The difference between mono and stereo is in the number of channels used by the speakers. Mono tracks send the same signal to all speakers, while stereo tracks send a signal to the left speaker and a slightly different signal to the right speaker. When you play a stereo recording, you can hear the pan settings because you have both left and right ears. Mono recording is perfect for vocals and can work on other instruments, while stereo recording works well on acoustic guitar and even on drums.
In a mono recording, we capture a single source of sound with a single microphone. In a stereo recording, we capture a single sound source or several sound sources with two microphones. A vocal recording is an excellent example of a mono sound source. The difference between monophonic (mono) and stereophonic (stereo) sound is the number of channels used to record and play audio.
Mono signals are recorded and reproduced using a single audio channel, while stereo sounds are recorded and reproduced using two audio channels. As a listener, the most notable difference is that stereo sounds are capable of producing width perception, while mono sounds are not. When it comes to recording, understanding the difference between mono and stereo can help you create mixes with more depth and space. For the beginning home recorder, I would recommend recording in mono and then adding effects to your DAW.
Stereo audio recording offers a three-dimensional quality that makes your music come alive and sound more realistic. Most of the time, a stereo recording has a panoramic microphone to the left and another to the right. Ultimately, it's best to use stereo audio if you want to record with lots of acoustic elements, such as a live music performance or reverberating instruments such as a violin or guitar. Stereo audio has two audio signals designed for two separate audio channels, creating a perception of space.
So if you're looking for an immersive listening experience or want to record with lots of acoustic elements, then stereo audio is the way to go. However, if you're just looking for something simple like vocals or one instrument at a time, then mono audio will do just fine. Understanding the differences between mono and stereo can help you create mixes with more depth and space. It's important to know which type of recording is best for your project so that you can get the most out of your recordings.