Why to separate between MONO/STEREO audio tracks at all??

I wrote this on another thread so first off; I’m sure you’re going to cyber-kill me for mailing this but at least give me an opportunity to explain. Think about this mail loooong and hard! :wink:

OK, here’s something fundamental for you all to think about. Try to have an open mind and not just thinking out of how you are used to all the things in Cubase. The following might sound all strange to you but I’ll try to explain. Please correct me if you have any contrary opinions:

I started using PC as a DAW with a piece of software called SAWPro. I never even tried out other DAWs back then in the 90’s. Just didn’t even know about them at all. But anyway: SAWPro did NOT separate between MONO and STEREO tracks to begin with. Sounds strange? Well read on, I don’t think that’s strange at all:

It basically had a switch for with which format you want to record (mono or stereo) and the SAWPro would then just add the events (called ‘regions’ in SAWPro) on the track by which format there are. The audio track is JUST an audio track and the audio file itself would determine how it should be played back (or handled).

So when I jumped into this cracked Nuendo 3 (sorry Steiny, I now got Cubase 6 however :wink: ), I immediately started to wonder about having to separate between MONO and STEREO audio tracks. Why should we have those to be separate at all? Do I really have to record to a separate track if I want to record as stereo? I mean, why not just set that from the Transport panel. I click STEREO and then it would record as stereo - and one audio track could have events, some MONO and some STEREO. So an Audio Track would be just a container for MONO AND STEREO audio events. No separation. Simple!

And don’t just think like “oh noooo” without thinking about this for half a minute.

The weird thing is, that you CAN mix the mono and stereo tracks in Cubase already; just record with a MONO track and then move the MONO audio event onto STEREO track and it WILL REMAIN MONO and show up as like. But I guess when you’d move a STEREO audio event onto a MONO tracks it would be played back as MONO. But why, why why???

I really can’t understand the meaning of this separation, fundamentally. I do however understand that FX tracks and Group tracks have to be either way. Yeah, I know, I’m pretty sure that someone out there shuts me up with some very good point. But the truth is, I never had anything that I couldn’t do with this tiny 2MB size software called SAWPro because it didn’t have separately formatted MONO/STEREO audio tracks. That’s why it was kind of a surprise to me finding them from Nuendo/Cubase.

And if someone yet couldn’t understand this… I’m trying to explain that the tracks can be simultaneously MONO or STEREO - only determined by the audio material ITSELF. OK?

EDIT: Please write here a scenario, explaining the situation where it would be absolutely necessary to have separately formatted MONO / STEREO audio tracks, and then I’ll shut up on the issue. :sunglasses:

I can only say I agree with you completely.

In my (basic/sick) mind, a basic stereo track is double mono. So if I move a mono track onto an audio track, it should play mono, but if I add another monotrack to the audio track, it should be stereo and I should be able to make my own decisions about that.

Dual mono is not the same as stereo, for one.
Furthermore, a stereo or dual mono file is twice the size of a mono file…

I don’t see how this relates to the thread topic at all, but of course the dual mono is not a stereo by means of how it sounds. But it IS technically stereo - it only sounds mono, since the two channels are the same. Of course if the left and right channel are different from each other, then we really can be talking about a stereo file.

But that IS also a dual mono file; it consists of one monologous file for the left channel and the other for the right channel. In Latin (where those names are taken from) MONO means “one” and STEREO means “two”. Not with exactly those same words, but altogether a stereo audio file is “only” a two MONO audio files stacked as one; the other one plays through the lft channel and the other one through the right.

Just like in a 5.1 Surround file, there are 6 MONO audio channels packed into one 6-channel file.

That’s why I say: my basic/sick mind.

Ofcourse I know that. But stereo is 2x mono. It makes it stereo sounding, because the tracks are (slightly) different.


Please have a look for the difference of panning (mono) and balance (stereo).



Exactly, we are talking about the same thing - and that usually happens when chatting in Internet :lol

Yes I know about the panning and balance but what does it have to do with this?? Meaning if there are stereo AND mono material on an audio track, then the MONO material could be treated as DUAL-MONO and that’s it! And I don’t think that panning would be such a bit issue here. Whether you use the Stereo dual panner or combined panner, or balanced panner, the fact is that the MONO signal WILL STAY MONO (like wanted) and it will be panned also - just like the stereo material.

But Chris, tell us all THE REAL reason why do we have to have separate MONO/STEREO audio tracks. Everyone knows there are differences between the panners, but why?? I mean how does that restrict you from having only AUDIO TRACKS - without the separation?