Balanced mix in mono & stereo

Hello :slight_smile:

I’m having a struggle with making a mix that will be balanced in both stereo and mono. a lot of times an instrument that is balanced in stereo suddenly would feel too quiet, and when I fix the volume in mono it would feel too loud in stereo. that would mostly happen with instruments that have wide stereo (like pads) , or have stereo movement, or even just panned . What should I do?

Thanks and have a lovely day!

Hello ! I suggest checking out the videos from Tony Maserati on the website about this subject.

In the meantime in your case, you need to arbitrate between having a very wide stereo signal (with potentially some info out of phase which then cancels in mono), and having a strong mono compatibility.

Some mixers don’t care that much about mono anymore since even phones are stereo.

I still pay a bit of attention to it because you never know if somebody uploads on a social network in mono etc … and when going for a very wide mix aesthetics, then it’s a game of what you’re willing to sacrifice or not in mono. For the things you don’t want to loose in mono, you can try to narrow a bit the stereo field using any m/s plugin (like the BX V2 for example), and / or, add a bit of a mono aux parallel eq / harmonics in order to smoothen the difference between mono and stereo, while maintaining some width!

Also play around with reverbs / delays, to make things wider while not loosing the musical part when going mono.

I hope it helps !

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Hey, thank you very much for the answer it was helpful :slight_smile:
I watched Tony Maserati’s “To Make a Mix Sound Wider” video and it was very interesting. could you maybe expand on the “mono aux parallel eq / harmonics” technique?

thank you and have a great day :slight_smile:

Hey Odelya,

One thing we’ve seen can be helpful in this kind of situation is to have a mono aux being fed by that wide stereo almost out of phase signal. Add a bit of a different EQ or saturation / harmonic and keep this dead center, and blend it to taste so it doesn’t increase too much the volume while listening in stereo, but at least you know this won’t disappear in mono… Does that make sense?

Yes, I’ll try it, thank you so much!

Mono is still super important, many people listen on Bluetooth speakers in social gatherings, those are either mono or the drivers are so close together that it essentially becomes mono. Make sure any stereo instruments you get don’t have weird phasy stuff going on (trust your ears but actually check it in mono and/or glance at the old correlation meter). If it does have weird things happening, pick the left or right channel and work with that in mono, add your own tricks to it to make it stereo without the nonsense.

Thank you for your answer :slight_smile:
I also think mono is very important, I myself often listen to music on a mono JBL speaker