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Kev

Interleave not working

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I'm finding that setting the interleave button to mono on a track doesn't make any difference. The output signal remains stereo regardless. The track contains mono clips and there are some stereo effects in the fx bin.

Version 2020.05 (Build 039)

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i'm not sure if this image is the latest, but you can see that interleave comes prior to FX, so if you have stereo FX, they will be processed after the interleave. You can you the Channel Tools to return to mono at any point, but watch for gain related to combining the two channels (should be 3dB so predictable).

 

image.png.de0c61c04cea6c84219be9ce13f8bee7.png

Edited by Gswitz

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Thanks. I have always assumed that the interleave was post-fx. It's strange that I have never run into this problem before.

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I use to set the interleave to mono for mono tracks, but I would find that I would forget and put a stereo effect after a mono effect and that would cause Cakewalk to hang and crash. Now I always leave the interleave set to stereo for mono signals, and only use stereo effects eg. chorus, flanger etc in the fx bin. Using channel tools to convert an effect to mono is a good idea. Is there a scenario where setting interleave to mono is a necessity? Just curious.

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Most of the time, there is no penalty for setting a mono track's interleave to stereo. The exception is when you have a mono effect that must see a mono input in order to work correctly. Companies that provide both mono and stereo versions of their plugins do so for a reason, and you can get unexpected results by using the wrong version. But as long as you consistently use stereo plugins, your strategy should be OK.

That said, I much prefer to keep mono tracks mono throughout, and avoid stereo tracks unless there is a compelling reason to use them. It's counter-intuitive, but too many stereo tracks will actually make your mix sound less wide.

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Thanks for the response bitflipper.  When you say you prefer to keep mono tracks mono throughout are you saying you always set interleave to mono for mono tracks? It seems to me that a mono track will behave the same with interleave set to mono or stereo, unless an effect is used in the fx bin that would make the signal stereo (ie. a stereo effect on a mono interleave will output mono). The only plugins I use that give you a choice between mono and stereo are Waves. If I put a stereo version of the CLA compressor on a mono track with interleave set to stereo it works the same as a mono CLA on a mono interleave, is that right?  Actually, I just tried something out, I put a mono version of a CLA compressor on a mono track with interleave set to stereo  and it worked exactly the same as the stereo version of the same compressor, which means the mono effect still sees a mono signal whether interleave is set to mono or stereo. Maybe this is unique to waves plugins, I don't know. The main thing to avoid is mixing mono and stereo effects in the same fx bin, that causes Cakewalk to hang and eventually crash. I say this because I once put Eventide's Crush Station ( not realizing it was only stereo) after a mono CLA comp and it kept crashing my project. Anyways, sorry for high jacking this thread and for the long post, I've always been curious about this. Cheers
 

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@KevMany issues with mono interleave were fixed in the 05 release. Can you share your project file that has the issue?
Without seeing the signal flow and plugins we can't investigate the cause of what you are seeing.

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I have never experienced hanging or crashing from mixing mono and stereo effects. I actually can't imagine any reason for that happening. If you can create a simple project that crashes (e.g. one track and a couple common plugins), send it to Noel so he can figure out why it's happening. 

Exactly how any specific plugin is going to react to an interleave mismatch is going to vary widely. In some cases, the developer has foreseen that situation and coded the plugin to transparently adapt. But trying to make software foolproof is hard, time-consuming and expensive, and not all developers take that much care. Sometimes, the plugin responds in unexpected ways. Rather than figure out which combinations don't work, it makes more sense as a matter of "best-practices" to simply avoid the situation.

A compressor may not be the best class of effect to test because the problems can be quite subtle. The sidechain input to a compressor may be summed left-to-right internally so that each independent compressor in a stereo effect sees the same key. Alternatively, the left and right sidechain signals may be kept separate so that each compressor remains independent of one another. Many compressors give you a slider that determines how tightly coupled the sidechain sides are. When you insert a stereo compressor into a mono track, you are stuck with method #1 always. To answer why this could be important, ask yourself why there is more than one way to do it in the first place. Research that and you will understand a) how things can go wrong, and b) that the difference can be subtle or even unnoticeable.

Also ask yourself why stereo compressors exist in the first place. If the signal is too hot, don't you want to turn the whole thing down? Why waste the CPU cycles turning down each side independently? Well, sometimes you do. Sometimes you don't. Understand how compressors can effect stereo imaging and you will gain insight as to why we have mono and stereo versions and why we have mono and stereo sidechains.

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15 minutes ago, bitflipper said:

I have never experienced hanging or crashing from mixing mono and stereo effects. I actually can't imagine any reason for that happening. If you can create a simple project that crashes (e.g. one track and a couple common plugins), send it to Noel so he can figure out why it's happening. 

There was a problem with all Eventide VST3 plug-ins crashing when interleave was changed.

The 2020.05 release addressed the problem even though it was an Eventide issue.

@tonemangler on June 8, Eventide released a fix for all their plug-ins including CrushStation.

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@bitflipper Thanks for the explanation, what you say makes a lot of sense and of course there had to be a reason for having an option for changing interleave between stereo and mono, I just wasn't sure why and now I know. Thanks.  @scook Thanks for the heads up! This was the real cause of my concern about mixing stereo and mono effects, so I now see it was an Eventide issue rather than a Cakewalk "eccentricity". Years ago I experienced the same problem with the SSL Duende effects when they had stereo and mono versions of each plugin, but when they changed to the preferred format of making each plugin automatically conform to a mono or a stereo signal it was no longer a concern. I have a lot of Eventide stuff so it's funny that I hadn't noticed this issue with anything other than Crush Station, I guess because I usually leave interleave in it's default stereo setting. I will be updating them all right away. @Noel Borthwick I'm pretty sure my issue was explained by scook, but if the issue persists I will share it with you. Thanks again to all.

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On 7/11/2020 at 10:59 PM, Noel Borthwick said:

@KevMany issues with mono interleave were fixed in the 05 release. Can you share your project file that has the issue?
Without seeing the signal flow and plugins we can't investigate the cause of what you are seeing.

If Gswitz is correct, then my problem was due to my mistaken belief about interleave's position in the signal chain rather than anything specific to the project.

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I don't know if this is necessarily "true", but it has been my experience that the input device has a say in this as well. If you choose a stereo input on my komplete audio6, it "looks" at both inputs. If it just sees one (like a guitar plugged into it) and you just record it raw to reamp later, it shows a stereo track with one side doing nothing, because nothing is going in to it and komplete audio 6 expects to see something going on. Just a thought...

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Like i said, you can merge back to mono with channel tools at any point.

Most of us don't often have any need to do that though.

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