To understand the concept of “mixing in mono” as a beginner you should know that a stereo signal contains two components which are quite frankly, the MID and the SIDE information.
So when a stereo signal is collapsed to a mono signal this means that you are practically left with the MID information and doing so is a step towards mixing in mono.
But before you decide to mix in mono you should always make sure you have done all your panning in stereo, because this will cause a lot of confusion when you pan in mono then switch back to stereo.
Anyways the whole point of mixing in mono is due to the fact that in certain environments such as clubs, concerts and so forth the audio systems will often be in mono.
Therefore you should mix in such a way that your music translates to all platforms without completely sounding like trash when played on mono audio systems.
The Advantages of Mixing in Mono
The process of mixing in mono has some advantages you can utilize in making necessary judgments when it comes to mixing decisions.
Here is a list of benefits when mixing in mono:
- Mixing in mono helps you to make better adjustments when it comes to audio levels in the session
- Mixing in mono helps you to dial in better EQ settings to enhance the sound.
- Mixing in mono improves “mono compatibility” meaning your music will translate well to different platforms and systems.
Disadvantages of Mixing in Mono
Even though mixing in mono is always a recommend idea there are a couple of drawbacks when mixing in mono and you should pay attention to those issues.
Now here is a list of disadvantages of mixing in mono:
- Mixing in mono makes it difficult to dial in the right “stereo reverb” or “stereo delay” settings.
- Mixing in mono isn’t vouched for when making panning decisions – (watch out for this common mistake).
- Mixing in mono is a bad idea when using “stereo imager” plugins because of the missing SIDE information.