Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music
Written by John Rogers
Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music. When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!
The stereo widening effect simply increases the perceived stereo width of a track or entire song. This is basically done by changing the phase, character and/or adding a delay to the left and right channels of the input signal.
Some stereo widening processors can also add side coding to a track, which allows it to turn a mono audio track into a stereo track.
Common Uses Of The Stereo Widening Effect In Mixing
Not much to explain here. You either want an individual track or an entire song to sound wider.
Basic Stereo Widening Effect Techniques, Tips, And Tricks
When it comes to expanding the stereo field for an entire song, nothing beats good arranging, panning and proper use of effects to enhance the stereo field of the mix.
I personally use stereo widening on every project during mixing and mastering. Usually sparingly, but I do use it.
But, don’t think just using a stereo widener on your song at the end is the secret weapon to getting that full stereo sound.
The problem - When used heavy, many processors starts to make the center of the song sound in stereo too. Which means your lead vocal and kick drum are in stereo. Not good.
It also doesn’t do a great job turning a mono track into a stereo track. It won’t give you that true sounding stereo width. It’s best to re-record the performance and then pan the two performances left and right.
The Music Production Secrets Series by John Rogers
This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.
I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!Ha!
I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!Ha!
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So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio? Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs. In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences. But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.