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Old 01-09-2012, 08:19 PM
rmoat rmoat is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Default PT9 mono track / stereo issues

I am a little frustrated, and need advice. I have a Digidesign MBOX 2 Mini, Pro Tools 9, and I haven't really recorded anything in mono (using microphone) until now. I am unsure if I am doing this correctly.

I recorded vocals onto a "mono" track. The artist wanted to use a microphone also used for recording instruments, to record his guitar, and harmonica. So I created "mono" tracks for it as well.

I don't know whether I should bounce it to disk as mono (summed), multiple mono (I don't think I want this one), or interleaved.

The issue is this. I have one of those Creative X-Fi Soundblaster cards with the Xi-Fi CMSS 3D. By default it is uses Stereo Xpand as the 3D mode.

When I play the MP3/WAV I bounced from Pro Tools and using Stereo Xpand mode, the music only comes out of the center speaker on my 5.1 speaker system. Regular music from a CD, iTunes, etc. come out of all of the speakers. If I changed the CMSS 3D mode to Stereo Surround, it forces the music to come out of all 5 speakers.

What I don't understand is, am I recording it wrong in Pro Tools for it to act this way in the Creative Soundblaster card? Or is CMSS just junk? I don't know how to tell whether the music I have recorded is how it is supposed to be.

Just to see if it wasn't, I bounced internally to a "stereo track". Then I bounced that stereo track to disk. Still, I get the same thing. I don't know whether it is my Pro Tools recording, or if it is the way the Sound Blaster plays music with CMSS.

I listen to it on my iPod it sounds okay. I plug the iPod into my car, it sounds okay. I don't know if that is the right way to test it. It sounds okay when I play it through my monitors as well. What do you do to listen to your bounced tracks?
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:49 PM
rmoat rmoat is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Default Re: PT9 mono track / stereo issues

Perhaps I just need a plugin that goes from mono to stereo? I noticed Waves has a PS22 plugin that will do just that; unfortunately, it is TDM and not native. So I am out of luck with PS22.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:27 PM
rmoat rmoat is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Smile Re: PT9 mono track / stereo issues

Okay, I think I figured it out. I should have done a little more research. This CMSS 3D feature of Sound Blaster soundcards is interesting nevertheless.

It takes anything mono, and puts it directly in the front center channel (the placement of vocals).

So, I created two bounce to tracks in Pro Tools. I sent the instrumentals into one of the tracks, put the AIR Stereo Width Plugin on it, and used the Add Width To Mono Signal preset.
Then I sent the vocals to the second bounce to track. Armed the record on both, and then after bouncing both instrumentals and vocals to the two tracks, I bounced both of those tracks to disk.

I played it back with Creative's CMSS Surround Xpand. There we go! The instrumentals were coming out of the other four speakers, and the vocals were coming out of the front center. I could add the Stereo Width to the Vocal Track just a little bit, and have the vocals barely coming out of the other channels.

Regardless, I learned something very valuable today with Pro Tools, Mono Tracks, Stereo Tracks, and Creative's own mess of CMSS 3D.
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