Hip Hop Drums: Stereo or Mono???


New member
So I made a beat in Reason and I'm now in the process of tracking everything into Pro Tools including my drums. I'm using the NN-XT Sampler for my drum samples and some of them happen to be in Stereo.

I was wondering if I can convert those Stereo drum samples into Mono and still keep the full integrity of that drum sample?

Tracking them into Pro Tools would require me to use a Stereo track BUT then I have to deal with two Pan Pots instead of one. Makes it easier for me to mix.

What should I do in this situation guys?


Cubase Addict
Depends on the sample, don't you put all of your drums to a stereo buss in the end anyway? It shouldn't make a difference to your mixing. You should render the drum in both stereo and mono and a/b them. If it sounds good in mono keep it, if not leave it in stereo.


Cupcake God
Leave it alone there is not a ton of benefit from changing them from stereo to mono in fact stereo is 4db louder


So your rewiring or are you exporing and importing?

If rewiring you can make the stereo channel mono just by unplugging one channel. (L or R)

If your exporting it wont make a difference really. You could split into mono or you could just pan both pots to 0 (Its a visual aid) Now with synths you have to listen because there typically stereo (from the fx). If you pan those to 0 you may notice it sounded duller.

When I rewire I route all drums/percussion to mono channels. With synths and pads and things like that I see whats best. I also GS (gain stage) everything before going into PT. As stated already just listen to it and use your best judgement.


IK Multimedia
I usually do all my drums in MONO. Overheads are the only stereo drums I mess with and even then its usually an actual recording of a live performance, not one shot samples.
I think it depends which drums you want to convert. The kick drum should stay mono so it is very central and powerful, but something like the snare can benefit from a bit of stereo width if it is done well...


New member
It typically depends on the drum sound, Almost all of the time I keep my kick in mono... Snare usualy in mono unless I decide to layer it with some abstract enhancer. I might have things like the hats and cymbals in stereo, but then again I may change this approach depending on how I'm feeling at the moment.