technically speaking, what is 'fake' stereo? (Duophonic, Electronically Re-processed, etc.)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by daveman, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. daveman

    daveman Forum All Star Thread Starter

    I see this often in different forms, whether it's "duophonic" or "electronically reprocessed" -- but what exactly is it? What do they do to it to make it "kinda-stereo"?
  2. MrPeabody

    MrPeabody New Member

    Fake, or pseudo stereo, was something done in the 1960s to supposedly attract people to buying stereo LPs, without having to go through the expense of actually creating a proper stereo mix. The object basically was to make it sound as though different things were coming out of the left and right speakers. There were different ways to do it.

    Probably the most common way was to cut all the bass frequencies on one side, and all the treble frequencies on the other. Another way might be to slightly delay one side from the other (the early Elvis fake stereos did this). Or sometimes one of those techniques were used along with echo on one side. Or perhaps the 2 channels were phase-reversed. These techniques were obviously applied to the mono master.

    I've only heard one instance where fake stereo actually fooled me, it was done so well. But 99.99% of the time, it sounds like crap.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    The reason they bothered to butcher music this way is that "stereo" LP's cost one dollar more than mono LP's. So, better for the record company; more $$.
    Benn Kempster likes this.
  4. AKA

    AKA Cromulent Member

    They're still making fake stereo. Listen to "Shut Down" on The Beach Boys' "Sounds Of Summer" compilation. :(

    Well, technically, that's not true. It's real stereo, but for some reason, it gives me the same headache effect that fake stereo does. It's almost like one channel has higher bass and the other has higher treble.
  5. mrstats

    mrstats Forum Resident

    All of the fake stereo stuff that I've listened to was awful. The mono versions were much better (IMHO).

    I apologize for the thread crap.
  6. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Enquiring minds want to know: what was that "one instance" where it was done well in your opinion?

    One other fake stereo method you left out: panning the sound back and forth between speakers, such as they did on some songs on the stereo Hard Day's Night soundtrack LP.
  7. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Bob Norberg is still doing it by widening great sounding MONO Frank Sinatra not get me started!:eek:

  8. MrPeabody

    MrPeabody New Member

    Honestly, I've forgotten which particular song it was. But I think it was a Glaser Brothers song. It was either slightly narrow, true stereo or some very clever EQing for fake stereo. Had me stumped, so I give them credit. It worked!
  9. daveman

    daveman Forum All Star Thread Starter

    Did it stump you upon headphone listening or via regular speakers?
  10. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    I chat with someone online who prefers the rechanneled version of I'll Never Find Another You by the Seekers over the original mono and also likes the rechanneled "Magic Bus."
  11. Paul Curtis

    Paul Curtis Active Member

    Portland, Oregon
    I can think of two instances of "good" fake stereo--both on the same album. (By "good," I mean "artistically interesting," not "sonically pure").

    Speficially, on the stereo version of the Tomorrow LP, both "My White Bicycle" and "Revolution" are split into low/high frequency bands, but both bands are then panned independently at appropriate moments in the recording, swirling in and out amongst one another in time to the music. If you listen through headphones, it almost feels as if you're getting smacked on the side of the head! In just about any other context, this would be outrageously gimmicky and offensive, but it's perfectly suited to Mark Wirtz's hyperactive, flower-damaged, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink psychedelic production style.

    Unfortunately, "The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase" is in boring, conventional fake stereo, with no panning at all, so you've gotta have the mono LP on hand for that one!

    --Paul Curtis
  12. RetroSmith

    RetroSmith Forum Hall Of Fame<br>(Formerly Mikey5967)

    East Coast
    While I absolutely HATE fake stereo, the one that fooled me was on the 1968 remix of The Tokens "Tonight I Fell In Love".

    They took the mono track, eq'd it to split it into two channels, put one channel on the left, the other in the middle, and added a shaker panned to the right side It really did sound like a true stereo mix. Check it out sometime!!
  13. MrPeabody

    MrPeabody New Member

    Both! I listened on everything I could possibly play it on, for an hour, and still couldn't nail it down.
  14. Vivaldinization

    Vivaldinization Active Member

    Some of the weirder Who fake stereo is so incomprehensible to be very tricky. Some of the Polydor vinyl comps I have use a reverbed-to-no-end Kids are Alright that simply has *so much processing* going on that it's very effective at da foolin'.
  15. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    A very good fake stereo mix is the Three Dog Night's "Shambala" on the "Cyan" LP on the ABC/Dunhill label. But the mono mix sounds solid.

    There is no stereo mix of the song.

    Also, there are a lot of mono-hating stereo fans who like to create and trade fake stereo songs out of mono mixes with Cool Edit. Some are quite interesting, and good, but most are obviously fool's gold. One person who does this told me that he does it basically for amusement, and to show what a song could sound like if it could be mixed to stereo.

    But, God-forbid if any of these fake stereo creations, also called DES (Digitally Extracted Stereo), make it to a commercial CD!

    I have a nice five-set CD-R collection of 60s and 70s hits that contain many of these DES tracks. I do enjoy some of them. But, when I get serious, I always go back to the true mono mixes.
  16. The re-channelled Magic Bus is musically very different to the other versions...
  17. MartinGr

    MartinGr Forum Resident

    Fortunately there are examples of fake stereo, where the mono is intact in the middle and everything that's added is phase reversed on left and right channel (L=-R). So you just have to press the mono button and the fake is eliminated (L+R=-R+R=0). But I don't know an example.

  18. Doug Hess Jr.

    Doug Hess Jr. Forum Resident

    Belpre, Ohio
    Those long time subscibers to ICE magazine may recall a story from around 1991 about a guy who had this computer system called "Revectoring" where he claimed to be able to extract the frequencies of each instrument and make discreet stereo out of mono among other claims. I never heard any of his work, though, but thought it was worth a mention.
  19. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Forum Resident

    "A very good fake stereo mix is the Three Dog Night's "Shambala" on the "Cyan" LP on the ABC/Dunhill label. "

    The first few seconds always fool me. BTW, I met Chuck Negron of TDN in NYC in 2001 and asked him about a true stereo Shambala. He thought it was issued on the 2-CD Celebration set.:sigh:
  20. reechie

    reechie Well-Known Member

    Good old Jon Astley continues to treat us to the odd Who fake stereo mix, such as "Call Me Lightning" on The Ultimate Collection, "Whiskey Man" on his original mono CD of A Quick One, and apparently (though I still haven't found one), "See My Way" on the new stereo version of AQO.

    The question is, why?
  21. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    ...and on "My Generation - The Very Best of the Who": "My Generation"

  22. rontokyo

    rontokyo Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Actually, if memory serves, "electronic stereo" didn't surface until *after* the record companies decided to discontinue the manufacture of mono records so as to supply record shops with stereo copies only. [I can't recall who bitched the loudest before this policy change--the shops who had to stock both stereo and mono for each title or the record companies who figured there was more money to be made in forcing the public to buy stereo only.] LP titles for which no stereo version was available where dicked with so as to be able to provide record shops with "stereo" product. At that time stereo records had a MSRP of $1.00 more than mono.
  23. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    ERIC Records has released the DES Apache on a Hard To Find 45s on CD disc and a remastered American Graffiti DVD will have DES mixes of many of the songs.
  24. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    There was Electronic stereo in the early stereo days as well. For example, I have a rechanneled original pressing of Doris Day's Greatest Hits on LP.
  25. rontokyo

    rontokyo Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Are you sure that "stereo" record was released before mono-only titles were discontinued?

Share This Page