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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. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    Depending on my mood I might like Let There Be More Light in mono because of the way the percussion sounds, but the rest I prefer in stereo.
     
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  2. The mono Interstellar is two layers of the entire band playing.

    They recorded a first performance and then overdubbed a second performance on top of it.

    The stereo version is just the first performance, in stereo.

    On the mono there's extra guitar, bass, organ & drums.
    Right when the main theme ends, you can hear Mason having a hard time staying in sync with his 2nd drum track.
     
  3. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Like basically any record made before 1969, mono.
     
  4. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Stereo, always stereo. Especially in this case where the mix and in particular the crazy panning is part of the album's charm.
     
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  5. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dorset, England.
    Yeah, this is what I grew up with from my older brothers collection: not really interested in the mono.
     
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  6. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    I prefer the stereo Pow R. Toc H which ends with Syd’s screaming guitar. It always sounds weird to hear it fade out and end with drums on the mono.
     
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  7. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    That’s not true at all. There are parts of the stereo where you can hear the overdubbed take.
     
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  8. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    How about the single version?
     
  9. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    I haven't heard it. Interested to read what people think, though...
     
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  10. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Location:
    Three Rivers, CA
    Here is my contrarian opinion. I have both pressings and like both for different reasons but I don't prefer one over the other. I have to put myself back in time over 50 years ago when I first started to listen to this music and remembered that I was on Owsley acid at the time and that the panning almost sent me over the edge. However, I always felt that that was their intention so I look at that as an essential element of the sonics.

    For context, most of us did not have sophisticated stereos at the time, so if you were lucky enough to have a stereo, you might get the pleasure of having that experience. Many of us then had to listen to stereo on a 4 track tape cartridge(remember those?) Muntz car stereos to really listen to music. Even back then none of us were in a position to really critique the sonic attributes of any records for that matter. It's more or less a 50 plus year plus version Monday morning quarterbacking if you like and in my opinion, it was a really awesome recording for those times.
     
    Jon H., elaterium and kt66brooklyn like this.
  11. Philip Gruber

    Philip Gruber Forum Resident

    Location:
    North England
    Just listened to Interstellar Overdrive once again - in stereo - and there is no getting away from the fact that THAT moment of crazy panning on the final blast of the main riff is one of the most infamous stereo moments in rock history. The fact we all KNOW that moment well and we're still talking about it says it all. Norman Smith has received a fair amount of stick for his stereo mixing of this album but when all is said and done and for all it's eccentricities, it's a major part of the legend behind this album. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that session with the band playing at full volume with Norman Smith and Peter Bown in the control room having to capture it and when one thinks of what else was being recorded in the UK, there simply was nothing else quite like the Floyd freaking out and doing such an unusual - and compelling - piece of music.

    I think sometimes it's easy to overlook and forget just how downright weird and unique this music was compared to everything else. There is still nothing quite like it. It's partly why it's my number one album of all time - a priceless snapshot of a moment in time that was never destined to last or happen again. A truly original album in every sense of the word and one of the only albums where one does need both mono and stereo mixes.
     
  12. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Perfectly said.

    If there was ever an album made for adventurous stereo mixing, this is it.

    Why would you want it to sound “normal”?
     
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  13. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Because the panning sounds like someone's ten year old brother was playing with the board. :laugh:
     
  14. StingRay5

    StingRay5 Important Impresario

    Location:
    California
    Yeah, I've never liked the panning at the end of "Interstellar Overdrive". It's more or less a mono mix of the band bouncing around. Not pleasant to listen to.
     
  15. Trixmay 988

    Trixmay 988 Demere's Dreams

    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I don't know why people dislike the crazy panning so much to be honest. It only lasts about 20 seconds, doesn't it?
     
  16. johnwilliamhunte

    johnwilliamhunte In the land of Gods and Monsters

    This thread reminded me that I have mono and stereo CDs from the 3 CD set, but I hadn't really compared them, my LP is stereo so I'm used to that.

    Now I've listened again, I would agree as far as mono/stereo mixes go these are like night and day, the mono is really good :).
     
  17. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    20 seconds of jarring, cheesy gimmickry. It's not enough to make me throw the stereo mix in the trash, but it's just a bad part of the mix, IMHO. I'm always surprised that people keep holding it up as an example of how great the stereo mix is.
     
  18. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dorset, England.
    One of the defining moments of psychedelia, is how I hear it. I still find that whole song thrilling to listen to.
     
  19. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    :laugh: Surely there's the teensiest bit of exaggeration there.
     
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  20. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    For me its mono. The insanity needs to be closed in. And Im not saying insanity as a slight to Syd. Insanity in the best of ways.
     
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  21. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    It’s a lot shorter.
     
  22. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    You must be from California?
     
  23. 'Stereono' for me. As other have mentioned, some songs work better in stereo, some in mono.
     
  24. Jon H.

    Jon H. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC USA
    For me, I must own both, without question. I grew up with the stereo, and was fascinated by its ethereal qualities, especially on Mathilda Mother and Interstellar Overdrive. The little touches - the reverb, the celeste, the cello, the silly "clip-clop" percussion on The Scarecrow, and the jarring ending of Bike are all headphone ear candy. And the panning on IO isn't subtle, ha!

    When I want to be pummeled, I go to the mono version; it greatly benefits the drums and works as a more unified "band-sounding" experience as opposed to a studio creation with lots of overdubs. In my opinion Syd's guitar playing also shines more brightly in mono.

    A friend once said about Sgt. Pepper - mono or stereo - "You've got to have both! Like with 2 fine wines. One night you're in the mood for a rich Cabernet, and another night a Pinot...they are different experiences, and wonderful flavors - to be savored!".

    I concur. Both mixes of this landmark album have their merits - and this magical time with Syd was all too brief.
     
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  25. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dorset, England.
    Do you not get psychedelia?
     
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