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Recording in Mono/Stereo

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Damani311, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Howdy.

    I'm recording single track bass guitar using my firebox, computer and this cubase as software.

    As a default, am I recording in mono? I am using a direct input from the guitar to the firebox..........would it be the same if i was running an amp in the chain?

    My default guess is that since it's an analog signal it's being recorded in mono, but I'm not sure b/c isn't it being converted to digital by the firebox?

    And is it even possible to record a single guitar track in stereo? Plausible? Would it sound different?

    Any info or links would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Cubase should give you the option to either record as a mono track or a stereo one. The graphical representation of the track will probably also reflect this (a mono track will show one waveform, a stereo one should show a pair). I use SONAR, and it's pretty easy. Check the help file for how to do it, it's probably a little "button" on the track control area.

    Tip: When recording an instrument that has a mono signal (bass, guitars that you're not tracking effects for, vocals) it's a very good idea to track in mono. Tracking mono instruments in "stereo" (dual mono) doesn't offer any benefits - and it offers several drawbacks (larger audio files, more difficult to effectively pan the track, heavier processor load on real-time effects, phase issues, etc.) When mixing, you can still run the mono track through an effects processor that creates stereo effects.

    Obviously, keyboards that have different Left and Right channel signals should generally be tracked in stereo to retain that. If you must record a keyboard in mono, find out how you can sum the L/R outs to a mono feed; if you just record one or the other, you can lose some of the important sonic info.

    Hope that all helps, I rambled on a bit. :smug:
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Analog versus digital has exactly nothing to do with mono versus stereo. <<--- :)
    Analog is a voltage signal that does not pass through an A/D converter and is not processed as data by a computer. Digital is data that is processed by a computer, and that data comes from an analog signal that went through an A/D converter.

    "Mono" means one channel, "stereo" means two channels- and it may also mean a particular relationship between the signals recorded on those two channels, but that's up to the person doing the recording.

    A normal bass guitar signal is mono. When you track in Cubase, you assign individual tracks to specific inputs. When recording in stereo, you are simply assigning two inputs to two separate tracks. There is no physical connection between the tracks: whether analog or digital, you can record the "left channel" on track 7 and the "right channel" on track 2 if you want. "Panning between" channels does not involve the signal actually moving between the channels, but rather the relative level of one input (fed into two channels) is increased in one channel while decreased in the other. It only sounds like movement from left to right due to the way our ears work.

    Yes you can record any mono signal onto as many tracks as you want simultaneously, but as Mark pointed out that comes with a lot of pitfalls.

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