Melodic techno - experimenting with stereo

The first attempt of moving away from panning mono instruments and instead fill the room with stereo instruments and stereo effects. Can’t really tell if this is rubbish or going in the right direction. I’d say the first one is too much stereo, at least on headphones it get’s really tiring and annoying after a while, and the second one is too little stereo and when listening in mono it seems to have more issues with instruments losing strength.

Second track seems to be better mixing wise.

I will only critizise your problem with stereo/mono.

Some tips you could need (maybe also for both tracks).

1: Frequencies: Put your deep sounds more in mono, higher ones in stereo. That is only an approach! Don’t overdo it. In the Mastering i do that as well just a bit with an Imager (Ozone, you can also do that with some EQs).

2: Classic one: Technowhise, some PAs just work in Mono, on dancefloor you want to hear everything all over the place. Make sure, if you switch everything in mono (on mastering channel) you are hearing everything loud and clear. Also the rule: The important sounds in mono (you can layer some stereo lines to them)!

3: Yes, just don’t overdo it… pan just sometimes, not on the whole track (in some cases that will also work, of course). The benefit is that you can emphasize more.
And you can also fade in stereo (breaks/build up), but be aware that it is a bit louder in stereo that in mono.

  1. Listen on monitors AND headphones of course, cause of crossing effect.

That might help. Yes, you know some of them already. Just wanted to make sure you know each point before going on (these are the easy ones).
I really liked the stereo/mono relation in the second one though. If the tips are not helping at all, look on your synthesizers settings and sound adjustments. Effects like Reverb, Chorus, Flanger etc. are influencing Phasing a lot.
Also look for Unison in the modulation view (uneven voices more mono than even; more voices = more stereo; detune between these voices also cause more phasing.

sry for my bad grammar.

Hola and thanks. Good advice. I’d say over the last 1 1/2 years I started to apply most of your points, except for the monitors. Sometimes I switch the audio to my screen, which has really crappy built-in mono speaker. Helps a bit to get a better perspective. But no idea what I’m missing. Maybe it has nothing to do with the stereo effects and the things I do before.

Sorry getting very late on this :blush:

It’s very hard to compare both tracks to be honest, the second one feels “better” because it’s a different tempo, more elements, more rich and entertaining than the 1st one.

All good tips about Mono/stereo been already said by @Woask here TBH.

Now in terms of trying things out and experiment, if you still have the project for the 1st track, just add delays/echo and reverb to your instruments and automate things like filter cutoff, that should drastically increase the sense of depth and movement and brings a lot more “alive” feel to that track.

Recently had to move the studio desk to a rather “not good for audio” room here, also switched from closed to open back headphones, so it’s gonna take a while before getting good referencing again I believe, so I won’t go too sharp on details for feedback for now :wink:

But yeah, next to Mono/Stereo, delays, echo and reverb and definitely filters automation and modulation is another very interesting area to delve into.

Check this : Make your pads BEAUTIFUL - YouTube

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Thank you. With some distance, agree, the second version sounds indeed more promising but needs more love and width and coherence. The first version, I have no clue how to fill that empty space towards the center without adding more obvious content and making it less “minimal”. I’ll try panning some softer panned echos, dub delays and adding more automation and see if it helps.

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You, the man with the sharpest ears I’ve met here, need feedback?

Anyway, I think you’re right in the problem that minimal techno poses. You don’t want everything to sound in the center, but if bass, kick and main melody have to be centered and you add more stuff to spice the stereo, then it’s not that Minimal anymore.

You’ve received good advice already, but some things I think worth mentioning on my side (I’m using headphones)

1 - First track, some filler synth sound in the background playing chords sounds weird to me (mark 1:30). I expected this to sound very wide, but it sounds “narrow and in antiphase at the same time”, if that makes sense. Possible phase problem.

2 - The second one has a similar problem: a filler synth sound playing a chord. The fact that this sound is not as wide as possible disturbs me in a very Sheldon Cooper way. That doesn’t clash as much as the one in the first track, but it still sounds in the center of my head. Again, please check for phase problems there.

Maybe you should consider making use of the Hass effect to pull things outside the listener’s head. I don’t know if that makes sense in the context of Minimal Techno, but it’s what my Synthwave brain suggests.

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Hey, thanks. You are right (except for the sharp ears). Looking at these songs now and with some months more of knowledge and experience I’d say the main issue with them is: I had so no clue what I was doing. It’s an over-engineered mess with god knows how many layers of the same instruments, sometimes only the side signal, and weird processing instead of just using a delay or reverb, eq and some saturation like a normal person. No wonder that there are weirdness and phase issues all over the place. Ultimately, the only solution is to dismantle everything except for the core elements and rebuild.