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[Help] Mono Audio in 1.0 or 2.0?
#1
I'd like to read your opinions what is better

Single Channel Mono or Dual Channel Mono

Obviously SCM has the benefit of a lower file. So is there any real benefit to DCM?
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#2
Dual/PCM 2.0 mono in my opinion. It’s what I always do for mono soundtracks.

If you are a 5.1 or greater setup, 1.0 gets defaulted in most receivers or pre-amps to your center channel. For 2.0 it goes to your front left and right. Since mono is a mix of dialogue, music and sound effects, not just dialogue like in 5.1 or DS, it generally sounds better from both your fronts versus a center channel. That's because the fronts tend to have better dynamics and range than most center channels. Also spreading to the two channels widens the physical soundfield.

You can, of course, route the 1.0 to the fronts on most receivers but that requires changing settings which I'm loathe to do once everything is keyed in. Just my opinion.
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#3
My preference is for mono as 2.0.  But when it comes to syncing tracks, I say leave them as you find them as far as possible, so if a track was 1.0 on disc, keep it that way. Let the recipient decide whether or not to double/discard a channel.
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#4
Huh, that's interesting. I tried to research this a bit a while back and found a lot of people seemingly preferring the whole lot to come from C only. Personally, I honestly can't make up my mind.

My speaker setup is problematic too so that doesn't help. My C appears to be capable of better low end response but has less clarity and less top end than my L + R, which is not likely true of speakers purchased as a set (I'd usually expect L + R to have better bass, especially if they're floorstanding, but mine don't and aren't).

Looking to official releases for consensus doesn't help that much either. There are possibly more with dual mono 2.0 but quite a few use 1.0 instead, notably including "boutique" distributors like Criterion.

Ultimately, I figure you can chuck 1.0 out of either 1 or 2 speakers anyway depending on your setup and it's easier to steer 1.0 to C if that's what you want (if using DTS-HD MA, this is default on my receiver, but 1.0 LPCM comes out the sides instead). I guess 1.0 is more storage efficient too. So far, I've been preferring to use 1.0 for that reason, but that doesn't necessarily mean I think using C only is better. It really depends on your speakers imo.
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#5
Yeah, a lot of it is speaker dependent, some is admittedly personal bias but some of it is how centers work.

At the end of the day most "pure" centers are designed specifically to handle dialogue well and not much else. It's why they generally have a flattened box shapes to disperse their soundtrack out in a largely wider horizontal field. That design is conducive to making dialogue more readily understood over the whole theater. Opposed to fronts which create their field in part by their distance from each other as they tend to be more directional. Most center speaker design focuses on tweeter and mids components with bass being secondary. But of course, there are always exceptions to the rules. I've seen some pretty crazy centers designs.

It's odd your center has better bass than your fronts pipefan but maybe the system was designed to route the large majority of bass to the sub. Generally there tends to be not a lot of bass in dialogue and centers' frequency response often reflects that. A modern discrete 6 channel mix, post Dolby taking over in the late 70s, isn't going to send anything but dialogue to the center. Back in the old days you could roll dialogue over the 5 or 3 fronts and in general those speakers were the same build. Dolby tapped all of that down (Temple of Doom notwithstanding). Middle is for dialogue only and fronts are for effects and music. If you don't do it our way you don't get the certification.

Anyway that's a super long way to go to say that mono tracks have everything on them. Dialogue, effects, music, etc. So there might be a need for more range than what centers are designed to do. There is a common misconception that mono tracks are in general anemic especially compared with the Dolby NR era. That might be true of 40s and before mono tracks, but 50s on the technology improved giving mono tracks some punch. By the time you get to the 70s and stranglers in the 80s, those mono track can hit pretty hard even without Dolby NR or Dolby Stereo. My preferences is to give my mono tracks as much space to "breathe" as possible regardless of their ability to utilize a larger frequency response. And that means the fronts for most 5.1 setups. I just prefer to hear the biplane from North By Northwest, the gunfire from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly or that music from Jaws from my fronts. And that is coming from a guy with a reasonably nice center. Those tracks were designed to come through large, full range speakers not a modern center.

And you are right about Criterion doing the 1.0. It doesn't bother me with an older movie like say The 39 Steps but my preference is still there for later films. Maybe that is just me. If something happens to be 1.0, I'm not going to get angry over it. It's not a hill to die on. Normally, I'm happy that someone just included the original mono. All that is going to go away in the streaming era.

I will say one more thing, if we are talking soundtracks that come from laserdiscs, those tracks are almost always dual mono. Outside of a mono track shoved onto the analog space to make way for a remix, mono LDs were meant to be heard from the fronts. It wasn't till DVDs that 1.0 became a more regular thing. If veracity is a thing, than LD tracks should be kept dual mono.
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#6
(2020-08-19, 03:49 PM)PDB Wrote: It's odd your center has better bass than your fronts pipefan but maybe the system was designed to route the large majority of bass to the sub.

No, nothing so intentional: my speakers are a Frankenstein's monster configuration made up of pairs of speakers I've accumulated over the years because I have never had enough money to buy a full set of speakers that weren't individually atrocious, thus rendering the entire thing pointless. The downside being that I have unbalanced speakers; the sides are really nice for things like classical music because they have excellent clarity but they're probably not designed for home cinema. Hell, I think they predate the concept of a home cinema... they're older than me, I reckon.


(2020-08-19, 03:49 PM)PDB Wrote: Anyway that's a super long way to go to say that mono tracks have everything on them. Dialogue, effects, music, etc. So there might be a need for more range than what centers are designed to do. There is a common misconception that mono tracks are in general anemic especially compared with the Dolby NR era. That might be true of 40s and before mono tracks, but 50s on the technology improved giving mono tracks some punch. By the time you get to the 70s and stranglers in the 80s, those mono track can hit pretty hard even without Dolby NR or Dolby Stereo. My preferences is to give my mono tracks as much space to "breathe" as possible regardless of their ability to utilize a larger frequency response. And that means the fronts for most 5.1 setups. I just prefer to hear the biplane from North By Northwest, the gunfire from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly or that music from Jaws from my fronts. And that is coming from a guy with a reasonably nice center. Those tracks were designed to come through large, full range speakers not a modern center.

This is the thing, I've been talking about it elsewhere: you're correct when you say modern centre speakers are meant to punt nothing much apart from dialogue and their sonic performance directly reflects that. That's the problem. Whilst I prefer the sense of direction you get from having the lot come from C ("the screen is in front of me and the sound is also coming from in front of me") and it sometimes mildly irritates me that it can feel like having mono come from the sides instead is slightly directionally inappropriate, it's very obvious that the side speakers are more capable overall, apart from the fact that mine in particular sound thinner than my centre. I keep considering a slightly madcap setup wherein I'd replace my standard centre speaker with a full range L/R speaker instead, which may be more directional, but would not be so limited. Perhaps then I could just use that centre alone and it would retain both the sonic capability and the directional connection between sound and picture that I seem to prefer. But then again, it might be *too* directional, if it chucks sound directly at the middle of the room rather than the slightly more diffuse approach of a speaker specifically designed for the centre position.


(2020-08-19, 03:49 PM)PDB Wrote: And you are right about Criterion doing the 1.0. It doesn't bother me with an older movie like say The 39 Steps but my preference is still there for later films. Maybe that is just me. If something happens to be 1.0, I'm not going to get angry over it. It's not a hill to die on. Normally, I'm happy that someone just included the original mono. All that is going to go away in the streaming era.

On my Denon AVR, those LPCM 1.0 tracks default to stereo and come out of L+R anyway, which sounds like what you'd want. I remain indecisive but I plan to replace my entire speaker setup with a set that is better matched (probably the easiest if not necessarily best way to do that is for me to just buy a full set from one product line and one manufacturer) and I suspect once I do that, the L+R for mono will become the clear winner. But I dunno until I hear it.


(2020-08-19, 03:49 PM)PDB Wrote: I will say one more thing, if we are talking soundtracks that come from laserdiscs, those tracks are almost always dual mono. Outside of a mono track shoved onto the analog space to make way for a remix, mono LDs were meant to be heard from the fronts. It wasn't till DVDs that 1.0 became a more regular thing. If veracity is a thing, than LD tracks should be kept dual mono.

I'm aware of this and in fact I can be spotted being a fussy dick in other threads on here asking for 2.0 tracks that have been inadvertently turned into 1.0 because somebody threw a channel away (and then being even more of a fussy dick when I discovered in one case that this was done by exporting the kept channel from Audacity with default settings, which caused unnecessary dithering). I am all about the spirit of preservation; I will discard nothing. I suppose the one exception to that might be if I found that a 2.0 LD mono track had two 100% digitally identical channels, in which case it makes no difference really because you can simply discard one, archive, then duplicate it back if desired. But in my experience, some LD mono tends not to have fully identical L+R; I don't know for sure but I suspect that this is probably due to being scanned from 35 mm prints with duplicated optical mono, presumably for compatibility with dual sound heads kitted out for Dolby Stereo or something. Although they may have been identical at source, once printed onto an optical track on 35 mm and then scanned back to digital again, there will be some hopefully minor variances between the two tracks, which presumably is what's going on with the Jaws one, for example.
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#7
I have a very good home cinema speaker setup and you would be surprised how good it is on mono movies, when only the center channel is used. But not everyone has the luxury.
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#8
(2020-08-19, 05:29 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: I'm aware of this and in fact I can be spotted being a fussy dick in other threads on here asking for 2.0 tracks that have been inadvertently turned into 1.0 because somebody threw a channel away (and then being even more of a fussy dick when I discovered in one case that this was done by exporting the kept channel from Audacity with default settings, which caused unnecessary dithering). I am all about the spirit of preservation; I will discard nothing. I suppose the one exception to that might be if I found that a 2.0 LD mono track had two 100% digitally identical channels, in which case it makes no difference really because you can simply discard one, archive, then duplicate it back if desired. But in my experience, some LD mono tends not to have fully identical L+R; I don't know for sure but I suspect that this is probably due to being scanned from 35 mm prints with duplicated optical mono, presumably for compatibility with dual sound heads kitted out for Dolby Stereo or something. Although they may have been identical at source, once printed onto an optical track on 35 mm and then scanned back to digital again, there will be some hopefully minor variances between the two tracks, which presumably is what's going on with the Jaws one, for example.

Fussy dick could be the nickname for this site Wink No worries you are in good company.

But seriously there is really not a truly wrong answer for any of this. Its one of life's little grey areas. Every answer is probably right. Depends on the person and their equipment. I've just always gone to bat for dual mono. It all ends up as a "phantom wall of mono sound" anyway but I just want the bass and dynamics if there are any.

I just pointed the whole dual mono LD thing because the views of this site concerning laserdisc capping and syncing have evolved over time. Back on the OT, the prevailing wisdom was to convert LD tracks from 44.1 to the more modern standard of 48kz/16bit. The thought was most of the soundtracks were going to be used in projects to create a custom BD (which won't allow 44.1) or that if a 44.1 MKV was played on certain hardware, the 44.1 would be incompatible.

Here on fanres we kind of slowly switched over to pure 44.1/16 (although still have a ton of legacy 48 work around) to stay as true to the source as possible. Capping both of the dual mono channels is really just extension of that thought pattern. Plays as dual mono, should stay dual mono. Realistically, I doubt anyone here, especially over say 35 years old, could tell the difference between the original 44.1 and a well converted 48. Nor would duping one channel into two compared differently to the original dual mono but these are all nits to pick. And we all crave verisimilitude here.

As for dual monos on LDs, I always assumed they same thing. That variations in LD mono tracks are source related. Anytime anything is capped from an analog source, even the same thing twice, there are going to be differences. Can't be avoided.
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Alien 1999 Master Japanese BSHI Broadcast 1080i mid 2000s
Blade Runner DC US HDTV Broadcast 1080i 2005 (blade.runner.1080i.dd5.1.oar)
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#9
I prefer PCM 2.0 mono just because my Zappiti player doesn't like PCM 1.0 mono and plays the movie in fast forward (many Criterion classics for instance). So I encode these tracks in regular Dolby 2.0 mono to circumvet that. With PCM 2.0 mono, it plays fine. Go figure!
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#10
(2020-08-19, 05:29 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: But in my experience, some LD mono tends not to have fully identical L+R; I don't know for sure but I suspect that this is probably due to being scanned from 35 mm prints with duplicated optical mono, presumably for compatibility with dual sound heads kitted out for Dolby Stereo or something.

I've suspected for quite a while that something like that might be going on. It's better to keep both channels in case they turn out to be non-identical in a significant way and one turns out to have an unforeseen advantage over the other.
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