Playing straight into a PA: Stereo or Mono?

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steersteer Frets: 1203
edited March 11 in Live
I play straight into a PA via some pedals including amp sim etc. Nothing too out of the ordinary in my setup. Some of my pedals have stereo out including my delay. The last pedal in my chain is an amp sim, which only has mono output, and the whole pedal board is setup as standard mono. 

The new sound guy had 2 DI's setup for me, and was seemingly disappointed when I only wanted to go mono. My only reasoning is that I have never played with Stereo out from my pedalboard, and I don't even know where to begin, and whether it is worth the bother or not. Unless I am going to be using some weird panning effects (clue: I am not), is it worth going down the route of stereo out?

In my ignorance, am I missing anything amazing by sticking with Mono? 
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Comments

  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10479
    I would always go  stereo as the sound guy can always pan you to mono anyway. Even if he does you can still be stereo in IEM's if you use them. Some venues don't  really suit anything stereo due to speaker placement and layout but in proper venues like theatres and dedicated live music venues a single guitar with some stereo effects sounds bigger than a mono one. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 28833
    steer said:
    The last pedal in my chain is an amp sim, which only has mono output, and the whole pedal board is setup as standard mono. 

    [snip]

    In my ignorance, am I missing anything amazing by sticking with Mono? 
    Not with your setup, no. You don't have a stereo signal to give to him.
    "[Sporky] brings a certain vibe and dignity to the forum."
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  • CaseOfAceCaseOfAce Frets: 1371
    Not wishing to sabotage the thread - but the most punk rock thing I ever saw was a guitar, drums, girl singer trio playing in a Bangkok bar - where the guitarist was plugged straight into the public address system contraption and playing at ear splitting volumes. Just hilarious but you had to admire the intent...
    ...she's got Dickie Davies eyes...
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 3682
    We have two Helix direct to PA plus vocals and backing tracks.  Loads of inputs on the digital desk so we used to have both guitars as stereo outputs (plus the backing was stereo) and I used to mix the whole lot as 'narrow stereo'.  The trouble was that in so many of the venues that we play (pubs) virtually none of the audience could hear the stereo mix (think L shaped rooms where the speakers were placed orthoganally).  It made no sense to have anything in stereo so I remixed all of the backing as mono and we take a single, mono, feed from each Helix - all straight down the middle.
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  • steersteer Frets: 1203
    edited March 11
    Thanks for your input(s) people. 


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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3150
    Hardly ever mix a guitar or keyboards for that matter in stereo live. The reason is in most venues the separation is lost on most of the audience so it sounds odd. Rack toms are normally panned but more and more bands are only using one so that’s gone out the window too. The man exception to this are Queen tributes playing Brighton Rock and Now I’m here 
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 72742
    Mono unless you're playing Wembley or somewhere like that. Maybe even then.

    In an average venue most of the audience will be much closer to one speaker or the other so they won't hear the stereo properly if you use fancy effects, and it will make it harder to 'place' the guitar in the mix. If the soundman wants a bit more 'air' in the guitar sound they can always add a small amount of stereo reverb at the desk.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Only two things are infinite - the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

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  • vizviz Frets: 10741
    Mono’s fine!!!
    Roland said: Scales are primarily a tool for categorising knowledge, not a rule for what can or cannot be played.
    Supportact said: [my style is] probably more an accumulation of limitations and bad habits than a 'style'.
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  • JCA2550JCA2550 Frets: 443
    Why not try the amp sim before the stereo delay and sending l and r to the PA? 
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  • steersteer Frets: 1203
    Thanks all.

    I think I will stick with Mono. I could in theory get Stereo working, but to do so would involve re-ordering much of my pedalboard. And I would have no chance to properly test Stereo sound at home where it all goes through one standard amp - the thought of testing a brand new setup from scratch during a brief live soundcheck does not really appeal to me. 

    From the sounds of what people have said there are no real life changing benefits of going stereo and indeed some potential pitfalls. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 10479
    As I mentioned earlier any stereo source can be collapsed to mono with the pan pots ... so there's never a downside to stereo. From an FOH view it's like a mic on the hi hat ... you don't need to use it but it some cases it's nice to have it. 

    There are some tricks you can do that are quite useful .... if you have a dry ish side and a wet ish side then FOH can balance the level of effect coming from you to suit the room. This isn't easy to do from the stage ... often what you think is enough is way too much. Sometimes, with some people, it goes the other way. 

    For a nice IEM mix then always guitar effects in stereo, keyboards panned in stereo and toms panned across the stereo field. IEM's sound terrible in mono which is what puts a lot of people off them. We aren't used to hearing mono really. An IEM mix should be panned like a studio foldback mix so the brain can separate things. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 3150
    Danny1969 said:
    As I mentioned earlier any stereo source can be collapsed to mono with the pan pots ... so there's never a downside to stereo. From an FOH view it's like a mic on the hi hat ... you don't need to use it but it some cases it's nice to have it. 


    OT but the groove is in the Hihat , for choice would always mic the hat, the snare will always be there bleeding into bass drum and hat mic
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 374
    Danny1969 said:
    As I mentioned earlier any stereo source can be collapsed to mono with the pan pots ... so there's never a downside to stereo. From an FOH view it's like a mic on the hi hat ... you don't need to use it but it some cases it's nice to have it. 


    OT but the groove is in the Hihat , for choice would always mic the hat, the snare will always be there bleeding into bass drum and hat mic
    Yep, I hear loads of engineers talking down about the hi-hat mic but it's where all the magic is. I couldn't live without it!
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 24687
    With the current trend for bullshit boomy low end, the high hat is what the bassist is listening to.

    Mic that bastard up.
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  • ScreamingDaveScreamingDave Frets: 563
    KISS.  Stay mono, in my book
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 7301
    Danny1969 said:
    As I mentioned earlier any stereo source can be collapsed to mono with the pan pots ... so there's never a downside to stereo. From an FOH view it's like a mic on the hi hat ... you don't need to use it but it some cases it's nice to have it. 


    OT but the groove is in the Hihat , for choice would always mic the hat, the snare will always be there bleeding into bass drum and hat mic
    But the same is true of the hihat in all the other mics too. Its a fucking loud little bugger. 
    ဈǝᴉʇsɐoʇǝsǝǝɥɔဪቌ
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  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 4178
    Always mono for me.
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