Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

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FlyingsCool
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Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by FlyingsCool » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:32 am

I've been recording our jam sessions. I run my guitar through a Line 6 Helix which is stereo and record the right and left sides as (2) mono tracks. For ease of editing, I realized it might be easier if I could combine the two tracks into a single stereo track. There doesn't seem to be a direct function for that, so it occurred to me I could pan the two tracks hard left and right and mix them down to a single wav and use that instead.

Is there anything I should know about doing that?
Am I losing anything by doing that?
Should I have reduced them by 3 dB or something before combining them?
Should I only pan them something like 75% left and 75% right, or is hard panning them more correct?

(I had earlier realized that the mix sounded way better when I panned my two mono tracks (representing a single stereo signal) hard left and hard right)

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Acoustica Eric
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by Acoustica Eric » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:38 am

Most devices are mono. The stereo part comes in editing.
You are doing it correctly.
Alternatively you could arm with "stereo" instead of left and right.

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FlyingsCool
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by FlyingsCool » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:16 am

I'm recording through a Zoom R16 to micro SD and then transferring to my computer, so I don't have the option of recording to stereo, just 8 line/mic ins.

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freightgod
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by freightgod » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:49 am

I believe you will find the effect of hard panning left and right to be a little jarring, possibly distracting, as the timbres may be starkly different. A more subtle blending, even toward the same pan point (say center, for example :) ) with perhaps an reverb effect applied to the blended sound may be more pleasing. Or maybe not! Experiment and see what you like!

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FlyingsCool
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by FlyingsCool » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:44 pm

freightgod wrote:I believe you will find the effect of hard panning left and right to be a little jarring, possibly distracting, as the timbres may be starkly different. A more subtle blending, even toward the same pan point (say center, for example :) ) with perhaps an reverb effect applied to the blended sound may be more pleasing. Or maybe not! Experiment and see what you like!
Can you help me understand that? I was wondering.

Imagine a guitar input coming out of a series of stereo effects. A left and a right channel. Each going to left and right speakers respectively. It would seem to me I HAVE to hard pan them left and right to get the appropriate balance in a single stereo track as would be being played by left and right speakers? But maybe there is something I don't know about how Mixcraft (or any other DAW) treats taking a mono channel and panning it to one side compared to what would be coming out of say a stereo reverb effect pedal would do?

I can say the guitar definitely sat in the mix of other instruments and vocals better having the left and right channels panned left and right respectively.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:13 pm

If you:
A- like the result of the output of your stereo guitar processor, and
B- want to render the L and R signal into a single stereo track, I would say hard pan to reproduce that sound.

As far as the point of reducing the level to compensate for the cumulative gain, that would probably be useful, but there's no reason you couldn't adjust it 101 other different ways within the project either. Not critical at that stage for its own sake IMO. I would think of it more from the point of where the signal is going next...... More processing? Level critical? Done and straight to mix output? Depends.

There's also nothing wrong with leaving it as two tracks hard panned. "Guitar L" and "Guitar R" if you want. Leaves some more flexibility for later possibly. Whatever works for you.
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freightgod
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by freightgod » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Sorry, I misread your original post. What Mark said.

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FlyingsCool
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by FlyingsCool » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:07 am

Thanks, :)

I was mostly wondering about the audio mechanics, if there was anything I was missing or should consider.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:28 am

I don't think so, with the exception of pan law, which you kind of touched on-
But being aware that panning effects gain gets you part of the way there. But this might be adding a twist.

A hard pan is going to result in the signal being turned up to compensate. This works fine in most situations, but in some cases could result in a signal "hotter" than desired. As you hinted at you might want to attenuate either with clip gain, the track fader or a gain plug in- all depending on your specific needs. In some cases you might desire the gain and leave it alone. Depends.

But lets see..... you said they are mono, but already panned off the mixer right? So you aren't panning the mono tracks in the DAW and rendering them to one stereo track. You are just rendering the two tracks to one.
Hmm, I'd have to meter this and test its effect on gain. You may not be effecting gain via pan law at all now that I think about it. This could vary depending on your specific circumstances I think.
Its too early to think that hard. Test it. 8)
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aj113
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by aj113 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:00 pm

Put the two tracks in a submix and pan hard left and right. No need to export.

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freightgod
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by freightgod » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:23 pm

You know, what Eric said really solves it all, don't it, at least for future recordings?

-Alternatively you could arm with "stereo" instead of left and right.

:wink:

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FlyingsCool
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Re: Two Mono Tracks mixed to Stereo

Post by FlyingsCool » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:44 pm

(It wasn't recorded in Mixcraft, I recorded the session using a Zoom R16 to SD Card, then transferred the .wavs to Mixcraft later)

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