Widening the Stereo Image...


Angus Podgorny

I recently did a rough mix of a song called "Propaganda".

It can be found at The Speed of Sound

I'm having difficulty getting the stereo field as large as I would like it. Is this an issue of mixing, or should I let the mastering house deal with it?

The singer will be coming in to lay down vocals tonight. I sang on this version, just as a reference for myself.

Let me know what you think! Let me know how I can improve it.



Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2001
I'm having difficulty getting the stereo field as large as I would like
it. Is this an issue of mixing, or should I let the mastering house deal
with it?

Always try to get things to sound the way you want them to before the mastering stage. A small sound stage is usually a combination of production and mixing. Too many instruments in the same range, too many things on the outside(effects, stereo keyboards, stereo instruments,etc). Sometimes your mixdowm medium afffects it also(a Dat tape as compared to 1/2 inch). Mastering can improve this sometimes, I know that Bob Katz makes a box that opens up the stereo image to a certain extent. But don't rely on other people to fix things you can do your self. Its one of the first rules of mixing.

joe lambert

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2001
321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
There are things that can be done to widen the stereo image in mastering. Our custom console has a vertical / lateral adjustment that allows me to effect just the sides or just the center. EQ can also do wonders. But you should work on it as much as you can while you are mixing. Placement of instruments in the stereo field is important, but I find that a lot of mixes have to much mid bass. This tends to muddy things up.

Angus Podgorny

I'm tracking and mixing in Nuendo.
I don't have any keyboards, and the mix is not THAT dense.

However, when I listen to a CD, like "Make Yourself", by Incubus (which is a similar sound to this project), the audio seems to surround your head, yet the center is still intact.

I know I'm not using crane song products or sonic solutions... But I'd like to know if there is anything else I can do to the track, before mastering.

By the way, Joe... what would cost to have three songs mastered at Classic Sound?

The band is looking at some local places (in the Philadelphia area), but would like to find pricing for a nicer facility.


I have somthing similar to what joe has on his desk I have a Sum and Differance contontrol set that is so gret cause when I get a vocal that is too dark I can just eq the center of the mix. Or if things need widening up I can do that also. Mark


If you have Nuendo then you could try sending an aux to a bus with a reverb , EQ/Dynamics and a spatializer plugin such as S1 on it. Feed the return in over the master bus. Or if working with origional tracks position some of them with S1 or Q sound.


Sep 25, 2001
propaganda has a very wide stereo field to me, wider than most I hear.

I also know a mastering engineer who's forays into mixing dont sound as good as that, so take heart. THe vocal is also really good for a rough.


Dec 3, 2001
I agree with cyan..Any wider it may start to fall apart..sounds fine I think..mastering will tighten it up some, but it's all there..Best


Oct 25, 2001
Correct me if i'm wrong or add some input to make it right.

When i want to widen my sound (stereo) field, I start by sending the beat track to wavelab. From there i eq it as i would like it to sound, level it, boost it, then add what i've come to love most from wavelab, the Externalizer. Is the externalizer a good tool to use for widening that sound field? Often times my mixes sound flat and one dimensional and i find that the externalizer works but what else could i do. Is it a possiblity that i'm not tracking my instruments like i am supposed to.