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Widening stereo image.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by edaub1, May 11, 2010.

  1. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    Whenever i record, and pan either hard left or hard right. It doesn't sound NEARLY as wide as music i listen to. Even with software synths...Why is this?

    I own sm57s and an akg perception 200, with a firestudio project.

    Any help would be great.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well, there are any number of ways to do what you want. You could also add a third track of your vocal panned center. Send your hard left/hard right tracks to an auxilliary bus. Add a little reverb to that bus. Now mix the center stick and the aux bus until you get the image you want.

    Alternatively, if you have a stereo track, you can reverse engineer it with a VST plugin stereo expander.
  3. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    I'd happily explain what I do when I want super-wide stereo tracks -- in short, it involves a manipulation of the Difference signal based on a circuit Modulation Sciences used to put in their StereoMaxx MYB-2 Stereo Image Enlarger -- but the OP's question was Why Don't My Recordings Sound NEARLY As Wide As Music I Listen To. And I suspect the answer is *not* because the music he/she listens to uses special stereo image enlargement techniques, but rather that the music he/she listens to uses either real instruments recorded in stereo (with high quality microphones in smartly designed stereo orientations & high quality signal pathes downstream), and/or high quality ambience processors that generate realistic imaging cues.
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Keep in mind, too, that many effects (reverb, etc.) use stereo outputs. The more of these used can tend to narrow the stereo field... a track panned hard left, for example, with a stereo reverb applied... the reverb outputs to both left and right so you lose some panning. If you can, rout the outputs of any such effects to the same side as the dry signal.

  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    @ Bustermudd- Ok. But does that response help with manipulating what the OP has available? Not so much.
  6. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Depends on your definition of "so much" I guess. My response suggests that perhaps the problem lies not with the OP doing anything wrong per se, but simply not having enough tools or experience or information in order to get better results. If I were trying to achieve a result and couldn't, I'd probably find it "so much" more helpful to learn that I either A) could achieve those results if I gained more valuable insight into what constituted the roots of said results; or B) couldn't because of some limitation of the equipment I was using...at least moreso than being told, in effect, "You could polish that turd..."
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I see your point more or less. But the OP doesn't know what he doesn't know. Also, provided the OP has a minimum of quality microphone he can begin to learn proper imaging techniques without dropping 10K on gear. Back in the day when we had 8 tracks to record a whole band we didn't have all that other fancy gear to work with and still learned proper mic techniques/mixing techniques. The OP can as well.
    This is the part I found unhelpful for the OP.

    And this has more to do with comparing something commercially produced and mastered with basic beginner efforts in a bedroom. They can't possibly be expected to be comparable and it would be sheer fantasy to think otherwise.
  8. HaHallur

    HaHallur Active Member

    Hey I have a question regarding this matter.

    When using VST stereo expander, would the best way be exporting the whole song from e.g. Cubase, then applying the Stereo expander during the mastering process in e.g. Wavelab ?
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It can be done both ways. Sometimes widening/narrowing is altered during both mixdown and in mastering. Sometimes it is confined to certain bus outputs which of course is during the mixdown stage.

    The mixing engineer should get as close to a good product as possible leaving enough headroom for the ME to do his/her job. The goal of the Mastering Engineer is to finalize the project as he/she see's fit to meet the needs of the client. Always remember that "mastering" is an art as well as a skill.
  10. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    I think we're both in complete agreement on those points.

    Taken out of context, sure. But you somehow neglected to note that I specifically avoided describing in detail my stereo image enlargement technique; I only mentioned it as an aside because I didn't believe (and still don't) that was what the OP was asking for.

    It was (and still is) my contention that that is exactly what the OP is doing.

    So... you wanna burst his bubble, or should I?
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    LOL-okay okay okay.
  12. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    I WIN!

    :) j/k

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