Hi. I'm seeking answers on recording in mono and stereo because it's a subject I really don't understand.

Firstly, is it correct that mono playback means the exact same sound is reproduced through each speaker in a left and right setup, and stereo playback means that each speaker has its own sound depending on how the source sound was mixed?

If this is correct, then how does this affect recording?...


...If I record a 4-track song on an 8-track recorder with, say, acoustic guitar, a kick drum, lead guitar, and vocals, what would the advantages and disadvantages be to recording each track in mono, and what would the advantages and disadvantages be to recording each track in stereo?

What would the difference be between panning a mono vocal to the left of a mix and a stereo vocal to the left of a mix? Would stereo playback mean you would only hear the vocal through the left speaker whereas in mono playback you would hear the vocal to the left in box speakers (or in both ears, if you were listening through headphones)? Does this make sense?

Any help anyone can offer me would be much appreciated. It's never been an issue for me before as a listener of music, but now that I am starting to write and recording music it seems like an important element to take into consideration.
Playback doesn't affect recording...it's a good way to see if the mix is balanced after you're done mixing.
As for recording tracks, there's almost no reason to record anything you mentioned in stereo (maybe the acoustic, if you're in a good space). You really are recording redundant information (it'll be the same left and right) doing that stuff in stereo. In panning, imagine a live band with your instruments...where's each person relative to the center. I'll try looking for an article that describes space in a mix.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!

True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
thats a tough question to answer.. because you asked it ina fairly odd way xD

essentially mono is a 1 channel track. it leaves out any data as to whether it has left or right properties.. its just simply a track. if you have control over a mono track, you can usually PAN the track left or right. 2 mono tracks panned to opposite sides can give a stereo effect.

if you think about it, just about everything is in mono, and mixing gives it a spot to sit while in the mixdown.

recording in stereo, well.. its essentially just using 2 tracks to lay down a single track which has data for both left and right. if you're panning these tracks (its actually called balance when concerning stereo tracks) then, theoretically, there's usually little need to record these in stereo..

although i'll have to say i've had better sounding results recording in stereo rather than mono.. even tho there shouldn't be any difference at all. its probably just placebo for me lol
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.