How to deal with stereo effects and mono tracks?

I have a question related to mono tracks and effects in Cubase.

Let’s say that I record an acoustic guitar with one microphone into a mono track. If I want to apply reverb into this track (as an insert plugin) the reverb will be also mono. If I want to have the reverb as stereo, what I have been doing often is create a stereo track - drag the mono audio into the stereo track, and then insert the reverb (again as an insert).

My question is that is there any downside or is there anything wrong in dragging a mono audio into a stereo track in Cubase? The audio should still sound the same (mono) even it is now in a stereo track, shouldn’t it?

Not going to hear stereo effect when in INSERT channel. The correct way is to create a stereo FX channel, pick your effect (say stereo reverb), go to your mono track (say acoustic guitar) and SEND the signal to the stero effect channel… then you’ll hear the reverb in the stereo effect you’re looking for.

Can I somehow route the mono source track and the FX channel into another stereo track that I can print into audio?

Also, is there any harm to put mono audio into a stereo track, is it going to sound the same? That way I could use stereo reverb as an insert plugin with mono source.

reverb is very subjective! there is not a rule book… if it works and sounds good, then it is right! mono reverb can be very effective in some cases, don’t always assume reverb should be stereo!

… and no there is absolutely nothing wrong with playing a mono file from a stereo track, in order to use stereo effects. Also playing stereo/mono audio on a 5.1 track, etc.

So it means that mono audio sounds the same in mono track AND stereo track in Cubase?

What do your ears say…?

To my ears it might sound a bit different, perhaps “fatter” when I am running a mono sound in stereo track than running it in a mono track, but I might be imagining it all… That’s why I am asking this question in here.

You are imagining it. In any case, you can simply do a null test…

How can I do a null test?

Copy the mono audio event to a stereo track, reverse polarity on one of the two - If you get silence on the output, both tracks output the exact same signals, which cancel due to the polarity reverse. If you don´t get cancellation, you´re doing something wrong…

Thanks a lot for the help and sorry for asking more questions, but how can I reverse polarity in Cubase?

Read the manual?

In the “pre-rack” in the mixconsole

Page 193 of the operations manual (English)

Okay, they null. But there is a difference! A mono audio in stereo track is around 4db louder than in a mono track.

Pan Law