How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why

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Johnbee58
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2018/11/07 19:38:32 (permalink)

How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why

Do you use stereo imaging plugins?  If so, why?
I recently tried the free Ozone Imager on a project.  Lead vocal track.  I'm thinking about removing it and just switching to processing the mono track with reverb/delay.  I don't know whether I like the effect of not so I'm wondering how others use it and how, if they do, feel as if it adds to their production. Also, what does the Stereoize function actually do?  I know what the spread function does, but what does Stereoize do? 
 
John B.

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    dmbaer
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/07 20:28:00 (permalink)
    I use stereo enhancement all the time (well, to the limited extent I have time to actually work on music these days).  My favorites are Melda MStereoSpread on Voxengo Spatifier.  The former works with both complementary EQ and/or delay that is guaranteed to sum to mono with no destructive effects.  Spatifier does something a bit more exotic, but it results in a sum-to-mono result that is at least statistically very unlikely to create to destructive results.
     
    I wrote a combined review of both of these a while back which can be found here:
    http://soundbytesmag.net/twomonotostereoconverters/
     
    #2
    msmcleod
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 10:40:46 (permalink)
    I tend not to use plugins to widen stereo images, but I do use channel tools to narrow it - mainly with piano sounds that spread the keyboard across the whole stereo field. 
     
    If I do want to stereo a part (like a guitar), I'm more likely to re-record and double the part as I find this sounds more natural.
     
    For keyboard sounds (esp my favourite Roland U220 organ sound) I'll double the part and hard pan left & right. The U220 automatically delays the sound slightly (probably cos it's old and slow!), so the effect works well. I've never had phase issues using the actual hardware, but with samples of this I need to tweak it more... I should really just sample the doubled organ as a sample in its own right.
     

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    Johnbee58
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 12:48:46 (permalink)
    Is the point of these imagers to artificially create a stereo field for a mono signal?
    I remixed the project in question in my original post.  It's sounds better although I did keep a small bit of the stereo widening.
     
    John B.

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    jamesg1213
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 13:17:39 (permalink)
    I wouldn't use it on a lead vocal. Maybe on backing vocs to spread those out a bit.

     
    Jyemz
     
     
     



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    #5
    Starise
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 13:46:12 (permalink)
    I do just about everything in stereo. Why? It gives dimension to the tune. I get a better effect in tracking two mono sources of the same instrument and panning those than attempting to use a plugin for that. I suspect most mixes are now a stereo construct IOW done on the mix as opposed to recorded with a pair of stereo mics. 
     
    I have used Waves Vitamin for some of the effect since it has the capability to decide a frequency and pan only the parts of the master you want to pan. The mid/upper mids are usually the areas I pan most in. When mixing for multiple systems I try to also make a mix that will come across in mono. More often I rely on  M/S effects as opposed to a psuedo stereo plugin.
     
    Another thing to remember is a wide image on studio monitors isn't the same image on headphones. I have recently been mixing more to headphones since this is probably 99% of the audience. Mixes on headphones tend to sound less spacial depending on the panning laws set. In order to sound spacial some of the sound must be thrown back to the other side and timed just right.
     
    I recently picked up Boz Pan Knob on a sale and was surprised and what such a simple plugin could do for my panning and stereo image.

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    #6
    Wayfarer
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 16:14:28 (permalink)
    The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bing Crosby among others all expressed their dislike of stereo. Personally I think everything sounds better in mono too, or at least in a narrow stereo field. I want things to sound as live as possible. When you go to a concert, you don't have band members playing at your sides. They're in front of you and spread out just a bit on stage. Records sound better when they're mixed in just that way in my opinion. I don't like this modern trend of hard panning stuff. Sounds very artificial to me. And I still record in 16 bit because effects applied to 24 bit tracks have much too wide a stereo field. Again, sounds very artificial in my opinion. It also tends to make things sound very thin and brittle. I don't know why, but it does. Just my take on things.
     
    Bill
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    dmbaer
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/08 21:47:42 (permalink)
    Johnbee58
    Is the point of these imagers to artificially create a stereo field for a mono signal?

     
    As for MStereoSpread and Spatifier, the answer is yes.  But they can also be effective on stereo tracks that have little natural stereo spread.  I am talking about individual tracks (synths in my case, but instruments like guitars and acoustic keyboards might also benefit from this enhancement).  Neither of these plugins would be appropriate on a master bus or even a group bus in most cases.
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    jude77
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/13 17:02:32 (permalink)
    dmbaer
    I wrote a combined review of both of these a while back which can be found here:
    http://soundbytesmag.net/twomonotostereoconverters/


    That was an excellent read.  If you skipped it, go take a look.

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    jude77
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/13 17:07:01 (permalink)
    Wayfarer
    The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bing Crosby among others all expressed their dislike of stereo. Personally I think everything sounds better in mono too, or at least in a narrow stereo field. I want things to sound as live as possible. When you go to a concert, you don't have band members playing at your sides. They're in front of you and spread out just a bit on stage. Records sound better when they're mixed in just that way in my opinion. I don't like this modern trend of hard panning stuff. Sounds very artificial to me. And I still record in 16 bit because effects applied to 24 bit tracks have much too wide a stereo field. Again, sounds very artificial in my opinion. It also tends to make things sound very thin and brittle. I don't know why, but it does. Just my take on things.
     
    Bill


    That's an interesting take on things.  When I first used drums machines for recording (waaaaaaaay back in the 80's) I used to pan them HARD left and right.  I thought it gave me a great stereo image.  When I listen to that stuff now I cringe. 

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    Wayfarer
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/15 22:27:12 (permalink)
    jude77
    Wayfarer
    The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bing Crosby among others all expressed their dislike of stereo. Personally I think everything sounds better in mono too, or at least in a narrow stereo field. I want things to sound as live as possible. When you go to a concert, you don't have band members playing at your sides. They're in front of you and spread out just a bit on stage. Records sound better when they're mixed in just that way in my opinion. I don't like this modern trend of hard panning stuff. Sounds very artificial to me. And I still record in 16 bit because effects applied to 24 bit tracks have much too wide a stereo field. Again, sounds very artificial in my opinion. It also tends to make things sound very thin and brittle. I don't know why, but it does. Just my take on things.
     
    Bill


    That's an interesting take on things.  When I first used drums machines for recording (waaaaaaaay back in the 80's) I used to pan them HARD left and right.  I thought it gave me a great stereo image.  When I listen to that stuff now I cringe. 


    I realize I'm probably in the minority, but at least I'm glad I'm not alone.
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    Lynn
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/17 17:03:47 (permalink)
    John, I use the same program to ever so slightly widen my master track.  It helps things in the center to sit in the mix better, such as lead vocal, guitar solos, or whatever.  It's not for turning a mono track into stereo.  It's like the old Aphex or BBE aural enhancers, must be used judiciously.  I do tend to like wide stereo effects because many classic albums from the late 60's, 70's, and 80's experimented with stereo to great effect.  Eventually, even the Beatles liked it once they had new mixing desks installed in Abbey Road.

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    davdud101
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/18 14:10:32 (permalink)
    I suppose I have a pretty darned standard usage case- I veeerry often go to channel tools, or occasionally Hbasms Stereoizer, on mono tracks that I don't want in the center of the mix but that I also don't want to double (especially not for VST instruments)
    When I am using stereo imaging it's never to get the effect of doubling since recording a full-on double often give a drastically different sound than SM plugins - especially on instruments like brass which I do a lot of.

    Too bad I don't have the legacy of experimenting with these tools back in the 80's and 90's like a lot of the guys around here :)))

     
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    #13
    Johnbee58
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/20 11:05:44 (permalink)
    In my case I actually though the stereo effect added something but the more I listened the more I was finding myself annoyed by a bit more boomy ness on that track, even after I applied a high pass filter.
     
    JB

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    HeatherHaze
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    Re: How Many Here Stereoize Tracks & Why 2018/11/21 02:26:48 (permalink)
    A little bit goes a long way.  Too much stereo imaging makes a mix lose focus and sound spacey.  If that's the effect you're going for, fine...although it's always better to write that into the composition rather than try to cheat and "fake it" into the mix.  But this really depends on the particular project and genre.  Music is art.  If you feel it, chances are someone else will too.  Just use restraint and remember that too much "ear candy" will usually tire the listener out.  A dash of sugar is all it takes to sweeten the pot. :)

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