Stereo sound consists of two channels of audio mixed together in a special way: one channel
is balanced somewhat to the left, and the other is balanced somewhat to the right. When
played back, a “stereo” field is created that creates a more three-dimensional perception of
where the sounds are coming from.
The only type of production sound that is typically recorded in stereo is music. Stereo sound
is usually reserved for the final mix of a soundtrack for a film or TV show. The built-in microphones
on most camcorders are stereo, but these mics are usually not suitable for serious
production work. You can, of course, buy or rent stereo mics to attach to your camera, and
these will record separate left and right channels directly to tape; however, this is not necessary
if you are primarily recording dialogue
Mono sound consists of one track (or channel) of audio. Almost all of the sound that you record
during your production is mono. If you record a line from a microphone into a digital audio
recorder, you are probably recording mono sound because most microphones are not stereo
microphones—that is, they don’t record separate left and right channels that create a full stereo
field. Even if you record onto both channels of the digital audio recorder with a mono microphone,
you’re still recording mono: you’re simply recording the same mono signal on the
recorder’s two channels.
If you patch a lavalier mic into channel one and let the camera’s built-in mic record to channel
two, you are still recording in mono. Granted, you are creating two different mono recordings
of the same thing, but the two different channels will sound very different due to the quality
of the microphones and their positioning. In no way do they add up to a stereo recording.
There’s nothing wrong with recording mono production sound; in fact, it’s usually considered
ideal. You’ll record many different tracks of mono sound and later you (or a sound editor) will
mix them together in different ways to get a stereo mix and a surround sound mix.
tags: difference stereo mono,stereo vs mono