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Mono with a stereo stylus
tinpanalley
post Jul 9 2011, 22:08
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I'm not going to buy a mono stylus for my cartridge. I don't even know if they make one. My question however is about the software.

Should I bother setting my software (I have Sound Forge and Audacity) to mono recording? Or should I just record my mono vinyl in stereo and then decide what to do with the 2 channels? There has to be some standard way of recording mono via a stereo stylus.

Thanks for any input!
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AndyH-ha
post Jul 10 2011, 06:06
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If you play a mono track from the computer it will normally go to both output channels. At any given volume setting, playing two channels is going to be louder than playing only one. However, duplicating the mono track in each of the tracks of a "stereo" file will still put out the same signal to each output channel, therefore it will not be louder: playing a one track file into both channels of a stereo system is the same as playing a two tracks identical file into a stereo system (if all are at the same dBfs value).

It is essentially holy doctrine than any reduction of bit depth should be done with dithering (to avoid quantization distortion). It does avoid quantization distortion that will otherwise be there without the dithering. However, actually being able to hear that distortion from a single bit reduction conversion is difficult, and probably impossible with any real music.

Noise shaping is another perfectionist measure. Dither is added noise. The unavoidable quantization error is additional noise. Noise shaping takes most of that noise out of the audible range. Again, hearing it, noise shaped or not, from a single application, is rather unlikely with music.

Probably any noise dither/shaping option offered is good enough. There are patented formulas and extravagant advertising claims, but probably no positive ABX results for any reasonable approach. If is possible to do something worse if you really try but that isn't likely to be an offered option with any reasonable software package.

You can test, to an extent, by generating silence in 24 bit or floating point, then converting to 16 bit with different dither/noise shaping options. This will show you what gets added to the music.

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Jul 10 2011, 06:10
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Posts in this topic
- tinpanalley   Mono with a stereo stylus   Jul 9 2011, 22:08
- - mixminus1   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 9 2011, 14:08) O...   Jul 9 2011, 22:55
- - tinpanalley   Ok, that's what I thought. Then do I double it...   Jul 9 2011, 23:02
|- - mixminus1   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 9 2011, 15:02) O...   Jul 10 2011, 00:32
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Jul 9 2011, 19:32) and...   Jul 10 2011, 01:34
|- - mixminus1   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 9 2011, 17:34) I...   Jul 10 2011, 02:32
- - Paul Sanders   If you plan to declick, record in stereo. Clicks ...   Jul 9 2011, 23:24
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Paul Sanders @ Jul 9 2011, 18:24) ...   Jul 9 2011, 23:40
- - DonP   The surface noise is stereo too. If I record a mo...   Jul 10 2011, 00:32
- - AndyH-ha   There is a definite advantage to recording "s...   Jul 10 2011, 01:43
- - tinpanalley   I guess what I'm getting at, and perhaps this ...   Jul 10 2011, 02:58
|- - Martel   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 10 2011, 03:58) ...   Jul 10 2011, 19:06
- - tinpanalley   "converting to 16-bit" - is that the sam...   Jul 10 2011, 05:35
- - AndyH-ha   If you play a mono track from the computer it will...   Jul 10 2011, 06:06
- - AndyH-ha   Also, in the more specific case of an LP or casset...   Jul 10 2011, 06:12
- - Fedot L   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 9 2011, 21:08) I...   Jul 10 2011, 21:27
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Fedot L @ Jul 10 2011, 16:27) Ther...   Jul 11 2011, 00:53
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Fedot L @ Jul 10 2011, 21:27) QUOT...   Jul 11 2011, 12:53
- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 9 2011, 16:08) I...   Jul 11 2011, 07:20
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Jul 11 2011, 02:20)...   Jul 11 2011, 17:05
- - pdq   Think of it this way... A stereo cartridge genera...   Jul 11 2011, 17:48
- - 2Bdecided   100% of the wanted signal is horizontal motion. 5...   Jul 12 2011, 10:51
- - tinpanalley   Ok, I'm going to use Audacity to record my mon...   Jul 13 2011, 20:47
|- - DonP   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 13 2011, 15:47) ...   Jul 13 2011, 22:06
|- - Juha   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Jul 13 2011, 22:47) ...   Aug 14 2011, 18:05
- - greynol   Record at 24-bit, make sure your editing software ...   Jul 13 2011, 21:11
- - AndyH-ha   Also, from the fairly large number of mono LPs I d...   Jul 13 2011, 23:17
- - AndyH-ha   If you don't know about the best way to decrac...   Jul 13 2011, 23:18
- - tinpanalley   Sorry to keep beating a dead horse over here but w...   Jul 29 2011, 00:26
- - DVDdoug   There was always a mono-FM switch, which would red...   Jul 29 2011, 01:27
- - AndyH-ha   Mono, usually adding the channels together, making...   Jul 29 2011, 05:51
- - Woodinville   If it is an old mono recording, you do not want to...   Jul 29 2011, 07:51
- - AndyH-ha   While that may be true, few recent cartridges have...   Jul 29 2011, 09:23
- - pdq   I was buying LPs in the mid 60's when they sol...   Jul 29 2011, 14:38
- - tinpanalley   Hey guys, Ok, so I ran some tests. Very elementar...   Jul 29 2011, 22:47
- - AndyH-ha   If the LP is good enough condition, and your cartr...   Jul 30 2011, 07:43
- - tinpanalley   I'm dealing with dithering now and realised so...   Aug 1 2011, 22:21


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