The Lounge

Find answers, ask questions, share tips, and connect with our community around the world.

  • Live Sound Question

    Posted by Jesse Lewis on at 1:27 pm

    Dear Mix Protoges!

    Can somebody out there please help me understand something! (I’m looking at you @-PT )😎

    In a live performance situation, if I’m performing with my laptop and sending a stereo out (both left and right) to the front of house, what is it that I’m hearing in my monitor? Do they sum the stereo signal to mono? And I’m just hearing a mono version in my monitor? Or do they arbitrarily pick only one of my channels and that’s what I hear? Or is it some other magic that I am not understanding?

    Thanks in advance for any knowledge!


    Paul Tucci replied 1 week, 3 days ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Dana Nielsen

    at 2:12 pm

    I will definitely defer to @-PT on this one, but from my experience:

    • FOH should absolutely give you both L/R channels of your laptop (NOT just arbitrarily pick one). If FOH is running your monitor via console Aux Send 1 for example, they would send equal amounts of Left and Right to Aux 1 so that you’re getting both sides summed to mono in your wedge.
    • You could always touch base w the FOH engineer and say something respectful like, “I’m sure you’re already doing this, but is it possible to get both sides of my laptop into this mono wedge? You rule – thank you!”
    • Or, as part of your baller rider, you could require 2 stage wedges for stereo monitoring 🤑
    • Jesse Lewis

      at 12:41 pm

      Thanks for this Dana! This is SUPER helpful!


  • Paul Tucci

    at 8:07 pm


    Finally, a category here at MIX PROTE-GEOPARDY that I can run the table on!

    Let me get right to the point before I veer off on a tangent… What you’re hearing, if you have but one monitor, is by definition, mono. The musical sources mixed into your monitor mix buss is separate from what drives the two channel (or more) house speaker system. The panned stereo channel inputs feeding the house system can retain their stereo image but the channel inputs feeding your singular monitor speaker combine to one output signal. Even a stereo source, ie, your backing tracks, become mono when individually dialed into the monitor output buss. Chances are your mixer person du jour is putting equal level of both channels into the monitor buss thinking he or she is doing the right thing.

    I’ve been taught a better way and have employed this technique successfully. Instinctively we know this every time we check a mix in mono. When all that luscious stereo spread sound field collapses down to mono, whatever is in the middle of the mix gets a bit louder. We have twice as much of that info in the newly created mono monitor mix now. Both the left signal and the right signal contain audio information about the middle that get added together. Science would say a +6dB change would occur to that middle signal compared to the signals that are hard panned. Those hard panned signals would not combine to a greater than original level because they exist in only one half of the sources to be combined. What I learned to do was combine the two signals, Left and Right, together BUT drop one of them by approximately 6dB. Yes, there’s a level loss to one sides’ content, but the resultant mono signal is far less different compared to an equal level addition that over emphasizes the typical middle panned content of kick, bass, and vocal. It works!

    I wholeheartedly agree with Dana’s baller rider suggestion of having two wedges provided in a stereo configuration for you. I also agree with Three 6 Mafia when they said “It’s hard out here for a pimp!”

    “I’ll take Rap Lyrics for $600 please Alex.”

    • Dana Nielsen

      at 9:05 am

      Hahahah – brilliant post and excellent insights, Paul!

    • Jesse Lewis

      at 12:48 pm


      Thank you SO MUCH for all this info, this really clears everything up for me! How did I know you’d be just the person to ask about this haha!!??

      That’s also very interesting about your -6 db tick. That’s so cool! And it makes perfect sense too, but I never would’ve thought of that.

      As far as getting TWO monitors to run in stereo, I usually consider myself lucky if I can even get one for myself and I don’t have to carry it! 🤣 still not baller level yet!

      Thanks again,


      • Paul Tucci

        at 2:04 pm


        You’re quite welcome. I had a further thought this morning regarding the middle content build up. I would guess that a Mid-Side process would do the trick more elegantly. Process the stereo signal and drop the overall level of the Middle by 6 dB and leave the Side untouched. Voila.

        I have a question for you also. Does my gig tomorrow qualify as baller level? MP3 playback for some aspiring dancers who years ago were pooping in their pants. I didn’t think so either. 🙂


Log in to reply.