(Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

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James_S
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(Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by James_S »

So, when recording from my modular to my DAW the standard practice (I suppose) would be to have the two outputs going into two inputs of my interface and thus forming one stereo track in the DAW.

However, were Into record this as two mono tracks in the DAW, this would be the same thing, as long as I were to hard pan one of the tracks left and the other two the right? I ask this as doing it this way could give more flexibility and allow me to play with panning and automation more than having one stereo track where each side is hard panned and will stay so.

Are all of my assumptions correct or am I overlooking something incredibly obvious?
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Nightly Closures
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by Nightly Closures »

Wouldn’t it be a case of 6 or half dozen? If you’re simply talking about panning, I imagine you could pan either situation equally. Now, if you’re thinking about using different fx per left or right, yeah, record them as separate monos.
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by joshjoshjosh »

Yes your assumptions are correct. A stereo channel is just 2 mono channels panned hard left and right at equal gain.
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Kattefjaes
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by Kattefjaes »

Nope, you're spot-on. Of course, you could record a number of stereo/mono tracks from your modular with the right sound card too- it's lovely to have the freedom and headroom that it gives.

(Personally, I have done both, sometimes I am in a quick and dirty stereo mood, when I can't be bothered to multitrack out- it really is a choice, depending on what you're doing and what you want.)
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by James_S »

Nightly Closures wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:23 am Wouldn’t it be a case of 6 or half dozen? If you’re simply talking about panning, I imagine you could pan either situation equally. Now, if you’re thinking about using different fx per left or right, yeah, record them as separate monos.
Well, if you record as one stereo track but you would like to move the left track "inwards" a little bit you couldn't do that without affecting the right channel. If you record as one stereo track but perhaps you have something else in stereo and you'd like to slightly separate them on one of the channels, having them both as mono tracks would allow you to do this. Don't know if I'm making sense. Also, as you correctly stated it's nice to have individual control over the FX on both sides.
Kattefjaes wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:40 am Nope, you're spot-on. Of course, you could record a number of stereo/mono tracks from your modular with the right sound card too- it's lovely to have the freedom and headroom that it gives.

(Personally, I have done both, sometimes I am in a quick and dirty stereo mood, when I can't be bothered to multitrack out- it really is a choice, depending on what you're doing and what you want.)
Yes! I have a WMD Performance Mixer with DB25 going into an RME with plenty of inputs so it's gonna be coming out of a stereo track on the WMD regardless, all I have to do is opt for either one stereo tracks or two monos in the DAW!

Thanks everyone for your replies!
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by MisterJ »

joshjoshjosh wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:26 am Yes your assumptions are correct. A stereo channel is just 2 mono channels panned hard left and right at equal gain.
Not totally correct. A stereo channel assumes a stereo mix as an input and has balance instead of pan. Balance doesn't work the same as pan and just adjusts the relative levels of the two channels. Pan assumes a mono input to a stereo bus and adjusts the difference in volume of that input over the stereo bus to give a sense of position in the mix. The pan of that channel is done in the context of the pan of all the other channels in the mix.

Unless you're recording a stereo mix from the synth with some sort of panning between voices, mono for each track would be the better option. You can then mix the mono tracks in stereo. If you record a stereo mix as two mono channels panned hard right and left it will indeed be the same as stereo channel but the balance will be adjusted with the faders, not the pan. You will also be able to make the stereo mix wider or narrower by adjusting the pan of both channels equally. That can be useful at times. So even for a stereo input, recording as dual mono gives a bit more flexibility.
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by joshjoshjosh »

MisterJ wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:04 pm
joshjoshjosh wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:26 am Yes your assumptions are correct. A stereo channel is just 2 mono channels panned hard left and right at equal gain.
Not totally correct. A stereo channel assumes a stereo mix as an input and has balance instead of pan. Balance doesn't work the same as pan and just adjusts the relative levels of the two channels. Pan assumes a mono input to a stereo bus and adjusts the difference in volume of that input over the stereo bus to give a sense of position in the mix. The pan of that channel is done in the context of the pan of all the other channels in the mix.

Unless you're recording a stereo mix from the synth with some sort of panning between voices, mono for each track would be the better option. You can then mix the mono tracks in stereo. If you record a stereo mix as two mono channels panned hard right and left it will indeed be the same as stereo channel but the balance will be adjusted with the faders, not the pan. You will also be able to make the stereo mix wider or narrower by adjusting the pan of both channels equally. That can be useful at times. So even for a stereo input, recording as dual mono gives a bit more flexibility.
yep all fair and accurate. i was addressing the OP's question on whether he can record stereo sources as dual mono. but your points are definitely worth bringing up to distinguish between the 2 options!
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by James_S »

MisterJ wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:04 pm
joshjoshjosh wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:26 am Yes your assumptions are correct. A stereo channel is just 2 mono channels panned hard left and right at equal gain.
Not totally correct. A stereo channel assumes a stereo mix as an input and has balance instead of pan. Balance doesn't work the same as pan and just adjusts the relative levels of the two channels. Pan assumes a mono input to a stereo bus and adjusts the difference in volume of that input over the stereo bus to give a sense of position in the mix. The pan of that channel is done in the context of the pan of all the other channels in the mix.

Unless you're recording a stereo mix from the synth with some sort of panning between voices, mono for each track would be the better option. You can then mix the mono tracks in stereo. If you record a stereo mix as two mono channels panned hard right and left it will indeed be the same as stereo channel but the balance will be adjusted with the faders, not the pan. You will also be able to make the stereo mix wider or narrower by adjusting the pan of both channels equally. That can be useful at times. So even for a stereo input, recording as dual mono gives a bit more flexibility.
Thanks for your reply..From my understanding you can achieve everything via recording as two mono tracks... So balance is just attenuation (so instead of changing the position of one side you're simple attenuating the other) and some DAWs even offer "real stereo panning" but I don't really see how this is anything other than having recorded both inputs as mono and allowing you to pan each side individually?
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flo
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Re: (Potentially Stupid) Question about Stereo Recording

Post by flo »

It doesn't really matter how you record it in the end, since most (all?) DAWs have some utility plugin that allows isolating the left / right in a stereo track. Just copy the stereo track and isolate left on one, right on the other (and then pan them as you desire).

In practice, it is of course better to record everything the way you want to have it in the DAW, rather than adjusting everything in post production.

Cheers :beer:
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