Converting Mono Channels to Stereo for Parallel Processing

How to configure and convert mono to stereo channels for vocal parallel processing within the DAW.

Dynamic Processors

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Converting Mono Channels to Stereo for Parallel Processing video tutorial explains how to convert mono tracks into stereo in Cubase for parallel processing.

Sometimes you are forced to work with single mono vocal stems and in other tutorials, we have seen how we can use a single mono take and process it in parallel effectively and successfully. But what happens if you want to apply parallel processing but to work with stereo files so you can benefit from using specific stereo processes?

Converting mono to stereo

The process of converting mono channels to stereo is not complex but there are considerations you need to take into account before you start converting. The first step is to determine if two mono channels house the same audio and to do that we use the Old School technique of inverting the channel (also called Flipping the channel) and summing it with the other channel. The result with either be partial phase cancellation, total phase cancellation or neither. Once we have determined we are dealing with a copy we can start to pan each copy left and right. We have, in effect, created a stereo file but to be honest the real term for this is dual mono as the recordings are of single mono files and not a true stereo recording using two microphones. This is a common way of duplicating mono channels, panning each channel hard right and left, to achieve a single stereo channel. In your DAW you can sum these two individual channels and render them to a single stereo channel. We can now apply stereo processing tools.

Balanced and Combined panners

The power of today’s DAWs never fails to surprise me. The number of wonderful utility plugins that come with modern DAWs is remarkable and Cubase houses a lovely pan feature whereby you can specify the type of panner to use. You have a choice between Balanced or Combined Panners and each has its strengths.

With the stereo combined panner, the left and right pan controls are linked and keep their relative distance if you move them. This is in effect a range panner in that you are moving a whole range of frequencies in the stereo field.

The stereo balance panner allows you to control the balance between the left and right channels. Also known as spot panning whereby you pan a sound anywhere in the stereo field.

In the Converting Mono Channels to Stereo for Parallel Processing video, I show you the process required to convert mono channels into stereo channels for processing in parallel. I then show you a really cool industry trick in how to pan certain sounds effectively by using the various panning modes in your DAW.

The plugin used in this video:

Steinberg Cubase

Topics covered in this video are:

    • Mono to Stereo Rendering
    • Parallel Channels
    • Dry/Wet Mix
    • Tempo and Sync
    • Sub-divisions
    • Total and Partial Phase Cancellation
    • Flips and Inversion
    • Summing and Difference
    • Stereo Balanced Panner
    • Stereo Combined Panner

If you found this tutorial helpful then give these a try:

Converting Dual Mono Tracks into Stereo in Cubase

Layering Backing Vocals to create Harmonies

Layering Vocals using Parallel Compression

The Pan Law within your DAW explained in detail

Cubase Balanced Panner versus Combined Panner

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Vocal Production Masterclass

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