Stereo comp as mono?

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Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Hud » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:15 pm

So... I feel like this is a really basic question but I just can't wrap my head around it

If you want to compress a mono source and feed it through one side of a stereo comp, is this any worse than using a mono comp? I figure that if nothing is coming in the right channel, it is pretty much the same...

Would be very grateful if someone could point me in the right direction. Muchos gracias amigos!
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Ben M » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:41 pm

Hi Hud

I've had to do it a couple of times (after running out of mono comps) and late in a mix just to fit something into place. I didn't notice any problems. I used the left side of the stereo compressor for no particular reason except some ST comps do allow for a left mono signal. But generally left should = left and right should = right. There may be some types of ST comps that are the exception to this.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby mylesgm » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:47 pm

I do it regularly on my SSL and API stereo buss and they work very well indeed. They cant do two independent sources but on a single source you'll be surprised to find a whole new palette in front of you.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Chris H » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:45 am

I regularly use my avalon747 for
Mono signals, usually when tracking. Works a treat with vox, acoustic guitar and bass etc.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Drumstruck » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:08 am

A lot of stereo doovers have Left(Mono) / Right inputs and (I'm assuming / hoping?) they have a switch on the left input - either way, I've had no issues with my TLA using just the left channel. A few dbx have a stereo couple / uncouple switch for dual mono op. A splitter cable may remove any concerns you have.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby mylesgm » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:01 am

I've even compressed a mono source on the left side and then feed that into the right side of a stereo comp (stereo meaning without independent controls) for smashing a room mic and it worked very well as an effect.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Hud » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Hey thanks muchly for the advice

I have actually put mono sources into stereo comps, and the world didn't end. But I suppose it's the fact that often left channel is L/Mono... (have they made the left channel differently to the right? If so, what exactly did they do?)... I had it in my mind that there may be some sort of impedence issue from connecting one source instead of two...

small fries I know (at least for my purposes)
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Sammas » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:31 pm

I would have thought most stereo compressors either the highest peak between the left or right signal, or sum the left and right to mono in the sidechain circuit. Then both the left and right sides are compressed equally from this signal.

Loud tom hit in the left? ...both the left and right signal are reduced equally

Some stereo compressors can have totally independent left and right peak/rms detectors.

In either case I would have thought that a stereo compressor only receiving a signal through one side would operate no different to if it were just a mono compressor from the get go. IE: the mono signal will be the greatest peak initiating the compression between left and right channels... or it will be summed to mono... or it is independent in the L channel and makes no difference.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Futureman » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:33 pm

Sammas wrote: ...some stereo compressors can have totally independent left and right peak/rms detectors.
...


I would call that 2x mono compressors. (Unlinked)

That would not be so great for stereo compression.. Tom hit on the left, equals the stereo image shifting to the right.. doh.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Kurt » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:51 am

Some units allow you to decide how much each channel affects the other but I think most just sum the channels as mentioned above.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Sammas » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:22 pm

Futureman wrote:
Sammas wrote: ...some stereo compressors can have totally independent left and right peak/rms detectors.
...


I would call that 2x mono compressors. (Unlinked)

That would not be so great for stereo compression.. Tom hit on the left, equals the stereo image shifting to the right.. doh.



I would have thought that... but if you take the API 2500 for example, it allows you to set the sidechain for left and right as "independent".

I actually think my C1 sounds better in dual mono mode than stereo. It sounds wider.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby mylesgm » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:31 pm

I think you'll find that sidechains for stereo comps are different on different units. Mono summed sidechain that is then used for gain reduction. separate sidechains with loudest channel driving both channels reduction (SSL style). Separate sidechains with complete independence or graduated independence (API 2500). Independent sidechains for RMS detection and mono summed sidechain for peak detection. Independent sidechains with one set of controls for both channels. I'm sure there are others.

The OP was asking about the suitability of using stereo comp for a mono source. If you use only one channel of the stereo comp then it most operates exactly like a mono comp. If you are using two mono sources into a stereo comp then the compression of the channels will interact unless the comp unless decoupling of the sidechains (api 2500) and even here there may be problems because on the 2500 there are only one set of controls for both left and right channels. Number 1 tip? It can work so suck it and see if it works for you and the particular situation.
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Re: Stereo comp as mono?

Postby Ben M » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:32 pm

Sammas wrote:I actually think my C1 sounds better in dual mono mode than stereo. It sounds wider.


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My C2 is definately wider in dual mono. For real.
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