Monitoring through control room sounds slightly different

Two questions or rather findings really.

  1. Monitoring through control room sounds slightly different to me, control room has a more mellow feeling sound, less punch.?? compared to a Stereo output. - (not a routing issue etc been doing this for years).

  2. Another thing, now this has been a thing for me since SX3 days (put to good use!), if you make 2 mono group tracks panned hard L&R , they sound slightly wider, with better left/right separation than something bussed straight to Group Stereo track. - No April fools I assure you.

Not really sure where I’m going with this, just some observations I’ve had over the years. - good or bad/ for better or worse etc.



  1. Make sure, the Stereo Out is set to Not Connected in this case. If your settings is correct (it would be nice to share it) do you have any measurements, to prove this theory, please?

  2. Do you have any measurements, to prove this theory, please?

Not to sound in anyway condescending or obtuse.

  1. “but of course” all settings are correct. Pick your outputs - BAM! - like I said not a noobie, have been doing this professionally for 20+ years.

Measurements? , my ears… great music/ mixes are not looked at, but are felt.

Anyone can do tests to disprove if they like, but “to me” there is a difference, I’m just having an internet conversation really, - …and was wondering if anyone else notices this or has experienced it?


I had been doing this professionally for 25+ years but I know when someone like me feels “wider” “narrower” “mellower” “punchy” “fat” “weak” “thin” and etc, it strongly indicates there are volume differences of up to 6dB. :slight_smile:
Believe me, you must have a routing difference such as double assigning of stereo output and monitor output and incorrect panlaw setting for 2xmono hard-panned case. You really should measure the output volume after ASIO driver, you know your ears is influenced from your feeling, great music mixers should know that. :slight_smile:


Na…none of that’s happening.

How do you know that without any measurement?

There is no Volume change, or panning law shenanigans going on trust me, I could give you a TAX return how about that? :vulcan_salute:

Anyhoo , I think I’ll have a chat with some colleges.

Thanks again.


There are other parameters than Volume or Panning. Maybe spectral analysis might point to something.

  1. You need to sort that out - there’s a problem in your setup

  2. You can test this out easily by setting your two situations up - routing each to an additional mono group and then phase reversing one of them. They’ll null because of course they do.

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Well then… since a professionaly trained ear hears a difference that no measument supports… it HAS to be extraterrestrial life that influences information going through control rooms with a type of energy that is not yet known to earthlings. They are just having fun - the extraterrestrials. Mere fun.

Greeting’s people of earth, try this routing of your interface /converters or vice versa and tell me there isn’t a difference, …only thing I can think of is latency delay of some kind?


Ok so - Mainout 1-2 …where the 1 is going straight into L input of an Interface and Control Room 1-2 … the 2 going straight into R input of the interface, so I’m being direct as possible with signal chain here etc…

Maybe it is just me? …o look mothership has arrived! :alien:


Interested in feelings/findings. So, I just did this and exported a test file of each routing, they sounded identical to me. When imported to a new project and one was phase reversed, they nulled perfectly.

I would suggest that some testing would be useful to determine if there is a perceived difference (feeling) or a measurable one (finding). I take it that you have checked monitor inserts in Control room? They are a bit tucked away.

Oh and not wishing to be shot down, professional for 46 years :wink:

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Be aware, this doesn’t have to be always the case. Some plug-ins are using some kind of random mechanism to make it sound more natural/analog/live. So even 2 exports with the very same settings might sound a bit different (not 100% phase canceled).

Yes, Martin I’m aware of that, good point though. My test was with stereo mixes, so any random elements like that were already fixed in the mix.


There is an even more simple and solid test.

  1. create an empty project
  2. create an audio track, insert a testGenerator, generate pink noise, or place an audio file
  3. connect stereo out to an output pair of your audio interface that goes to a monitor
  4. enable control room and connect monitor output to the same output
    → you will hear 6dB louder signal than connected to only one. now,
  5. insert mix6to2 to the control room insert
  6. invert phase of both sides on the plugin
    → the result is complete silence, i.e. null. From this point, under this setting, anything you play on the project window i.e. audio files, vsti, or a whole mixing project, etc. will be cancelled out. Because the signal coming out from the master fader is fed to the interface and also through the CRM monitor output but phase inverted. So there’s no delays or no alternation of any kind.

For me, this proves there’s absolutely no difference between stereo output on the audio setup and monitor output, if it does not cancel out, you have some wrong setting, maybe plugin left in the CRM inserts.

Can’t think of any other reason required to believe this. If you are not going to be convinced with the null result, well then, we are in a different league. :slight_smile:

And in case if it will be the opposite, i.e. if the test worked on you, please don’t be shy, embarrassed or feel anything negative. I’ve seen so many great engineers spotted differences on exactly the same thing, of course even myself on occasions, too. It’s the nature of human hearing and what important here is understanding how much that the mind influences our perceivement and using that for making music and mixing, not who’s right or wrong.



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Yes, I experience the same - stereo out sounded cleaner than control room. I was very surprised.

However, It’s very likely this is a psychological effect based on expectations - these can be very strong. The routing for stereo out is more direct (probably) than control room - at least that’s what I intuitively believe. That would be enough for my mind to jump to conclusions.

I didn’t do any tests to prove or disprove this.

After some thorough null testing and rendering, the interface “IS” the culprit, getting a micro delay on the right channel…its a weird one, but sorted now/ swapped out for something else.

Thanks for bearing with me!
All the best.


Thanks for going all out, much appreciated :+1:


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Hi Richard,
I knew I wasn’t crazy haha. :innocent:


Just to say it: Nice thread, amusing and interresting. And with some fine humor!
Thx, Ernst

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