phase cancellation and how to use it to create acapellas can be found here) Most analyzer plugins also feature a phase correlation meter, which will help you to discover phase cancellation in mono. Stereo imaging tools (like Waves’ S1 Stereo Imager in the pic below) also might help you to fix these issues.

S1 Stereo Imager

Most monitor controllers feature a simple mono switch, so give it a try to double-check your mix in mono as well, maybe this might save it one day.

Cheers and have a great day.

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