avatar

paulyd

Gold Finger

Posts: 298 Member Since: 28/01/2011

Lead

Jul 13 16 4:15 PM

Tags : :

I'm curious how often and how much experienced ME's use "stereo widening." I have a few plug-ins that can create the effect but after getting over the initial dazzle, I start noticing the artifacts and the affect on the balance. I usually wind up taking them off. Today I tried DMG Duality on a track and just gave it a smidgen of widening. I like it so far. The artifacts are minimal and it's removing a little low end mud. The lows and low-mids sound a little tighter. And yes, the whole mix sounds a little wider... Thoughts?
Quote    Reply   
avatar

gold

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,468 Member Since:27/01/2011

#2 [url]

Jul 13 16 11:57 PM

I'm assuming "stereo widener" means gain on the side channel. Every once in a while I do it. More often I use M/S EQ for more precise control over what goes where.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,050 Member Since:04/02/2011

#5 [url]

Jul 14 16 7:36 AM

I'm not sure what the plugins do, but my most-used mastering engineer has a desk that allows him to adjust the mid-to-side balance. I've noticed that every once in awhile he'll give it one click toward the "sides," and also once in awhile he'll favor the "mid" by one click.

brad allen williams

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,895 Member Since:20/01/2011

#6 [url]

Jul 14 16 11:40 AM

If you do, use a "widener" please stop... "wide" isn't achieved in a mix by adding out of phase signal. It's not a "trick" it's not a "life hack" it's just lazy and shortsighted.

I have busted every mastering engineer who's pulled this shit on me.

I *like* the percussion and hard panned elements at the level I *presented* them, thank you...

Quote    Reply   
avatar

morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,191 Member Since:29/01/2011

#7 [url]

Jul 14 16 1:02 PM

i never use a 'widener' per se, but very, very occasionally i might add a smidge of gain on the sides. or i might do an eq boost just on the sides. it's rare though, and often it's at the client's request. i never do it on my own stuff.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

podgorny

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,306 Member Since:27/01/2011

#8 [url]

Jul 14 16 2:08 PM

For me, the few times I've used stereo manipulation in mastering have been because one mix out of an album is wildly different from the rest, either because it came from a different mixer, or because it was produced at a different time from the rest. 

If the goal is to make all of the songs fit together, I dont see how such tools are so different from equalization, at least in terms of changing the mix. 

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,895 Member Since:20/01/2011

#9 [url]

Jul 14 16 2:13 PM

morespaceecho wrote:
i never use a 'widener' per se, but very, very occasionally i might add a smidge of gain on the sides. or i might do an eq boost just on the sides. it's rare though, and often it's at the client's request. i never do it on my own stuff.

That's exactly the same thing. (Unless you're infringing on Bob Carver's Patent and using a cross panned inverted delay to "cancel" interaural crosstalk.)

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,895 Member Since:20/01/2011

#10 [url]

Jul 14 16 2:18 PM

podgorny wrote:
I dont see how such tools are so different from equalization, at least in terms of changing the mix. 

Shall I tell you?

If you increase the L-R signal, you will change the balance of the panned and the centered elements in the mix, but when played in mono, this effect is cancelled. 

If you're using an EQ  you can also affect the balance of the instruments, but these changes are preserved in mono.

My objection is that too many people who have no idea what they're doing are going for "wide" by these short sighted means, it seems every "mastering plugin" has L-R adjustments built in and labeled in some new and exciting way...



Quote    Reply   
avatar

Hermetech Mastering

Gold Finger

Posts: 377 Member Since:22/02/2011

#11 [url]

Jul 14 16 3:48 PM

I do it all the time, reduce 0.2 to 1.0dB from the Sum signal for a little extra width, with Voxengo MSED after the analogue chain/before the final limiting. Sounds great or I wouldn't do it. Clients are happy, never had one return anything saying "you made it too wide, please make it narrower again". Not on everything of course, but works a treat most of the time.

Gregg Janman, Hermetech Mastering

Quote    Reply   
avatar

morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,191 Member Since:29/01/2011

#12 [url]

Jul 14 16 3:57 PM

zmix wrote:
That's exactly the same thing. 

i know. hence "per se".

most things are plenty wide already. i can recall one metal record where the guitars were panned 11 and 1...and that sounded dumb, but assuming the guitars are panned hard L and R like they're supposed to be.....

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

chrisj

Gold Finger

Posts: 938 Member Since:22/02/2011

#13 [url]

Jul 15 16 8:25 AM

If I was widening, it'd probably be some element already wide, such as an LR guitar pan. I made a plugin for this: pretty much it just converts to mid/side and runs my Density algorithm on that (Density, a freebie, can both boost/distort and sort of 'lean out' and thin). I would be using this thinning behavior on the mid (it cuts back lower level content but allows peak energy to still be present: a transform that tends to make stuff sound more distant).

Pretty important to remember it doesn't have to be just 'widening'. For instance, if you have heavy guitars LR but found they were muddying up the mix around 200-600hz or so (might sound good in solo, interferes with the actual song) one option would be to go mid-side and then cut those lower mids only on the mid channel, and leave them alone on the side. The result will be that energy receding out of the way but still being apparent as stereo information. Then if it cancels in mono, you've only exaggerated your fix for the mud buildup :)

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

Quote    Reply   
avatar

compasspnt

Diamond Forever

Posts: 21,116 Member Since:08/01/2011

#14 [url]

Jul 15 16 11:57 AM

I'm with Chuck.

It's always been so har-dee-har-har funny to me how all the goofy people want to pan things into those "less intrusive empty spaces" (meaning less than full L-R) to avoid "conflicts" in their "mixes," and then after they've worked so hard to find those little empty spaces where their precious sounds "fit right in," and "sat in the mix well," they then want to use a goofy "widener."

Quote    Reply   
avatar

spiritwalker

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,614 Member Since:14/02/2011

#15 [url]

Jul 15 16 4:09 PM

Some people make it work, but when I play with fancy panning and stereo wideners my mixes sound like garbage.
I'm in the keep it simple camp for sure.

OK it's cold here

Quote    Reply   
avatar

adam

Silverado

Posts: 92 Member Since:21/02/2011

#16 [url]

Jul 16 16 12:46 AM

Very, very rarely, and even then mostly on, say, a compilation project to help bring the image inwards rather than outwards, for maybe just one or two tracks. Although I have used a custom analogue spreader in the past, on projects like Disney talking books, varied in parts to emphasize drama/action/sound FX, etc. They loved it. More recently I hear width fx mostly over-used on guitar parts in DIY mixes.
With mastering music, of course regular stereo EQ can tend to enhance stereo image via natually affecting and balancing (mostly higher feq) stereo cues in a mix vs the rest.

Last Edited By: adam Jul 16 16 12:55 AM. Edited 1 time.

Quote    Reply   
avatar

rbreen

Silverado

Posts: 91 Member Since:31/03/2013

#17 [url]

Jul 16 16 11:02 AM

zmix wrote:
If you do, use a "widener" please stop... "wide" isn't achieved in a mix by adding out of phase signal. It's not a "trick" it's not a "life hack" it's just lazy and shortsighted.

I have busted every mastering engineer who's pulled this shit on me.

I *like* the percussion and hard panned elements at the level I *presented* them, thank you...

Not everybody's a good mixer Chuck!  It's a useful technique in the right circumstance, and I've certainly heard plenty of mixes that could use some M/S manipulation - that said, I'd probably puke if somebody did it to one of my mixes...

Quote    Reply   
avatar

zmix

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,895 Member Since:20/01/2011

#18 [url]

Jul 16 16 11:39 AM

rbreen wrote:
zmix wrote:
If you do, use a "widener" please stop... "wide" isn't achieved in a mix by adding out of phase signal. It's not a "trick" it's not a "life hack" it's just lazy and shortsighted.

I have busted every mastering engineer who's pulled this shit on me.

I *like* the percussion and hard panned elements at the level I *presented* them, thank you...

Not everybody's a good mixer Chuck!  It's a useful technique in the right circumstance, and I've certainly heard plenty of mixes that could use some M/S manipulation - that said, I'd probably puke if somebody did it to one of my mixes...

I realize, and it's a sad reality..  my objection is when some mastering engineer is trying to "wow" me..

Quote    Reply   
avatar

tbethel

Gold Finger

Posts: 296 Member Since:21/02/2011

#20 [url]

Jul 17 16 5:39 AM

With some of the mixes we get in widening is the least of my problems. I am not sure where a lot of the new "mixers" get their training but it sometimes feels more like a train wreck than a well done mix. Everything is panned to the center or everything is panned hard right and left and no center. How can they not hear this???

My pet peeve is the mixers who use ProTools and seem to think that since is comes with multiple effects they have to use them all on every channel of their mixes or they are somehow getting less than they paid for.

The other thing that is going on lately is the vast number of mixers who "pre master" their mixes. Peak to average difference of 4 dBU are becoming somewhat "normal". Also a lot of mixers seem to have monitoring systems that have limited frequency responses since a lot of the mixes I get it have smiley looking eq's applied to them.

Most of the artists I work with do a GREAT job of getting their stuff mixed but their are some mixers who really should stop and really listen to what they are mixing.

I know most of the people who populate this web board don't have to deal with crappy mixes but...there are those of us who do.

FWIW and MTCW

-TOM-
Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director, Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
www.acoustikmusik.com/
Celebrating 22 years in business in 2017

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help