Adding Monoizer To The Gainer-dsp-effect

First of all, to my knowledge, it is not possible to combine Left and Right channel without using External VST’s. The Stereoexpander DSP-effect will only grab the left channel when set to “Mono”. Also there are times when I f.ex. want to grab left channel only and pan it to the right. So I’ve given this some thought over time - I would like to have a monoizer-effect added to the Gainer-dsp-effect. First, here’s a mockup:

Description: The monoizer function is enabled by clicking “Enable” and will produce mono-sound (same output in left and right channel). It can either pick the left signal, the right signal or combine them. I placed the controller in the middle because the Panning-function should be placed last in the signal-chain.

Let me give you an example of a recent case where I needed this feature in a song:

I was using a VST-vocoder where the carrier was fed to the left-input signal and the modulator to the right-input signal. The vocoder produced mono-output, and I wanted a stereo-vocoder, so I simply used two vocoders instead. I put each Vocoder on a send-channel.

Then I had two tracks, one with my voice (mono-signal, used for the carrier of the vocoders) and one with a stereo-synthesizer (used for the modulator of the vocoders).

  • First, I panned the voice-track to the left and added two sends, for each carrier of the vocoders (using Keep-Source on the first one).

  • Secondly I wanted to send the left channel of the synthesizer to the right channel of the first vocoder and the right channel of the synthesizer to the right channel to the second vocoder. Here is where it is getting troublesome. I first added a send-channel to a third send-track (using keep-source) to be able to have to copies of the synthesizer-track without the settings of the first one ruining the other. Then I added a Gainer to the synthesizer-track / 3rd send track which I panned left resp. right and then added a Monoizer VST-effect to these tracks, and finally adding ANOTHER gainer which I panned right / right. And Finally adding a send to both these to vocoder 1 respectively vocoder 2.

Voice Track - [Gainer, Pan Left] -> [Send S Vocoder 1, Keep Source ON] -> [Send S Vocoder 2]
Synthesizer Track - [Send Send3, Keep Source ON] -> [Gainer, Pan Left] -> [VST Monoizer] -> [Gainer, Pan Right] -> [Send S Vocoder 1]
S Vocoder 1 - [Vocoder VST] -> [Gainer, Pan Left]
S Vocoder 2 - [Vocoder VST] -> [Gainer, Pan Right]
Send 3 - [Gainer, Pan Right] -> [VST Monoizer] -> [Gainer, Pan Right] -> [Send S Vocoder 2]

If the Gainer would have this monoizer function, I could use 1 effect instead of 3 to be able to pan left/right/mixed-signal to the left/middle/right). The chain would then look like this:

Voice Track - [Gainer, Pan Left] -> [Send S Vocoder 1, Keep Source ON] -> [Send S Vocoder 2]
Synthesizer Track - [Send Send3, Keep Source ON] -> [Gainer, Monoize Left, Pan Right] -> [Send S Vocoder 1]
S Vocoder 1 - [Vocoder VST] -> [Gainer, Pan Left]
S Vocoder 2 - [Vocoder VST] -> [Gainer, Pan Right]
Send 3 - [Gainer, Monoize Right, Pan Right] -> [Send S Vocoder 2]

I have thinked about where this monoizer-function would make most use (it could be added to the stereo-expander, the send-effect or as a standard-effect on each channel) but my conclusion, or in my opinion, is that it’s most logically placed on the Gainer.

PS. The VST-effect I’ve used to combine left & right-channel is dfx Monomaker, just to make things clear. This plugin is what I’m refering to with “VST Monoizer”.


A small tool which is extremely handy sometimes.


I was traditionally for a mono button on the master channel (I still am, actually), but this feature could be a valid alternative. And you could use it on any channel.

Why gainer? Why not a monodevice?
At the same time, why not a pandevice? Combining utility devices freely doesnt ring well with me.

If you’d add mono downmix to the Gainer, you should rechristen it to something more generic.

Other than that, +1 on having a mono mixdown device, even though i’m quite happy with dBlue’s vst.

sunjammer: In my perspective, it’s better not to add too many small generic dsp-effects, but rather a few one that are more than one-trick ponys. These Renoise-effects have a very small number of parameters too. If anything, maybe “Gainer” should be renamed to something else, as it (if this gets implemented) is more than just a gainer/panner.

I guess that I see the Stereoexpander as an effect (widening/narrowing the stereofield) and Gainer more of a “tool”, if this makes sense. Atleast, this is how I am going to use it, as a tool to route signals.

(One last note, I generally don’t mind using vst-effects either, but this is a very simple and handy tool, and the benefit of having it inside Renoise is that it will be more cross-platform-compatible (seeing how hard it is to keep using the same sidechain-method during several Renoise-versions have made me aware of this))

+1. Useful indeed.

By the way, I just noticed that Inverse - Left / Right has been added to the 1.9-version of Gainer. Seems to be added last to the chain. This doesn’t change the point of my idea much ( Gain -> Monoizer -> Panning -> Inverse ) but I’m wondering if there would be any benefits on doing other routings.

Would Gain -> Inverse -> Monoizer -> Panning be any useful?

Well, just thinking loud here.

Why? Chain’s too long? Devices don’t necessarily have to be the particularly wide for something that’s basically just a toggle switch.

I can’t even begin to describe how much i disagree with you. But i’ll try anyway :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My rationale is the dsp chain as a “sentence” made up from “words”. I know some think of it as a pipe, this is also a valid metaphor. Any way you turn it, a chain “device” is a process through which the sound is altered. When i read a chain by name (as in the mixer view for instance) i want to know immediatly what a device does. To be frank, “StereoToolDevice” or whatever doesn’t mean shit to me. With Gainer, i can make a fast guess as to what the sound is put through. With filter, i know. With chorus, i know. With distortion, i know.

The semantics of the dsp chain is a solid element of what makes them readable, and adding “synonyms” will directly impact the readability negatively.

I’d like to see a solid argument against this.

Hmm. I’m sorry but I’m not really up to discussing whether it should be a separate effect or a combined one (maybe with a better served name (Signaltool?)), as I feel we could spend more time on this than it would take Taktik to actually implement it. After all, he is the one who calls the shots and the fact that he added a phase-inverter in the 1.9 Gainer could be an indication that this could be more than a pan/gain-tool.

Yes, I feel that having too many separate dsp-effect makes the/my workflow more complicated (which is why I stated that this solution would save us a couple of dsp’s in my example). It is also true that small dsp’s with just a knob or two shouldn’t necessarily take much space, but at least right here, right now, they do.

I’m glad you liked the initial idea though.

Panning Device, Volume Device, this rings far better to me. The panning device could hold mono functionality just fine and maintain chain readability.

You can collect things into devices, but those things should be very closely related. So +1 for that

About the phase inversion in the 1.9 gainer, i always felt that was a strange choice. But i guess at the time there wasn’t anywhere better to place it.


all the gainer needs is a mono checkbox. simple. this is a must have!


darkflow: Just adding a mono-checkbox (combining left & right channel) will make it impossible to take one of the channels and pan it however you like (see my routing example above), that’s why I’m proposing to make it selectable. However, the default setup could of course be L+R, so it’s still just one box to check. :)

im not getting you. have u checked out the logic gain unit? the way it works is the same. mono is the last option in the chain. when its in mono the balance acts as a mix for the two channels. if you want to then pan the mono signal, shouldn’t you use the channel strip in the mixer?

I suppose in the case of renoise the pan would have to change into balance when the mono button is in instead of pan, i didn’t think about that. but im sure what ur trying to do is the same as what im trying to do, i just think it can be done simpler.


Screen grab of logics one:

this is in fact the same as the renoise one but more blue.

“I suppose in the case of renoise the pan would have to change into balance when the mono button is in instead of pan, i didn’t think about that. but im sure what ur trying to do is the same as what im trying to do, i just think it can be done simpler.”

Well, the difference is the order of the elements in the signalchain, of course. You are suggesting that the mono-function should be the last element in the chain, I am suggesting that it should be placed before panning.

The reason I’m interested in panning the signal after it’s monoized is that some vst’s (like a vocoder f.ex.) will accept different signals in left and right channel. If you check my example above, I’m trying to select the left versus the right signal of a synth output and sending it to a specific channel on two different vst-vocoders, so this is why I would like a L | R | L+R function and also why I would like to keep the panning the way it is.

Of course, I would also be fine with a Monoizer function consisting of a pre pan-slider (where minimum would represent L, maximum R and middle L+R) and a “Enabled”-checkbox. I am just not sure if I would use the in-betweens very much. :)

“if you want to then pan the mono signal, shouldn’t you use the channel strip in the mixer?”

Hmm, if you by this mean “panning the already monoized signal” -> the pan in the channelstrip is a pre-mixer effect, it is not applied afterwards. This is the behavement in Renoise 1.8, it might have been changed/enhanced in 1.9 (I wouldn’t mind actually). However, using the pre-mixer panning and just clicking Enable on the monoizer (with L+R selected) would create the Logic-gainer-signalchain that you are after (as long as no dsp is added before the Gainer), so my suggestion isn’t ‘disabling’ the features you wan’t. :)

Puh, lot of typing… :)

Phwoar! I forgot how sexy the Logic plugins looked!

And I agree entirely with you darkflow. This is the only thing missing from the Gainer plug.

this would be awesome to have,any word from the devs about this??+20

Is everyone aware that Stereo Expander can be set to -100 -> mono… by the looks of some of these posts, I am not sure!

Not a true mono from the Stereo Expander though…
It will only use one of the channels (the Right channel I think), and not mix Left and Right channels together.
And that can be a pain in the #¤¤ sometimes.