Stereo to mono reverb issue


Hi there
This may be a question that not many know much about but here I go.
During the last couple of years listening to music on phones (through the internal speaker) has grown to be very common. I have noticed that when you do this a lot of the old mono compatibility issues are back in the game.
Many, many records lose most of the reverb on their tracks when you listen back on phones. This must have something to do with the way the mono to stereo reverbs widely work. Does anybody know of a way to avoid this.
Please only answer if you understand the problem I refer to

All the best HKC

Peter Ostry

Staff member
many records lose most of the reverb on their tracks when you listen back on phones
One reason cames to my mind:
The left and right reveb sides may be almost identical but too much out of phase. Means, that the mixing engineer or a reverb (most likely both) tried to produce a super-wide stereo image and did it wrong. When you listen to such reverbs through loudspeakers, the degradation is not as noticable as with phones, where the sound comes exclusively from left and right.

Does anybody know of a way to avoid this.
In the mix you have several ways depending on the tools you use:
Avoid "super-wide". Don't use reverbs with striking stereo width but without modulation. Be careful with wide convolution reverbs. Be careful with stereo wideners, even in plugins which claim to work for mastering. Modulate your reverbs. Try crossfeeding with delay if the cancellation is too strong. If you work with M/S, leave the lower reverb frequencies in the mid channel (= High-Pass in the side channel). Use a correlation meter. Check your mix in mono.

Or do you mean how to avoid the effect while listening through headphones?
Here your only chance to make it better is to insert a room/speaker simulation.
Try this one, one of the first presets should fit: TB Isone


Hi and sorry for the late response.
I have looked quite heavily into this and there are many issues here at the same time and it seems to me that you have to choose between a good stereo mix and a good mono mix.
Since almost any record I can find have dubious mono mixes I have decided that I will live with that as well. I do check of course that they fairly similar.

Thanks for the reply