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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Stereo vs mono instruments


So I'm just wondering what the advantages are to running a keyboard, or effects pedal for a guitar in stereo mode. This is for our church so it's live sound. The thing is we already pan our instruments. I'm just curious if running in stereo will give better sound quality than running mono and just panning the instrument. Thanks for any help!
August 2, 2012 @01:46am
music producer

I'm not an expert, but I know a few engineers who would have strong opinions - and I believe they would say run it mono to give the overall mix more definition. I suppose the exception might be if you were playing a lot of big pads or chorusey sounds, you might want the extra largeness of stereo...
August 2, 2012 @03:15am

The way sound spreads out in a live situation you are better off running mono.
Trying to pan is just going to make different areas of the audience listen to weird mixes.
August 2, 2012 @01:23pm

A proper stereo keyboard or guitar patch can give the instrument space for those who can hear both the L and R speakers, but won't rob those who cannot.
September 2, 2012 @09:21pm
music producer

If the keys or guitar are playing a solo accompaniment part, stereo might be nice sounding, but generally I agree with keeping it fairly mono. And even if you have stereo available, live is similar to studio recordings in that most times your mix is cleaner and clearer if you have less "stereo" instruments pannedout unless they're real, actual, interesting stereo, and not some minimal effect that just muddies everything up.
If you're going to mix in stereo, IMO, don't pan things extremely wide, and of course it usually makes sense to pan them the direction of that particular musician.
October 12, 2012 @09:49pm
The Kulture

Stereo vs. Mono
Some patches on your keyboard are designed to be played in stereo.
Guitars on the other hand, unless used in conjunction with an effects pedal, are primarily solo in terms of a mix.
So, using the keyboard in stereo, and the guitar in solo will give you a good amount of control over the mix.
In my opinion...
October 31, 2012 @04:47pm