Mono or stereo?

Peter Korsten peter at
Thu Mar 31 17:55:57 CEST 2022

Hey Jay,
> I’ve had this problem in different variations over the years, and have come to the conclusion to stay mono unless I need it, in which case I re-patch to a stereo channel.
> Stereo for things like strings and pianos and anything that moves over the scale a lot.  Drums, too obviously.
> But  mono for bass and lead lines and arpeggiator lines (unless I decide these sound better stereo).

Drums makes total sense. Haven't really thought about strings and such. 
I think some of my synths may have stereo samples, although the question 
is whether that makes any difference. I tend to think that it doesn't.

> So its better to just have the versatility and option of switching, rather than leaving everything hard-wired.
> For this reason I use front-facing 19” rack interfaces - which then double as a bit of a patch bay, easily routable.

See, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I can't see myself swapping cables 
all the time. There's likely going to be some mix of software and 
hardware, all playing at the same time.

> Right now my portable setup is oriented around the Arturia AudioFuse Studio, which is just such a superlative interface in so  many ways - full compatible class drivers, builtin USB hub, and ample inputs.  I do find myself struggling a bit with stereo inputs on this interface, setting levels and so on - so when needed I move over to my Presonus StudioLive rig, which has 4 stereo channels, and can support more with linked inputs.

The Arturia is nice. I like their products, but it doesn't have enough 

> Either way though, if you want to have a ’set and forget’ setup, simply make some choices about what instruments ‘deserve’ to be stereo (FS1R, MicroFreak, Virus in my case…) and which ones you’ll mostly only use for mono purposes.

Currently, there is:
* Korg WaveStation SR (can be mono)
* Korg ElecTribe EMX-1 (the blue one (can be mono)
* Waldorf Micro Q (probably stereo)
* 2x E-Mu Proteus 2000 fully loaded with very different ROMs (at least 
* Yamaha EX5 (in a different room; stereo)
* Yamaha AN1x (in a different room; probably mono)
* Jomox AirBase 99 (as many as possible)
* On its way: Böhm Dynamic 12/24 (probably mono)

If you've never heard of the last one, that's a DIY sine-only 4-op FM 
synth module from 1986. No reason to purchase one, except it comes (or 
at least, it can come, and I hope I didn't mess up) with a triple 
analogue chorus. I can sound like a Solina! Think Jarre's Equinoxe I. 
€73 on eBay.

So, with five channels for the Jomox, I'd come up to 16 channels. I 
could get away with fewer, because I don't really have the space for the 
two Yamaha keyboards.

> Of course, this requires having some forethought about your music-making process, which may not be as refined as you’d need given you’re warming it up/rebooting it these days.  Get started, and after a few productive sessions, you’ll have a better feel.

That is probably what's I need to do. But it's just daunting having to 
hook everything up. I got my 01V mixer down, but that thing is huge and 
awkward. Had to put it on the floor under my desk. That was probably the 
worst purchase ever: quite a bit of money when I bought it, worth 
practically nothing these days, and I have never used it to its 
potential. Martin used it better than I ever did.

- Peter

More information about the music-bar mailing list