stereo or mono...thats the question

hi fellas

im recording a mono lp and i was told making this lp is better if i made it in stereo rather than mono…is there really a differ
-ance?i tried it and they both sound the same 2 me…any ideas?thanks.


Thought Exercise. Stereo Cartridges are designed to pick up mono recordings with more or less equal volume on both sides. Neither side of the cartridge really lines up with the music. I can’t find a really good illustration of this. The explanations are either wrong or don’t have pictures.

Groove noise can be different between left and right (maybe not much), so if you capture in Stereo and mix down to mono later, the music will line up and get louder where the noise either doesn’t change, or gets lower.

We’re not talking blow you over differences, here. You might need sound meters to tell the difference. A good, healthy cat hair is going to show up on both sides no matter what you do. And no. It doesn’t affect the fidelity at all.


Here’s one.

Stereo recording vibrations go Upper-Left/Lower-Right and Upper-Right/Lower Left. Like a big “X.”

Vertical only groove vibrations like Edison used have limitations and are very noisy. Horizontal only groove vibrations are very well behaved and they’re almost perfect. They’re also called mono.

If the groove pushes the stylus left to right only (mono), a signal is created in both sides of a stereo cartridge.

All the benefits of capturing in stereo have to do with suppressing noise.


Plus Lenny, Allistair Bywater kindly gave you the following reply to your duplicate question on the Auudacity-Users email list, which I note (from your response in today’s digest) that you find too complicated for you.

Reproduced here to benefit other readers of the forum.



If the LP you are recording is mono and you are using a stereo pickup (which would be the norm) then a good trick is to record as normal, but a little quiter than usual.

After both sides are done, split the stereo track and set as mono using the little down-arrows next to where it says “AudioTrack”, giving effectively 2 mono tracks.

Once you have the two mono tracks, apply “Tracks/Mix and Render” which will combine the two mono tracks into a?new mono track, but the surface noise (if any) will be much reduced. (If you were able to listen to an older LP off a stereo cartridge and compare it with the sound off a mono cartridge, you usually can hear that surface noise is reduced with the mono cartridge.)

Check visually?for clipping at this stage, if you find any, undo the Mix and Render with Ctl-z then select each track and use Effect/Amplify by about -4 db, thus making them quieter, note the minus 4db. Use the same number for both tracks.

Try the Mix and Render again and your clipping should be gone, if not, undo again and repeat with a larger number.? And much of the surface noise should be gone as well.

Kind Regards


so koz should i do it in stereo from mono?when i do this i just seperate each track in mono then edit each track one by one.
a guy at the email said he did kind of stuff from stereo from mono.i was just wondering if it makes the songs sound better
or not.


and waxy i asked again because i didnt understand before and another guy mentioned that he did it.


Allistair’s recipe is designed to get you the best possible mono recording with the minimum of noise.

Koz’ posting is basically about the same stuff - he is telling you that you won’t get a true balanced mono recording due to physical differences in the track on the record and the response of the cartidge. Allistair’s recipe corrects for that.

If you find Allistair’s recipe too difficult to do and if you feel like spending a few dollars then you should consider using Brian Davies’ excellent ClickRepair software (a steal at $40 IMHO). In addition to being a truly magical repairer of clicks and pops on your recording - it also has a stereo to mono conversion function (operated simply by making a little tick in the right tick-box). This will then do basically what Allistair recommends, - but does it all for you with no other messing. See this thread of mine on ClickRepair:

I used ClickRepair’s Stereo to mono function a while back to correct a Carole King record (It might as well rain until September) I had which had reprocessed by the engineers on re-issue to false “stereo” on an LP. My original mono vinyl 45 got trashed badly on my jukebox :frowning: . Taking it back to mono this way improved it greatly.


Update: and if I remember correctly Lenny, you are working with 78s. In which case you should also take a look at Brian Davies’ DeNoise software (also $40) and his Equalizer software (free). All of Brians tools are available on a 21-day free trial so you can test out whether they work for you before committing to purchase. WC

thanks sir…