Bass Content Of Any CD: Is Mono or Stereo??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will Gatlin Jr, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello...

    I was playing a CD of a R&B group called "Solo", and this CD has more bass (makes the CD sound bad) than any other CD I've heard. Who ever mix it was probably drunk. I had it cracked up pretty good, because these boys can really sing. On one of the tracks I heard a loud thud/thump come from my left spk. I was sure I had blown the woofer. I played it over and over at a lower volume and the thund was still there. But, it wasn't in the right spk.

    I bi-amp my spks bass end (passive mode) with 250 watt Onkyo M-508 "Grand Integra's with the big VU meters (Mac look-a-likes). On some CD's the VU meters move like the CD was recorded in stereo, and on others the VU meters move like they are in mono.

    My ?? is, are CD recorded in stereo or mono? Thanks!!
     
  2. MichaelAW

    MichaelAW Second Unit

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    Most albums are recorded in stereo. They're then mixed, again, usually in stereo, before being mastered in stereo.

    I can't think of any albums in the last thirty years done in mono. The only song I can think of is "Beyond You" by Marillion, which was mixed in mono (after being recorded in stereo) as a tribute to Phil Spector. But, the rest of Marillion's Afraid of Sunlight album is in glorious stereo.
     
  3. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I think Will's question was whether the bass is usually a mono center-mixed track, or is bass sometimes mixed into the left or right channel at times. For example, virtually every modern studio-recorded pop CD I own has the low bass mixed dead-center. For effect, a producer might mix it off center, but not often. By bass, I mean bass guitar and/or bass drum.

    Now, classical is a different story. Usually they record an orchestra as it would be seen on stage, and as the bass violins are usually on the right (from an audience perspective) you will hear them on the right on a CD. Similarly, a live recording of, say, a jazz combo in a club, might have non-centered bass if the bass player was off to one side and the producer maintained this in the mix.

    MichealAW, I disagree with your view that "Most albums are recorded in stereo. They're then mixed, again, usually in stereo, before being mastered in stereo." In fact, most pop albums are recorded in multitrack, meaning a collection of several mono tracks. These mono tracks are then mixed into a 2-channel stereo mix, but this is far different from saying that it was "recorded in stereo". To me, recording in stereo means we set up the performers on a stage or in a room and record them with only 2 microphones - left and right.
     
  4. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Rick!!
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Although- some materials are tracked in "stereo" as well. Sequenced material, keyboards, drum over heads, etc- these are tracked to a pair of "mono" tracks, intended to be played back as "stereo".

    But for the most part, you are correct. Albums are tracked to multiple "mono" tracks, mixed to a stereo mater and then pressed to a stereo playback media.

    As far as how bass is mixed- this is like asking how guitar is mixed. There are no rules- in every case it is going to a "stereo master", so the question is just its place in the mix. Often bass guitar and kick drum end up straight down the middle- but often widening effects are placed on them for effects (like applying a rolling verb and using a phase plug in to make it more stereo)-- so bass can really come from all over.

    -vince
     
  6. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    Triplicate post--sorry.
     
  7. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    Beatles-Please Please Me, With The Beatles & Rubber Soul UK vinyl stereo lps---Vocals on the right, all instruments (except an occasional overdub) on the left, including bass. Many other rock records from the sixties have non-centered bass. That's why I got a Yamaha DSP-A1--a split subwoofer output that delivers stereo bass to my Definitive Technology 2002 towers with 1 subwoofer in each.
     
  8. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    Triplicate post--sorry.
     

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