Narowing the Stereo image

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Thomas_Vingtrinier, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. I am currently mastering a duo -acoustic guitar and violin- of modern argentine music. The mix sounds great, but I need to slightly narrow the stereo image as the instruments are spread too much apart (left-right). Hopefully adding some reverb is part of the mastering process (the mix is almost dry) and could be used as an ingredient in my quest.

    So far I have tried the standard stereo width tool in Sequoia, as well as the stereo multiband enhancer. Also, I have used the lexicon 960 to push the image back in the stereo field. The end results are OK, but not great. I was wondering if some of you guys could give a hand on this?

  2. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Panning in has always worked for me. :shock:
  3. Well, sorry to say it doesn't here.. It just kills a lot of the audio content: air, cripsness, introduces phasing... just as it does when pressing the mono button, but to a lesser extend of course.
  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    I wasnt being sarcastic when I said pan in.
    If pan centering your mix causes phasing, then you have problems.
    The first rule of stereo mixing, is to make it mono compatible.
    Thats why we have a mono button!!!!!!
  5. Thanks for your reply.
    I should have been more specific. By phasing I meant 'subtle phasing'. Of course the mix I am working on is mono compatible = it does not fall apart when you hear it in mono. However, any acoustic recording set to mono introduces 'subtle phasing' by construction, as these recordings are done mainly using stereo pairs techniques (ORTF, AB, ...). This does not apply to other types of music where the left-right imaging is done using the panpot (level) during the mixing stage. I hope I have explained it better now.

  6. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    How was THIS recording done??
    MS ORTF Coincident??
  7. Spaced omnis (AB) for the main pair and spaced omnis for the reverberant field (5 meters further back from the main pair).
  8. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    The problem with this recording techinque, is no "center fill", spacing should have been checked better during the recording.
    Its a great technique but hard to make it great.
    You are now pretty much stuck with this imaging, unless someone here has enough experience to chime in.
  9. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    You may find that trying some Mid-Side processing might help... Bring the Sides down a couple dB from the middle.

    If you don't know how to do this in Sequoia (as I know you use it), copy the stereo files to a second track. Right click on the pan knob and in the menu, select the options for "create Middle from stereo" and "create sides from stereo." What it basically does is reduce the level 6.02dB for summing and then one width is set to mono and the other is set to 200 (fully expanded). The two signals will make your stereo that you had before. At that point, you can raise and lower one or the other to adjust image width.

  10. I think I have a free plugin somewhere that does the MS conversion. Seems an interesting option that I will try asap. Hopefully, with a combinaison of all aforementionned techniques plus the MS processing, I should reach the goal...

    Thank you both for your help.

  11. anxious

    anxious Guest

    Use a pair of bandpass filters to obtain band-limited versions of L and R. A good place to start your listening would be 300 Hz to 3,000 Hz, with 3rd-order slopes.

    Now, crossfeed each of these signals into the opposite channel at, say, -6 dB or -3 dB. Adjust the filter corners and crossfeed gain to pull in the stage the desired amount.

    Then, run the results into a stereo EQ to restore the overall tonal balance.

    Hope this helps.
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    What Ben said is probably the best thing for what you need, but I'd suggest one other little trick, if you haven't thought of it yet:

    In the mixer section (both Samplitude and Sequoia), select the "Stereo Enhancer" button, reverse click on it and open the dialog box. Select one of the presets, specifically: Below 250 mono (or below 500 mono). You can sum one of three selectable bands to mono- individually or separately to shrink or expand your stereo image to taste.

    I like to sum most stuff below 100 to 150 hz anyway. You may want to try moving the low freq point up a bit to see if it helps any. (Perhaps up to 250-400 HZ). You'll get a thicker low and midrange, but keep the higher freqs for localization in the soundfield. Not something you want to overdo, but it might just help what you're trying to fix.
  13. I just wanted to let you know I am now quite happy with the result, thank you all for your input. For the record (!), I think the MS processing was the most relevant approach.


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