I made up a word.

“Monorific.”

It’s a cross between “mono” and “terrific.”

…or perhaps “horrific.”

It depends on how you look at mixing in mono.

If you believe mono kills your mixes, makes them sound lame, flat and boring, I’ve got news for you.

Mono’s not the problem.

In fact, it’s the solution.

If your mixes don’t sound good in mono, it’s because there’s something wrong with your mixes.

Here’s a monorific idea:

Mixes that sound good in mono also sound GREAT in stereo.

The opposite, however, is NOT true.

Mixes that sound good in stereo won’t necessarily sound good in mono.

Why? Because stereo can hide issues. Mono exposes ’em.

You know those times where the mix is rockin’ in your studio, then it sounds weird in your car?

Go back to your studio and flip the mix to mono. I bet it will help you hear the “weirdness” that you thought only happened in your car.

The weirdness was there all along.

You just couldn’t hear it, because you were mixing exclusively in stereo.

Try being monorific for a day. See if it improves your mixes.

If you want to practice your monorific mixing skillz on a bunch of fresh multi-tracks (and get mix critiques from yours truly), then mosey on over to:

www.MixWithUs.com

You’ll be mixing in a matter of minutes.

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  • Hanzo S.

    I took your advice and listened to my mixes in mono early. It really helps me get the final idea I want, especially concerning EQ and instrument levels.

  • Xan

    If you’re really serious about mono do it with just ONE speaker.

    And Jon, there should be something in your master section where you can set the pan to mono. I can’t say anymore cause I don’t use that program.

    If you can’t do that, a simple thing to do is RENDER a mix down to mono, then at least you can check it & you might learn ov things that need attention.

    Another way is to use hardware. Just get one ov those RCA double adaptors (the kind with two sockets to one plug) and put both your LH & RH paths into that & then you can plug that into one channel ov your amp. This way you’ll be summing both channels into one speaker. Lovely. šŸ™‚

  • Andrew

    I always mix in mono. It’s so much easier learning EQ this way and good practice towards making your mix sound professional.

  • When I began checking my mixes in mono…wow, it was ear opening! This is one of the best things I had learned about mixing in a long, long time.

    One thing this helps with is stereo width. Most of us love our music in stereo but can sometimes get the stereo field to wide and don’t realize that it is…until you check the mix in mono.

    Even more so, listening to your mix in mono really helps you “see” whether there’s true separation between instruments. If the mono mix sounds cluttered then you gotta rethink EQ, reverbs, delays, etc.

  • Jon

    Is it possible to mix in mono on Garageband ?

    • Dru Jones

      I TOO would like to know this.

      DRU

    • I assume so. Just pan everything to mono.