Just can't make a decent sounding MONO file

I’ve had both the MKI and MKII Octatracks and have really enjoyed their depth and sound but ended up selling them to fund other gear. I have even had a DT for a short time but sold it when I could not get bounced stereo files from my synths to sound any good. Now that I have that other gear I am looking to get back another Elektron sampler either OT or DT.
I can afford a DT but not OT and have been trying to investigate whether I can make a decent sounding MONO file that could be used in DT or whether I should just be satisfied with using it for one shot percussion if I settle for one.
I have taken a few stereo files and converted them to mono in Logic Pro X and have found it has varying sucess depending on file. How do Elektron get their factory factory samples to sound soo good on DT ?
I have attached four files, the mono version of the Virus TI sounds ok, but the mono version of Serum Chords sounds horrible and brittle. Any ideas

Maybe the started in mono with sounddesign.

Hey they probably started with mono files. When you sum to mono you will likely get clashing frequencies that either sum to zero dB or compound and peak weirdly. If there are stereo effects like ping pong delay, chorus, Phasing, panning (all of which are likely in serum!) then you’re likely to see a lot of these issues.

A couple of easy remedies:

  1. pick one channel. May sound weird depending on the effects applied, e.g. any hard panning
  2. re-sample from the original sources but remove any stereo effects

I think you can also use some plugins to do mono summing but Whenever I’ve attempted this it’s bee easier to do the things I’ve suggested. Maybe others have better advice! Would love to learn more tricks.

In general I try to stick to mono samples or output, do a temp mix in mono, then when it sounds good in mono apply stereo effects. Mix always ends up better for me, all the elements need clearer defined space in mono. I learned this from Dr Dre :slight_smile:

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Oh man what is happening, almost half of the question is unrelated gear purchase talk :man_shrugging:

Most of the sounds in the Digitakt factory are mono from the beginning, i.e sampled from various synths that are mono, or just not using any stereo effects.
The samples that were stereo were converted to mono ‘by hand’ - sometimes you should just use one channel (e.g only L), sometimes it’s better to sum.

For example, when you have a lot of stereo modulation from an effect it’s usually better to scrap one channel since that type of effected sound can easily have some phasing issues or weirdness going on when summed. For example a phaser, flanger, stereo widening delay or similar effect should usually not be summed.

But the ultimate answer here is to design your sound in mono from the start - and also think about what that might mean in a broader sense. What I mean by that is for example that the first sound here has delay and reverb on it - these are effects that exist in the Digitakt - so instead I would recommend to just export it dry and then process it in the DT. The Digitakt sample engine is after all quite close to a synth, so the sample doesn’t always need to be heavily processed beforehand, you can achieve a lot in the DT itself.


what about a used octatrack? it loads stereo files and the price is not that much higher than a digitakt

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