GarageBand is the entry-level music software we all know.
For a beginner musician or producer getting started, a peek at the controls and settings in the more advanced audio software like Pro Tools or Logic Pro is often scary.
Therefore, it’s always good to know that GarageBand can perform most required audio production operations.
One the more frequently asked questions I encounter from newbies to garageband is “Does garageband record in mono or stereo?”
GarageBand records in stereo which means it creates a two channel file. However, you can convert a stereo recorded file to mono. You can do this by opening the Smart Controls and selecting the Master Button. Adding the Gain Plugin which is listed under the Utilities menu and selecting the Plugin Preset “Convert to Mono”.
The left and right channel of your output will now be “merged” into a mono signal.
Does garageband also output in stereo?
GarageBand 10 basically outputs in stereo but you can also change the audio file into a mono file within garageband.
Is mono or stereo better for recording?
The words mono and stereo are used a lot when it comes to audio production. The fact is, they both serve different purposes and are applicable in unique ways.
I’d say, recording in mono is good for certain instruments like bass, vocals, kick drums etc because you generally need these instruments in the centre.
This because they’ll hold the mix together and give it the base and grit.
Other Instruments like acoustic guitars can be recorded in stereo to give them a more realistic and live feel.
So both mono and stereo recording can be optimal recording options provided they are used on the right instruments and for the right purposes.
Why is mono better than stereo?
Mono and stereo both have their strong points and an audiophile can take you on a whole journey into both of them.
I find mono to be better because it keeps all the audio in the centre of the stereo image and provides more options for create the stereo effect.
With stereo recorded signals, it may be a challenge to make them sound mono because they’d have been basically recorded different in each audio channel due to the panning effect that stereo utilizes.
However, stereo and mono both do have their applications and I wouldn’t call one better than the other in realistical terms because they both serve specific functions in specific capacities.
Are microphones mono or stereo?
The role of Microphones is to convert sound waves to audio signals using mic capsules. Most microphones have a singular capsule that is able to output one signal, making them mono devices.
However, Some microphones are equipped with multiple capsules and are able to output multiple mono signals which can be easily mixed in stereo.
You can think of stereo microphones as multiple mono microphones.
Which means that microphones and microphone signals are really only ever mono, but there are such things as stereo microphones and even ambisonic and surround sound microphones.
What does mono and stereo mean?
Mono which is short for monoaural sound uses one channel when converting a signal into a sound.
Even if there are multiple speakers involved.
The same signal will go to both speakers. This then gives the effect that the sounds, even if they are coming from separate speakers, are coming from one single position or source. This position is what is referred to as the centre.
Today’s technology allows for most signals to be compatible with stereo, instead of mono sound, which was widely used for radio broadcasts in the past.
Different from mono sound, stereo sound uses more than one channel when converting a signal into a sound.
This means that each signal sent out is unique.
Stereo sound, then, gives the effect of sound coming from different sources and positions, which is typical and very common in today’s technology, especially in speakers that are produced for the surround sound effect.
Stereo tries to provide more position information by use of panning to make vocals sit in unique positions all over the stereo image.
Are mono recordings better?
Mono recordings are better because you can control the stereo image by simply panning your sounds either to the left or right.
Stereo recordings can be preferred if you intend to carry out further stereo effect techniques.
On vocals I generally go for mono because I want them to sit in the middle or centre of the mix so they can provide a better listening experience.