Stereo widening

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sysrqer
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby sysrqer » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:04 pm

42low wrote:
sysrqer wrote:That isn't what we're talking about.

That IS what we are talking about.
The guys asked "Hi, what do you guys use for Stereo widening in Linux?" ... and that's what i reacted on, with how i do that.
The title even is "Stereo wideing".
So what's in your mind that is would be not about that?????

Autopanning is not stereo widening in the sense that is being discussed.

42low wrote:That's exactly what is said from the beginning, in my first reaction.
Read again viewtopic.php?f=48&t=18954#p96700
YOUR the one who discussed it as it wouldn't be right!! You were discussing it as "wrong". So who is wrong now?

Yes, as has been mentioned, panning and compression is not stereo widening.

42low wrote:So what are you discussing about? Discussing to discus? Trying to pick a fight again?? What's your problem man?

Oh here we go again, the persecution complex. I have no problem with you and I have written nothing that is personal, aggressive, or rude to you. We are discussing stereo widening.

42low wrote:Fact remains that what i said simply is correct. :mrgreen: 8) Nothing to discus. :roll:

If that makes you feel less persecuted and threatened, and will stop you destroying another thread, then fine. If you have nothing to discuss stop responding.

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sysrqer
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby sysrqer » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:05 pm

42low wrote:
sysrqer wrote:
42low wrote:That IS what we are talking about.
The guys asked "Hi, what do you guys use for Stereo widening in Linux?" ... and that's what i reacted on, with how i do that.
The title even is "Stereo wideing".
So what's in your mind that is would be not about that?????

Autopanning is not stereo widening in the sense that is being discussed.

Who's discussing? Your discussing!! Not me!!
I only reacted ontopic.


Ok cool.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby Gps » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:18 pm

rghvdberg wrote:With synth tracks I sometimes duplicate the track.
Pan one hard left, the other hard right.
Take a parameter to automate (filter for example) and slightly randomly automate that parameter. Differently on both tracks ofc.

I guess this is kinda similar to the eq approach.


I have done something similar.
Copy a track, pan one hard left one hard right, then move in the piano roll, all notes 3/192 ( lmms )

The "trick" is to have the difference between the two tracks on the edge of audible. If you make it too big, you will hear the notes being played after each-other.

jonetsu
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby jonetsu » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:23 pm

jonetsu wrote:Mixbus (the commercial version of Ardour) features a width adjustment for each mixbuss in addition to the panning., making it clear that panning and stereo width are different things as sysrqer mentioned.

42low wrote:Read before you keep discussing.


Please fully read, and understand replies before reacting.

42low wrote:I never said panning=widening. I said: the total work-flow off editing and mastering is! (including panning)


Original:

42low wrote:Panning and Limiter/Compressor. :mrgreen:
After good editing and mastering. This way i like to keep control.


42low wrote:And i never said auto widening would be bad or whatever. So you don't have to "defend" anything.


What ? What am I defending ? Nothing. Are you still again in fearless ninja mode ? :mrgreen:

Automatic panners or stereo tremolos work similarly to the pan knob. The only difference is that the motion is automated, creating a sense of movement for a certain instrument. The movement is done by modulating the pan with an LFO (low frequency oscillator). A classic, but effective trick.


The above is specifically about auto panning. As I've quoted from Mike Senior, a 5 to 8 KHz auto pan is one of the approaches to give the impression of widening taking into account that not all approaches achieves the same results.

42low wrote:One can achieve a wide stereo image in a variety of ways like changing the phase, modifying the processing, using multiple delays, etc…

WAYS TO ACHIEVE A WIDER STEREO IMAGE
1. Panning.....
More at https://soundbridge.io/widening-techniques/


Many approaches were given in this thread. You were replied that panning is not stereo widening, which is mostly true. Panning is one of the approaches to give the impression of more space. OF COURSE. Inverse EQ on duplicated tracks is another one. There are many. But they do not have the same effect and there are dedicated stereo processors that are working with M/S signals instead. Like this one I'm using from time to time:

MStereoProcessor.jpg


However it seems that the thread might have went that way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48H5wtB_F7Q
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby Markus » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:27 pm

I guess the question is what's the starting point.

If you have a mix of basically mono sources with all pans at center and no modulation/delay-fx on any of the tracks then "widening" might mean to start using pan pots or adding some modulation (chorus, phaser, flanger, ...) or delay-fx (reverb, stereo delays, ...). It makes your mix wider than before. So even using a compressor might be able to make a mix sound wider than before by lowering centered signlas like vocals, bassdrum and snare giving more room and presence for reverb or other stereo effects which too makes the mix sound a bit wider than before. This is the users/engineers point of view.

Technically speaking this is not widening (opposed to what the engineers from 42low's blogposts are stating) but only utilizing the available stereo base width. Widening from a technical POV means to go beyond the available stereo base which involves psycho acoustics. This is what Calf Multiband Enhancer or the Base Width knob in Calf Stereo Tools or the QuickQuack plug-in from the topic starter is doing by using simple phase-invertion. Nothing fancy but a technique to give the impression some signals come from outside the speakers triangle or even from behind the listener. This is widening from a technical point of view.

So no need to fight about a single term which is used in different manners by different audience.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby jonetsu » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:27 pm

Gps wrote:I have done something similar.
Copy a track, pan one hard left one hard right, then move in the piano roll, all notes 3/192 ( lmms )

The "trick" is to have the difference between the two tracks on the edge of audible. If you make it too big, you will hear the notes being played after each-other.


One thing to maybe consider: How does this fare with the famous mono testing that most professionals insist upon ?

Cheers.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby sysrqer » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:59 pm

jonetsu wrote:
Gps wrote:I have done something similar.
Copy a track, pan one hard left one hard right, then move in the piano roll, all notes 3/192 ( lmms )

The "trick" is to have the difference between the two tracks on the edge of audible. If you make it too big, you will hear the notes being played after each-other.


One thing to maybe consider: How does this fare with the famous mono testing that most professionals insist upon ?

Cheers.

That's a good point, you have to be very careful with just delaying one side. Changing some of the characteristics of one side in addition to the delay can be really effective, for things like drums you can pitch one of them up/down a little to help the mono compatibility.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby Gps » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:58 pm

jonetsu wrote:
Gps wrote:I have done something similar.
Copy a track, pan one hard left one hard right, then move in the piano roll, all notes 3/192 ( lmms )

The "trick" is to have the difference between the two tracks on the edge of audible. If you make it too big, you will hear the notes being played after each-other.


One thing to maybe consider: How does this fare with the famous mono testing that most professionals insist upon ?

Cheers.


Thank you, I have something to google. :)

Mono testing is new to me, I am gonna learn something.

jonetsu
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby jonetsu » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:31 pm

There's a mono switch on the monitor bus in Mixbus32C (probably also in Ardour) for this purpose. The idea is to check if all of the main components are still present in mono. It's also possible to made some trade offs with some signals making the stereo version richer while being (almost) lost in mono, if they are not crucial to the production.

I had doubts about this kind of testing. After all, why test in mono in 2018 when we all have stereo ? Still, major commercial productions do this. There are several reasons. In a small coffee shop an owner might have the only two speakers for music right beside one another on the same shelf. Teenagers might share ear buds, one for each, to listen to a new hit. People also listen to music in a kitchen in such a way that both speakers are very close, on a portable kitchen 'stereo' player. In public spaces music can be out speakers that are very far apart.

It absolutely does not matter I think for what I do but I still got into the habit of doing a couple of runs in mono just to check it out. I also have a single speaker for that purpose, just to make it more extreme. Doing so also provides a different viewpoint to the mix.

One video that could be helpful in the general sense is one from Michael White (Whitney Houston, David Bowie, David Byrne, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix remixes, etc...). This is from a 'Mixing with Mike' session, so it's a different kind of tutorial, much more like sitting in a mixing seat watching what the engineer does.

The LCR approach to mixing (Left Right Center)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soBtdUwxYfc

Setting levels in general

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lTs2Nl9foU

Cheers.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby singforme » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:52 pm

Markus wrote:Calf has some tools:

  • Stereo Tools: change the volume of only mid or side signal, change the stereo base from mono to phase-inverted stereo, delay the channels, change the phase of channels
  • Multiband Enhancer: use four different bands for dedicated stereo base enhancement and add harmonic distortions to any of the bands
  • Multi Spread: Pure mono signals can be spatialized by distributing the signal in the frequency domain to both speakers. Good starting point to enhance the stereo base afterwards with other tools.
  • Haas Enhancer: Add some short delays on left and right channel to spread the signal in the time domain


Thank you everyone! Sorry for being confusing. I just like to use a tad of widening on the master bus after tons of reverb and delay have badly compromised my thorough LCR mixing;) I think the stereo base knob in calf could become my friend there!

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby sysrqer » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:37 pm

jonetsu wrote:I had doubts about this kind of testing. After all, why test in mono in 2018 when we all have stereo ? ...

Indeed there are a lot of reasons to look in to mono compatibility, I think it would surprise many people how often they hear mono or only part of a stereo signal - think about if you go to a club, if you're not standing exactly in the middle then your experience of the song is going to compromised, assuming the club isn't playing in mono like many still do. Or people playing music out of their laptop or phone speakers. If your hihats or lead synths disappear in mono then, even if it is just one person who hears it like that, your ability will have gone to waste.

Interestingly, it is a great way to highlight areas where your mixing is weak. There is an approach to mixing that involves levelling and EQing exclusively in mono, with the train of thought that if you remove the ability to provide separation with panning then EQ decisions you make will be much more solid and you will actually make sounds fit together properly in the frequency spectrum without much masking. Then, when you are ready, switch to stereo and create more space and separation with panning. It's not one that I strictly follow but I think it's a very wise approach.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby rghvdberg » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:16 pm

Gps wrote:
rghvdberg wrote:With synth tracks I sometimes duplicate the track.
Pan one hard left, the other hard right.
Take a parameter to automate (filter for example) and slightly randomly automate that parameter. Differently on both tracks ofc.

I guess this is kinda similar to the eq approach.


I have done something similar.
Copy a track, pan one hard left one hard right, then move in the piano roll, all notes 3/192 ( lmms )

The "trick" is to have the difference between the two tracks on the edge of audible. If you make it too big, you will hear the notes being played after each-other.

That's the Haas effect.

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby tavasti » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:18 am

jonetsu wrote:Mixbus (the commercial version of Ardour) features a width adjustment for each mixbuss in addition to the panning., making it clear that panning and stereo width are different things as sysrqer mentioned.

What is your experience about that Mixbus feature? Does it help make it wider itself, or do you still need / use some plugins for widening?
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Re: Stereo widening

Postby rghvdberg » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:36 am

I guess that mixbus width knob is for narrowing the stereo sound ?
You can't pan a stereo signal, only 'balance' it.
Presume you got a stereo loop with drums on the left and bass guitar on the right (strange but could happen).
If you turn the balance knob right you'll only hear the bass.
So to pan the stereo signal you gotta first 'narrow' the stereo signal and than you can pan it.

http://manual.ardour.org/mixing/panning/stereo_panner/

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Re: Stereo widening

Postby tavasti » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:38 am

jonetsu wrote:There's the free Voxengo plugin MSED - if you are runnning Windows plugins - that encodes stereo as a middle and sides signal, which is another way of encoding stereo. Boosting slightly the sides signal will add width. MSED is actually recommened by Mike Senior (Sound On Sound's Mix Rescue and Cambridge MT) is his book "Mixing Secrets" first edition. Voxengo specializes in EQs, frequency analyzers (SPAN) and compressors.

https://www.voxengo.com/product/msed/

They seem to have also another free plugin related: https://www.voxengo.com/product/stereotouch/
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