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Author Topic: Stereo Keys, is it just me?  (Read 2326 times)

Barry Reynolds

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 01:46:31 pm »

Iím a keyboardist, IEM engineer, and frequent concert attendee.

As a keyboardist, I always provide FOH a two channel output from my Radial DI, regardless of how many keyboards I have.  I do ask for stereo FOH if possible, to preserve the quality of my tone and effects.  It is the FOH guy who decides the width of panning.

As an IEM engineer, I provide an analog split to share with FOH.  Like many IEM users, I think stereo IEM mixes are vastly superior in helping singers and players concentrate on their parts while getting enough of the other singers and players to help blend.  My unspoken assumption for FOH guys is ďband provides all the IEM stuff and takes care of preamp changes during soundcheck and level changes during gig.  We will be monitoring in stereo, so please give us stereo in FOH if possible.Ē  Why do I care? ...

As a concert attendee, I have sat at all kinds of locations relative to LR and front/back.  Other than times when Iím up very close to one of the LR stacks, I can throughly enjoy the ear candy of panned ping-pong vocal delays or gloriously panned Rhodes tremolo or the stereo Leslie speed changes.  I am convinced that the stereo sweet spot for recognition and enjoyment is much larger than the sweet spot for equal volume in oneís ears of the LR sides.  YMMV.
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 02:09:28 pm »

As an IEM engineer, I provide an analog split to share with FOH.  Like many IEM users, I think stereo IEM mixes are vastly superior in helping singers and players concentrate on their parts while getting enough of the other singers and players to help blend.

Excellent point, and I forgot the monitors aspect in my original comment. A bad gig I played once drilled home the importance of separating audio sources in the sound field, as it helps the brain pick out the things it wants to hear. But mono sources can still be placed appropriately within that sound field.

But if hearing the full stereo spread of their instrument helps an artist be comfortable on stage, I'm happy to give it to them. That's what I'm there for. And if they want the aural perspective of having their nose pressed against the side of their Leslie cabinet, I'll give 'em that too.
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 02:24:09 pm »

Who said you have to pan them hard left AND right?
This exactly.  If something different occurs on the left then there's still enough of it in the right so that it isn't lost to those who can't hear the left. 
Really important for wide amphitheater-type seating arrangements outdoors.  For indoors, hard-panned items are rarely lost to those on the opposite side due to room reflections and reverb.  Consider too if you have front-fills or separate side-fill PA's, you may start getting into weirdness in those if you deviate too far from mono.

Another overall aspect is that I don't set-and-forget.  If there's a different patch that really sounds cool hard-panned (leslie etc..) I'll open it up.  Same with a patch that may exhibit some kind of phasing distortion if left mono. 
No rule that you have to maintain the same arrangement you had during sound check -especially when the most critical observer to their amplified output is usually onstage with monitors plugging their ears!
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 02:46:18 pm »

I once mixed a band on their system with the keyboard connected in mono, as per their request (channel limitations on the console). At some point in the show he had a ping-pong delay going. It pinged but it didn't pong.

Jamin Lynch

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 03:14:37 pm »

The band I'm working with tonight has 3 sets of keyboards going into his own mixer where I take a stereo XLR line out. Fortunately, he does a very good job of mixing the levels. Plus I also have 2 guitarist with stereo XLR outs on their amps.

There's a noticeable, but slight, difference/improvement when I pan them L/R. And not just in the middle.

Best part...it eliminates a few mics on stage.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2019, 03:35:04 pm »

It seems a keyboard could be engineered to sound good with a mono feed, but most keyboard efx are delay based and designed to work in stereo so don't sum to mono well.

Live PA is mostly mono, keyboards are mostly stereo and twain shall meet with some difficulty.

The live market is smaller than recording thus the lack of a dedicated mono output, but I have been out of the trenches for a couple decades.

JR
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Greg Harwood

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2019, 04:17:30 pm »

I was running a festival stage a few years ago, and a keyboard player for one of the bands arrived with five keyboards, all of which he insisted be run in stereo... he didn't have any DIs, nor instrument cables with him. 45 minute set...

That was not a fun day.

And, after we finally got him all patched and programmed in, he ended-up playing one of the keyboards about 99% of the time, and I'm fairly certain he didn't play two of the keyboards at all.

Now that's funny right there.  Sounds like some guitar players I know....bring 5 guitars and play one.
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Barry Reynolds

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2019, 07:47:40 pm »


Live PA is mostly mono, keyboards are mostly stereo and twain shall meet with some difficulty

JR

In the last two years, Iíve run into an increasing number of live sound operators who are genuinely enthusiastic about running stereo.  Iím ready to have the standard conversation, but find I donít need to. 
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Bill Hornibrook

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 09:15:33 pm »

^ Tend to agree, although I don't play out as much as I used to on systems other than mine. As a keyboard player I used to prep for the possibility of having to interface with a mono FOH, but honestly I haven't run across one in years.
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 09:21:42 pm »

Who said you have to pan them hard left AND right?  You can give them limited width and still use their "stereo".  A grand piano is not the width of the stage, after all...

Thank you!  And those after you as well.  They're pan knobs, not switches.  Why do so many sounds guys do that?  Well, technically they're virtual these days, but the idea still stands. 
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Re: Stereo Keys, is it just me?
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