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Author Topic: Mono vs. Stereo  (Read 362 times)

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Kim

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Mono vs. Stereo
« on: Time Format »

I've used a Stereo rig setup for some time now, but recently changed back to a Mono. 

The Stereo rig sounds amazing when playing alone.  But with the rest of the band, it's not as noticeable.  And since every venue we've ever played so far has Mono PA systems run by a Soundguy who always seem to get very annoyed if they have to afford an extra mic and desk channel for the same guitar
(It's like ordering food and when asking for extra chips they either refuse to give them or they just get angry and throw them at you)

Add to the fact that the Stereo rig I had is a bit more complicated to setup and tear down than it ever needs to be, and that a band can never get their stuff off the stage fast enough for the next act....well, I've made the switch to a Mono rig.  (I could simplify things just a wee bit more by swapping my stereo tube poweramp for a mono one....)

I agree the Stereo sounds great, but everything practical with playing Live Gigs and even regular rehearsals is with the Mono rig. 

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RIG OF FIRE:  ADA MP-2, Rocktron Xpression, Peavey Classic 60/60, Gator pedalboard, Rolls MidiBuddy, Dunlop 95Q wah.
Mellotron/organ section:  EHX Mel9, EHX C9, Saturnworks A/B switch, Vox V860 volume, Crate Powerblock.
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rnolan

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Lots of empathy here my friend  :wave: , I've been a stereo die hard for many years now and I also find myself "contemplating" a mono option just for ease of logistics.The main thing stereo brings is how the Fxs sound (IMHO).  The age old discussion about PAs being mono or stereo to me is solved by the Fx.  I'm not trying to create a stereo mix of the band as such (well maybe a fairly centred mix (as if you are on one side or the other of the room etc...)), what I'm actually chasing is the stereo Fx, particularly reverb.  This is worthwhile regardless.Same with guitar, it does sound better stereo (again the Fx), but practical is well, practical LoL, do the bigger setup when it's needed  :dunno: .I've got mine down to a 8RU rack and a Slant Split stack wired stereo, to go smaller I'd need a combo.For many years I had a Yamaha quad box wired stereo (Mike owns it now), it always sounded better stereo (MP1, B200, quadverb), and if they only wanted to give me 1 mic, so beit... sounded good for me on stage  :headbanger:
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Kim

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

 Truthfully, I only felt I needed the extra mic for whenever I used the Pitch Shift patch; the original signal is Panned to one side and the Shifted signal Panned to the other.  But since I could get only one mic for the guitar (and one for the Mellotron/organ stuff) I had to change the Global setting in the fx unit to Mono. Otherwise one of those two signals won't make it to FOH.
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RIG OF FIRE:  ADA MP-2, Rocktron Xpression, Peavey Classic 60/60, Gator pedalboard, Rolls MidiBuddy, Dunlop 95Q wah.
Mellotron/organ section:  EHX Mel9, EHX C9, Saturnworks A/B switch, Vox V860 volume, Crate Powerblock.
Two 4x12 cabs:  one custom wired for both 2x12 guitar and 2x12 Mel9 if needed. UPDATED DIAGRAMS
HOME/STUDIO/COMBOS/STUFF:  Peavey JSX halfstack, Crate G60XL, Saturnworks Saturn Fuzz,  EHX Soul Food, ProCo Rat, Ibanez Smashbox, Saturnworks buffered splitter, Morley Tremonti wah, Peavey PV6, Korg DTR-1000, ADA MPC.
GUITARS:  Jackson KE3-DiMarzio Breed/PAF Pro, Jackson KE3-DiMarzio Breed/PAF Pro, Silvertone P-bass, '70s Gretsch Dorado acoustic.
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van Sinn

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

To me, there's an interesting difference between stereo and ambience..
A split-stack 4x10 or 4x12, when fed [maybe pseudo-]stereo, will perform just nicely more ambient than pure mono, when using certain effects like chorus/flange.
Most other effects really do not need true stereo - live, that is; an album is a different thing.

Pretty much the only concert ever with a fantastic setup was witnessing Pink Floyd mid/late 80's. but that's of course not for the majority of us to reach - and even then, it was more about creating a real good unified ambience for the whole crowd.

I think a good solution for a band would be to have the bass spread it's mono just fine, guitars do either mono of split-stack ambience, drums be what it is (given the real-estate size and natural ambience), keyboards likely stereo, have own mic-up into a mixer arrangement that'll produce the band's own idea of a wanted, useful mono plus stereo feed to suit this or that venue installation.
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Dante

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

I do love the stereo sound, but I rarely use it...and, haven't in a live situation for about 15 years. I tried running stereo into a 4x12 cab with no 'wall' inside. It was a bit boomy and not defined. If I were to try that again, I'd modify my cab or get one already separated.

FWIW; the right little combo amp can sound pretty dang big. My Mesa DC-5 filled a room, and the Viper totally reminds me of that. It's an open back, but still has that big presence and low end. I don't get that from the Thiele cab, with an EV in it. And, if you're putting a mic in front of your guitar cab anyway (which is how I roll), how many speakers are you mic'ing? ONE.

Mony Y Mono
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van Sinn

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

...And, if you're putting a mic in front of your guitar cab anyway (which is how I roll), how many speakers are you mic'ing? ONE.

Sorry for going slightly OT, but one mic in front of one driver in a 4x10/12 actually does record all four drivers.
The one with the mic directly on front of it is recorded 'directly', the other ones at lower levels - and slightly delayed; hence we get the comb-filtering effect, with it's filtering of certain frequencies, often resulting in a more crisp sound image.
/OT

WRT the split-cab, I would install a perforated wall, clad with rigid glasswool on both sides.
I believe this would allow enough left/right separation, while likewise let all drivers 'see' enough volume for the low-end response.
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Dante

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

van, you're probably right about getting some signal from the other speakers, but a unidirectional mic (Shure SM57) should help that a lot.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Stereo works great for studio recording!  I agree it would get lost in live performance mix.
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rabidgerry

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Re: Mono vs. Stereo
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

And since every venue we've ever played so far has Mono PA systems run by a Soundguy who always seem to get very annoyed if they have to afford an extra mic and desk channel for the same guitar
(It's like ordering food and when asking for extra chips they either refuse to give them or they just get angry and throw them at you)

Yeah I've experienced this as well.  But they have no arguement when they'd be micing up for a second guitarist anyway.

I probably will never ever go back to mono, stereo really works well for a one guitar band.  I don't get to enjoy it myself on stage so much (unless the sound man has the ability to pan left and right cabs to seperate monitors for me) but it seems to be noticeable out front in the majority on places I play.  I use stereo Chorus both subtley and more obvious plus stereo delays that pan left and right so I use stereo Chorus both subtly and more obvious plus stereo delays that pan left and right so this definitely sounds better in stereo than mono or dual mono (using two cabs each side of the stage).

Playing a stereo rig has also made me look a lot more into utilizing FX in a way I would have done before.  I may not have cracked thing s yet but it certainly inspired me to look into maximizing the potential of using a stereo setup.
 
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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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