Stereo Backing Vocals and Guitars Disappear in Mono

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by jvms, Dec 4, 2018 at 5:07 PM.

  1. jvms

    jvms SS.org Regular

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    I've been having some issues with all my mixes. Whenever I pan rhythm guitars and backing vocals, they just vannish when I hit the mono button on my interface or play it on a cell phone speaker (I know it's terrible sounding, but people use it...). I'm not doing anything unnusual during mixing, other than using Brainworks Hybrid to widen a little bit my master bus, but the same thing happens with it off. I have also tried using different amp sims on the rhythm tracks but it still didn't work.
    I know this happens even on commercial tracks, but they are usually not as terrible as what happens on my mixes. What should I do to prevent the effect from being so bad?
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    If I had to guess, your left and right sides are out of phase with eachother. The same signal, with the phase reversed, will cancel out when you sum them. I don't know what a proper fix would be, off the top of my head, and since I don't know your project very well, but you would need to find a way for each side to remain in phase with eachother.
     
  3. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Get this plugin, stick it in the end of your master buss, as a quick check for referencing mixes in stereo/mono, with selective phase inversion. It's free, and works fine enough for quick references.

    https://www.bozdigitallabs.com/product/panipulator/
     
  4. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    When you're referring to two rhythm/vocal tracks you're referring to two separately recorded tracks, or one track doubled, then panned?
     
  5. jvms

    jvms SS.org Regular

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    They are all separately recorded tracks. I usually have one rhythm guitar on each side and most times I have my singer double each backing vocal line, so if he comes up with a three part harmony, we have six tracks in total plus the main vocal line centered.
     
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  6. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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  7. jvms

    jvms SS.org Regular

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  8. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    You shouldn't need a special plugin to get to the bottom of this.

    Does this still happen when you DON'T have Brainworks Hybrid on?
    Does your DAW have an option to collapse a stereo mix to mono at the master bus? Reaper does, and I check mono compatibility at multiple stages in a mix
    Does it happen on other speakers, other than your phone? I.e - is it always in mono, or just on that speaker?
     
  10. FwLineberry

    FwLineberry User of Registers

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    When things disappear in mono, it's usually due to phase cancelation. Anything that is the same in stereo tracks will cancel out when the tracks are summed in mono. The trick is to vary the tracks enough that they don't match up. Try pushing one of the disappearing tracks slightly ahead by a few milliseconds and see if it shows up in mono after that.

    This is usually caused when you double a track and then pan the doubled track. It's odd that it would happen to freshly recorded tracks. Any chance you could post a before and after sample?
     
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  11. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I tend to use the "nudge" feature in the DAW to get this outcome.
    It's also how I sometimes take a clean mono guitar track & make it stereo by copying/pasting the track to a separate track, then take the pasted one, nudge it a bit, modulate the pitch ever so slightly, then I have a nice lil stereo separation on a mono recorded guitar part.

    I've gotten single mono recorded Fender Twin tracks to sound like a stereo recorded JC-120 this way.
     

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