I use pads in almost all of my tracks and they sound good in stereo mode but when I check in mono, suddenly a large part of the pad sound disappears.

Anybody know a trick in arrangment or mixing to prevent that?

  • What are you using to create the pads?
    – Tim
    Feb 2, 2020 at 7:45
  • If i want to create them myself , i usually use serum, otherwise i use nexus, synthmaster, analog lab and ...
    – Ali
    Feb 2, 2020 at 9:57

2 Answers 2


If you have wide-sounding pads with poor mono compatibility, the chances are that it is using some kind of phase-inversion to achieve this apparent width.

When you add two phase-inverted signals together they cancel each other out & if perfectly out of phase, you get silence.

One trick to avoid this is to put a slight delay on one side of the signal only.
This will of course change the original stereo sound somewhat, but will prevent that simple phase-cancellation when summed to mono.
Experiment with the delay until you get a result that is satisfactory for both situations - this is best done on a rig you can quickly flip from mono to stereo.

  • Thanks. I also tried to decreas the stereo signal of my pad, using imagers, that helped a little too. Just a quick question, how do i add delay to one side of my signals?
    – Ali
    Feb 2, 2020 at 11:01
  • Depends on your mix environment. At worst, split the track into two mono tracks.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 2, 2020 at 11:03

I assume when you say "a large part of the pad sound" you are refering specifically to the dynamics and stereo width (tone) of the synth. As stereo instruments are positioned within the stereo field, their overall volume will differ if summed to mono, increasing or sometimes decreasing the volume slightly. The reason for this is to do with the phase relationship of your sound in stereo. https://larryjordan.com/articles/audio-mono-vs-stereo-levels/ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law

Secondly, stereo width adds a tonal quality that in itself can only be described as being stereo... or wide(r) or however else you want to put it. Again depending on the phase of your synth, the wideness may be affected a lot or a little when summed to mono. (You can check it's phase relationship with a correlation meter, +1 is good, -1 is bad, the closer to +1 your correlation is, the less problems you'll have with phase and therefore stereo/mono summing).

Whether any of this is useful depends on why you want to sum to mono? Usually Bass frequencies are kept in mono, if you have phase problems with different sounds then you can EQ Mid/side the bass/lower mid frequencies to get rid of most problems. If you have a synth with bass/treble frequencies, consider splitting the sound into two tracks, one for bass below 120Hz (For example) and one for treble above (120Hz). This way you should be able to keep your synths stereo as long as your bass frequencies are mono.


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