Bal­anc­ing mono com­pat­i­bil­ity and stereo width

Learn how to add width while not com­pro­mis­ing com­pat­i­bil­ity with club sound sys­tems

Future Music - - PRODUCER’S GUIDE -

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Many play­back medi­ums op­er­ate in mono, so a mix must sound strong when summed to mono. But most cur­rent records also fea­ture crazy stereo tricks that im­press on two-speaker set­ups. So how do we strike a bal­ance?

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As a rule, it helps to imag­ine your track’s stereo im­age as an up­side-down tri­an­gle: keep low fre­quency el­e­ments in mono, and have your width get pro­gres­sively wider, with your widest el­e­ments up in the tre­ble re­gion.

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Sounds with more stereo move­ment or con­tent dis­ap­pear when the track is summed to mono. There­fore, make your less im­por­tant sounds take more of a stereo role, and keep the main el­e­ments solid in the cen­tre of the mix.

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Com­pose your track us­ing mostly cen­tral­ly­placed sounds right from the start so you’ll be sure your mix will be hit­ting all the right places in terms of mono power; then pan el­e­ments and ap­ply width to add the ic­ing on the cake.

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