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Old 2005-04-09, 23:38
belbeeta belbeeta is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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mclass stereo imager vs. mono compatibility (?)

this is an admittedly ridiculously long post, and i apologize in advance, it's just that it deals with some pretty complex/confusing stuff for me....

i'm working on my demo cd, and i've been exhausting myself (and google) as i try to learn the ins and outs of basic home mastering. i love the new mclass mastering effects, and have even jury-rigged my own multiband compressor using the dual-band crossover function of the 'separate outs' on the back of the new mclass stereo imager as a routing gate (2 imagers: 1 to split out the low band at around 150 Hz, routing the remaining audio band to the other imager to split it into the mid and hi bands at about 5 kHz), and routing each resultant band to it's own separate dedicated mclass compressor, ultimately using a spider to merge the three stereo outputs of the compressors back together to pass along into the equalizer, then another stereo imager (this time for the actual purpose of stereo imaging), and finally the maximizer, all within the confines of one combinator. ok, enough bragging.... i felt super big and bad coming up with it all by myself, and the sound is pretty slick, especially after tweaking around with the stereo imager....

but then in one of my google searches, i was totally knocked off my high horse and felt like a complete dooshbagg when i discovered for the first time the concept of 'mono compatibility'. how big a deal is this? given that much of what i produce tends to be dance music oriented, with my ultimate goal to have it blasting in clubs worldwide (haha, RIGHT), this is probably a huge issue for me, right? as i understand it, many clubs (if not most) route the audio to their speaker systems in mono, which only really makes common sense, given that the speakers are huge and loud, not to mention situated ALL OVER THE PLACE, thereby eliminating any concept of a stereo image (right?). is it standard practice to create separate mixes for clubs (mono) vs. for home stereo use?

does phase cancellation occur in audio being summed to mono, regardless of the source? i read somewhere that said 'this can become an ugly issue if the samples you are using were not recorded properly' - like, are the samples in reason (at least the factory-provided ones) engineered not to produce phase cancellation? likewise, are the synthesized sounds also engineered not to do this either? or is it just a basic audio summing principle that has to be dealt with and considered all the time everywhere? also, does it (phase cancellation, combing, etc.) sound especially funky, or does it just reduce (or remove altogether) the levels of the cancelling frequencies?

everywhere i read any tips on mastering, it says, 'be sure to constantly toggle the mono/stereo button on your output mixer to check for mono compatibility'.... given that there is no 'mono/stereo' button on reason's mixer, how should i go about doing this? is it as simple as spider-merging the left and right outputs of my mclass mastering suite together, then spider-splitting the same merged signal back into 2 now-identical left and right signals and routing them to the hardware interface? (i did this as a separate combinator so i could then just use the main bypass switch on the combinator to toggle between original stereo and processed mono - though i also had to route the spider output to a line mixer with the level set at about 84 to reduce the combined mono signal to a level similar to the original stereo signal, so i wouldn't be distracted by any volume change). is this the way mono/stereo switches on mixers work, and consequently the way a mono television set or radio will convert to mono - by simply summing the two signals? or is there some more complex addition/subtraction of frequencies going on under the hood?

finally, how much of a mono-incompatibility problem does the mclass stereo imager inherently present? cuz it sounds awesome and really adds a depth and clarity to the sound, especially ambient and reverb-heavy stuff, but if it's only working to ensure that half my music won't end up blasting out those huge club stacks, then maybe i should lay off....

sorry for such a hugely long post, but i just haven't been able to find much on this stuff anywhere at all....

thanks! =)