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Pink Floyd ‎– The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - Stereo vs. Mono?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Skull, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. RobNeil

    RobNeil Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    Both. The mono is arguably the 'most psychedelic' of the two.
    kt66brooklyn and dkmonroe like this.
  2. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    I like them both in different ways.
  3. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    If you want digital, the 40th anniversary package isn't bad at all. I played it constantly when I bought it back in 2007, and it was a massive upgrade over the crappy 90's mono CD in the green corrugated box.

    However, the 94 Doug Sax CD of the stereo mix is probably the best mastering of the stereo mix I've ever heard, and it's probably even a little better than the recently released stereo LP.

    The RSD mono LP is the best way to own the mono mix without spending hundreds of dollars on an original UK pressing (even though now it'll probably set you back at least $100). However, if one is primarily interested in CD, I'd say just get the 40th anniversary package for the mono mix and bonus materials, and get the '94 stereo CD and call it done.
  4. WolfSpear

    WolfSpear Music Enthusiast

    The 1994 remasters do sound good, so I'll vouch for it...

    I also had an early Japan for Japan that sounded great too but I lost it or... umm, borrowed it :sigh:
    Hamhead and bleachershane like this.
  5. Ray Blend

    Ray Blend super concentrated

    The Midwest
    Amen to that.
    dkmonroe likes this.
  6. I like this observation and agree with the choices, though for me I think Interstellar Overdrive is clearly better in stereo because it is a more immersive experience.
    Laservampire likes this.
  7. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    I thought I was happy with the 1994 EMI remaster of Piper, but now you guys made me order a copy of the 2-CD 40th anniversary edition on eBay to get the mono mix...
    bleachershane likes this.
  8. bleachershane

    bleachershane Forum Resident

    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'm all set in that case!

    I think the 2007 3CD set was my first experience with the mono and I don't remember being disappointed. I'd lived with the stereo for 13 years up to that point so I was very used to it, for that reason I'm biased towards the stereo mix, but can't deny that the mono is a very different and worthwhile experience. If you like this album, even casually, you really should own both.

    Wouldn't mind hearing the mono RSD, but 1) I don't have a good turntable set up 2) I'm happy enough with the 2007 mastering to not want to spend anything on yet another version to add to my collection!
    dkmonroe likes this.
  9. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Well, my copy of the 2CD version of the Piper 40th Anniversary Edition arrived today. I'm listening to the mono mix now. It sounds great. It's weird, after all these years, to hear a different mix. It keeps surprising me in little ways: the voices in "Astronomy Dominé" come and go at slightly different times, the balance of voices or of organ vs guitar is different in places (the organ seems more prominent at the start of "Interstellar Overdrive"), and there are some sound effects that don't seem to be present in stereo at all. But I like it quite a lot.
  10. Curiosity

    Curiosity Just A Boy

    United Kingdom
    In general my preference is the mono (own the RSD lp and the compromised mastered1997 cd version) but if I do want the craziness of Bike in stereo there's always relics having that on record and cd.
    Crimson Witch likes this.
  11. central616

    central616 Forum Resident

    Lucifer Sam, Matilda Mother and Pow R Toc H in stereo are almost unlisteneable with headphones due to the bad panning.
    The others are debatable.
    Flaming for example is also unbalanced in stereo, but the vocals in the mono mix have too much reverb and don't sound right.
    Interstellar Overdrive is better in stereo because the instrument are well separated, but it lack the organ at the intro present in mono.
    Check out my mix of Lucifer sam:
    Hamhead likes this.
  12. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Yeah, extreme panning always sucks on headphones. Unfortunately, it was quite common back in those days.

    Your mix is pretty good; thanks for posting it. I like the way the organ seems to be everywhere.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  13. That’s fine, but the stereo mix is missing an entire layer of overdubs present in the mono mix. It’s not just the organ in the intro that everyone mentions, but the entire band through the entire song.

    So technically you are getting an underdub with the stereo mix. Maybe it’s more “immersive”, but is it truly complete?
  14. mr. k

    mr. k Master of the Rummage (retired)

    The Netherlands
    Mono, every time! I regard the stereo version as utterly unlistenable, a travesty. What was Norman Smith thinking?
    Billy Infinity and kt66brooklyn like this.
  15. Napoleon_In_Rags

    Napoleon_In_Rags Well-Known Member

    RSD mono is really, really good.
    kt66brooklyn and sharedon like this.
  16. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    This. The mono has force, that the stereo does not (imo).
    kt66brooklyn and Crimson Witch like this.
  17. astro70

    astro70 Forum Resident

    Southern Illinois
    I like this better in stereo. There are so many intentional mixing choices in the stereo that you miss on the mono. Both are good but I see this album as a product of its time and that includes the crazy stereo effects.
    kt66brooklyn and Slick Willie like this.
  18. central616

    central616 Forum Resident

    Thanks, in my channel you'll find a couple more remixed songs of early PF albums.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  19. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware



    I second that!

    Pow R. Toc H with the correct ending is a nice thing.

    I prefer to hear songs about cats, gnomes, black and green scarecrows and borrowed bicycles in glorious mono, the stereo mix is too left/right channel dominant from too many bounces.

    Speaking of the mono mix of Flaming, some people swear that the mix on the Tower 45 single is different from both the UK mono mix, is that true?

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  20. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    Lots of Abbey Road recordings from that era have one channel that's dominant due to all the 4 track to 4 track bounces, King Midas In Reverse and parts of MMT come to mind.

    That mix sounds nice, what did you use to make it?


    That cat’s something I can’t explain
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  21. Frozensoda

    Frozensoda Forum Resident

    If this is a different mix of Flaming, I would love to hear it.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  22. central616

    central616 Forum Resident

    I use Goldwave, and both mono and stereo official mixes to make my own stereo (but not so wide) mix.
    Of the mixes I made the ones I enjoy the most are Corporal Clegg and Pow R Toc H. Up the Khyber also sounds good.
    kt66brooklyn and Hamhead like this.
  23. Trixmay 988

    Trixmay 988 Demere's Dreams

    Perth, Australia
    I just finished listening to the mono in its entirety for the first time. I listened to the stereo last night (which I'm very familiar with, but I was focusing more on the music than the minute details). Here's what I picked up from the mono, and correct me if I'm wrong about some of these (I think I am):

    1. Astronomy Domine: More radio garble. Some weird voice noises in specific parts that caught me by surprise.

    2. Lucifer Sam: Nothing different that I can hear.

    3. Matilda Mother: Nothing different that I can hear.

    4. Flaming: I believe there's a flanging effect on Syd's voice. Bass, drums and organ are all much more clearer than the stereo resulting in a much fuller sound, but not in a good way. The drums and organ are actually obnoxious and take away from the song imo (especially since the drum is just a repeating snare or whatever and that's about it for most of the song). Things get really different during what is on the stereo version, an organ solo. On the mono; there's an entirely missing guitar track going alongside it that you can't hear at all on the stereo. I also noticed some bass parts I hadn't heard before but I'm not sure if they're only on the mono. There's a little more organ noodling too.

    5. Pow R. Toc H.: A few more voices, including brief chuckling at one point. Possibly more drum bits but I'm doubtful... I probably just hadn't noticed before.

    6. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk: Possibly an entirely different organ take. More chaotic and less melodic than the stereo organ bits. Or keyboard, whatever it is. The outro is slightly longer with some weird echoing sound.

    7. Interstellar Overdrive: Nothing different that I can hear (I'm impressed how they managed to partially recreate the crazy stereo panning effect near the end without, you know, two channels).

    8. The Gnome: Syd's voice seems to have an effect on it. Waters' creative bass part is much clearer.

    9. Chapter 24: Syd's voice seems to have an effect on it. Coughing can be heard near the end. Possibly slightly more organ, but I think I just hadn't noticed it before. Longer outro fade out with some cool guitar stuff not heard in the stereo. I actually really enjoy this in mono (but still better in stereo for a stereo guy like me).

    10. The Scarecrow: Syd's voice seems to have an effect on it. I think it's possibly just double tracking on his vocals for all of these songs (wouldn't surprise me given that ADT was invented a year prior at the same studio) outside of Flaming, which I think has flanging on it. The outro fade-out is possibly slightly longer.

    11. Bike: The 'musical room' seems to have some more sounds (or at least they're louder, anyway). I'm pretty sure the outro fade-out is longer than the stereo as well. Also the first bit sounds really weak compared to the stereo. Not certain about this as I haven't heard the album (in stereo) for a while besides last night when I didn't actually get the chance to finish Bike, unfortunately.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  24. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    I noticed that the organ was louder during the initial descending-chord riff bit.

    They didn't "recreate the crazy stereo panning effect" in mono. Obviously you can't do that. There are actually two effects going on here: stereo panning and fading the guitar in and out (the effect that guitar amplifier manufacturers call "tremolo", though here I think it's being done on the mixing console). The fading is present in mono, which is what's giving you that impression.
  25. Trixmay 988

    Trixmay 988 Demere's Dreams

    Perth, Australia
    I know...

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