Listening to Mono tracks

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Satch, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. Rich Satch

    Rich Satch Auditioning

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    5.1 and other surround formats are great and all, but I really hate listening to mono tracks. Typically, I've left the surround on and just listened to it through the center speaker, but tonight I turned off the surround and listened to it in the two fronts and it sounded a lot better. Is this ok? Is listening to it through the center channel the correct way to listen? Which do you prefer?
     
  2. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Rich-

    Sending a mono signal to multiple speakers is fine. You're not altering the signal in any way. In fact most mono theaters actually had many speakers throughout the theater, they just received the same signal. Mono didn't mean that the sound only came from a single speaker behind the screen, just that there was only a single signal sent everywhere. So if you prefer listening to soundtracks this way, knock yourself out.

    - Guy
     
  3. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    I agree with Guy, but I'm sure there are many an audiophile zealot out there that would cry heresy for listening to mono through multiple speakers.

    I have a nice center channel speaker but I prefer to spread the sound out throught the mains when it comes to mono sound. It's sounds warmer and fuller to my ears.
     
  4. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I think he's only spreading it to 2-channel mono - something some mono tracks do anyway.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    1.0 is the essential way to listen to a mono soundtrack. The sound is more like it's coming from the image, rather than complementing it on the sides.

    The problem with spreading the 1.0 or 2.0 mono to the entire 5.0 system is that you can get distortion. Now...if your reciever can keep the rear channels from the "echo" effect, it'll probably work alright.
     
  6. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  7. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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  8. Vic_T

    Vic_T Stunt Coordinator

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    It is not wrong to send mono tracks to more than one speaker. Mono need not be center channel only. That is the way mono 1.0 tracks will be sent by default. Mono 2.0 will go to the R&L front speakers. I would not suggest using Pro-Logic, cause I think it sucks, but there should be no ill effects on the sound of the track at all by sending it dry to other speakers. It is, in fact, common place to do so in many applications, including theaters.
     
  9. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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  10. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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  11. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    How come they just don't put mono button on modern receivers? Many older films were mixed in such a way that required the high end be rolled off (I think it is -2db per octave above 2000) and the low end be rolled off (-6db below 50). This was refered to as the academy filter. It was necessary because of the distortion in optical soundtracks. Even today Dolby processors in movie theaters have 01 optical mono with this filter. If we could have this on our receivers that sent sound only to the center speaker and rolled off the low and high ends older movies would sound alot more genuine.

    Chris
     
  12. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

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    Another way to listen to mono soundtracks is with Pro Logic II's Music mode. You can then use the Center Width control to adjust the exact proportion of signals across the three front speakers. For example, rather than steering all the signal to the center, some can be spread to L/R at a lower level, thus adding a sense of width or scale but without the hole-in-the-middle effect of dual mono.

    Aaron wrote: >>Another downside of listening to mono tracks in prologic through the centre channel is that certain parts of the sound become muffled during decoding. Running the sound to the front two channels with no processing avoids this.>Many older films were mixed in such a way that required the high end be rolled off (I think it is -2db per octave above 2000) and the low end be rolled off (-6db below 50). This was refered to as the academy filter.
     
  13. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Rich Satch

    Rich Satch Auditioning

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    HMMM, I just realized why Mono 2.0 is called Mono 2.0. Because it should be spread out across the two fronts. However, when my reciver is in pro-logic mode it sends all mono tracks even 2.0 to the center fro some odd reason. Any way to fix this, what's going on?
     
  16. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Rich -

    Pro-Logic is a matrixing technique that redirects stereo sound to 4 speakers.

    When a signal is in phase (when elements from left and right are in equal phase) and at the same volume, the Pro-Logic decoder sends this signal to the center channel.

    This is what is happening. Two equal signals in left and right, from the Mono 2.0 track is being identified as material that belongs to the center channel. And as such, this material is being decoded to the center channel.

    Switch off the Pro-Logic decoder and listen to it in stereo if you wish to listen to it in 2.0
     
  17. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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    IF I had a center speaker for my Pro Logic system and a Mono Movie came on, I Love Lucy, or The Three Stooges, I'd definently turn the center speaker off and listen to it with the front mains. BTW, how come when you go to the Information menu on Directv to I Love Lucy and it says STEREO? Lucy is not a stereo program. Why are they lying to us? On a prologic system, if you decide to keep the center turned on when watching a mono program, it will still send bass information to the right and lefts, because that's where a sub is usually hooked up to.
     
  18. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Another good reason you may want to use your fronts for mono is if you have full range fronts, but normally rely on your receiver's bass management for the center channel. Similarly, if you have a satellite & sub system where you follow the manufacturer's instructions and set your fronts (wired through the sub) to "Large", your center to "small" and your subwoofer to "none", depending on your receiver's bass management, with center channel mono you can get trace elements of the bass signal in your front L/R speakers in addition to the sub which can be distracting.

    IMHO, mono soundtracks should always be encoded as 1.0 on the disc, though. It eliminates a potential failure mode and makes optimal use of the bitrate. Hey, if Roger Dressler is still monitoring this thread, I would be interested to know if that is true or not. It seems that given 192 kb/s, that 1.0 would be more efficient, but the DD codec may be able to take advantage of the redundancy to make 192 kb/s 2.0 mono nearly as efficient. Roger?

    Edited for really bad spelling

    Regards,
     
  20. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I personally would prefer all mono & stereo surround soundtracks to be uncompressed PCM (where applicable space-wise), or at the very least use the highest DD or DTS bit rates available for 2.0 compressed soundtracks, I have heard a few DD 2.0 tracks at 384 kbps (Image's MST3K-TM was a recent surprise) and they sound pretty good compared to PCM...well...reasonably good anyway.
     

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