mono vs stereo tracks - any difference for a mono source?

I only use stereo audio tracks recorded from a mono source and bus so that stereo VST effects work correctly. This has been discussed in the past and I have not heard of any good reason to ever use a mono audio track. The file that gets recorded is the same on both stereo and mono tracks and they are easily moved to either type of track if, for some reason, you have a need.

Regards. :sunglasses:

Great :slight_smile:

FWIW - Greg Ondo on the Cubase hangouts recommends on the YouTube live hangouts to use a mono track and a stereo FX channel.

Some discussion here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sI9rLlegOk&t=1200s

For me… keeping things simple and just inserting VSTs to tracks is the way to. I periodically will group some to a FX channel but, that rare for my workflow and needs.

Regards. :sunglasses:

Yes, you wrote exactly the same words in your previous post but I like to understand what you mean by: “And on mono tracks apply a reverb and that could be only on the left side channel (very weird)".

By the way, ALL my plugins support mono.

Bass track and Voice track (lead) are the most often recorded in mono because they are in the center of the mix.
The reason why for Bass is because low end isn’t very directionnal so no interest to be panned, and if it’s panned you can feeling an empty in the center of the stereo image.
An advantage is too : the CPU lower used.

FYI, recording a mono source (like a guitar, bass, or vocal) on a mono bus to a mono or stereo audio track…

  • CPU usage is the same (during record and playback).
    -The recorded file is the same (both are the same size and both are mono).
  • Panning works and sounds the same (pan it or not).
  • Some stereo VST effects will not work properly when inserted on a mono audio track.
  • You can easily move the recorded audio on a stereo track to a mono track and vice versa if for some reason you find it necessary.

FWIW… I always pan my bass and vocal audio tracks.

Regards. :sunglasses:

But some don’t. And even if they do, Cubase still might not process a stereo type VST effect properly when inserted and played on a mono audio track.

Regards. :sunglasses:

Yes, but this member SteelyDani of our forum has corrected me twice… Thanks for your reply…!

Absolutely agree, although I would never think of inserting a stereo type effect on a mono track. Logically, I was thinking in mono tracks to be processed. In any case, many thanks for the clarification :slight_smile:.

Please, I have not corrected you twice. I have not even made one. I have not corrected you in any way. I have simply pointed out that ALL my plugins support mono.

I do not mean, logically, to yours or those of other members simply because I do not know them.

Let’s not beat around the bush and go back to my original question: what do you mean by: “And on mono tracks apply a reverb and that could be only on the left side channel (very weird)". :question: It’s the third time I ask the same thing.

I simply pretend to understand what you mean by the sole object of learning. If you do not want to answer do not do it.

A quick and easy test to demonstrate to yourself a major difference between mono and stereo tracks:

Start with an empty project.

  1. Add one mono track and one stereo track to the same mono source. (A mic for instance)
  2. Insert the stock Cubase “Ping Pong” delay on both tracks. Select the “Lead Ping Pong Delay” preset for each instance.
  3. Monitor enable both tracks.
  4. Solo the Mono track and speak.
  5. Solo the Stereo track and speak.
  6. Nod head with understanding. :wink:

(This post is directed to anyone . . . but no one in particular)

I think every single user over here tried to explain you xx times, mono support on a vst plugin does not mean it works!
A reverb can do on a mono channel for instance only left channel and right nothing. Cubase works in stereo.
So the reverb processes the MONO as LEFT channel only, while hearing MONO channel left with Reverb and MONO right without reverb.
That is and can be the end result!

Even this user say you must test it, so it is not answered enough for you now ???


A quick and easy test to demonstrate to yourself a major difference between mono and stereo tracks:

Start with an empty project.

  1. Add one mono track and one stereo track to the same mono source. (A mic for instance)
  2. Insert the stock Cubase “Ping Pong” delay on both tracks. Select the “Lead Ping Pong Delay” preset for each instance.
  3. Monitor enable both tracks.
  4. Solo the Mono track and speak.
  5. Solo the Stereo track and speak.
  6. Nod head with understanding. :wink:
    Cubase Pro 9.5.21, Windows 7 64Bit



Thank you very much Mr. van der Velde for explaining to me the difference between a mono and a stereo track. After more than 40 years involved in music, I had not been able to figure out the difference :blush: . Too sophisticated for me. You are so kind!

Thanks for the Credit where the Credit is due…! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: Finally
Allways happy to explain a Junior Member how it is…

I suppose this statement of yours is actually what made the other member confused since you are not correct. The situation you have described is not going to happen. If a stereo-only reverb is inserted on a mono bus then the resulting signal - before entering the stereo masterbus - will be still in mono so you cannot hear the left channel processed and the right one not.

The situation you have described actually happens in the opposite case: when you have a mono-only plugin which has been inserted on a stereo bus.

Anyway, there’s no need to argue here.

Best regards

Miloslav

I started the topic linked below to discuss this subject a while ago. There are definitely differing opinions. Most differing opinions seem to point to a users workflow and purpose for using Cubase. But, no one has yet given me any really good reason for recording a mono audio source, connected to a correctly assigned mono bus to a mono audio track… for anything.

Because of this, I would venture to state that if Cubase didn’t even offer it’s current mono audio track option no one would miss it.

I would love to hear if my last statement is totally full of beans as my original purpose was to learn something about the mono audio track use. I don’t know if my topic in the Steinberg Lounge linked below is the place to discuss… or here. I suppose the mods will decide. :wink:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=100307

Regards :sunglasses:

I think that using only stereo tracks is okay - if you don’t mind the overhead associated with (sometimes unnecessary) two channels processing. What could be problematic is inserting a reverb directly on a stereo audio track since this method might bring unwanted issues with panning. In the extreme case, when you are going to pan an already reverbed track hard left on the mixconsole, you completely lose its presence in the right channel which definitely isn’t natural reverberation. That’s why it is advisable to use a separate group bus or FX track for stereo effects. Alternatively, you could insert a dedicated panning plugin before the reverb on the respective stereo audio track, however, manipulating the panner then becomes less intuitive. Those are the reasons why I preffer inserting dynamics and EQ processors on mono tracks and then connecting those mono tracks to stereo groups for reverbs etc.

Best regards

Miloslav

Thanks for your reply Miloslav :wink:

You can check this for yourself… I’ve done extensive tests and there is no CPU difference at all when playing back the same mono audio recording on either a mono or stereo audio track with the same insert (or inserts) applied.

The only difference is how Cubase processes an inserted stereo type of VST effect (like a reverb) during playback. It will not sound “correct” when playing on a mono audio track but it will sound good when played back on a stereo audio track. What I don’t know is if this phenomenon happens for “every” stereo type of VST effect. It does for every one I’ve tried.

Regards. :sunglasses: