having trouble understanding diff types of stereo spread

Discussion in 'Production' started by djdizzy, May 16, 2014.

  1. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

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    Typically i just think about my songs from a half-ass mono perspective, do subtractive EQ'ing to make sure all the sounds play nice together, put my kicks/snares/sub bass in mono, sometimes I modulate panning left to right for ambiance, then i'll use Nugen Stereoizer on pads + cymbals sometimes and i basically leave all leads + other sounds as-is. But to be honest I've never given stereo spread much thought aside from that before. I've been googling for articles and reading up on stereo spread, came across the "wall of sound" mixdown style. After thinking that I understood the concept, I started trying to think of creative ways to incorporate stereo spread into my songs and eventually I really confused myself.

    What does double-panning accomplish? (duplicate a track, pan one all the way to the right, the other all the way to the left)
    How does that differ from using a stereo spread like Nugen Stereoizer or iZotope Ozone's Stereo Imaging?
    How do those differ from using a M/S tool like Mathew Lane's DrMS? (or maybe iZotope Ozone's Stereo Imaging falls into this category, I'm not sure)

    I'd used Mathew Lane's DrMS' before and it didn't have the same effect as Nugen Stereoizer. It seemed like when I spread the sound out with Mathew Lane's DrMS, the sound itself lost a lot of its character, as if DrMS muted the sound's mid signal and boosted the sound's side signal. At least that's what I assume. Whereas Nugen Stereoizer was great, the sound didn't lose any of its character as if Stereoizer kept the sound's full mid/side character and just stretched the mid signal to the sides somehow. I'm not sure what Nugen is doing but it sounds like a stereo widening without losing any M/S information.

    I'm confused at all these different ways of messing with the stereo spread because there are only 2 channels for a signal - the left and right sides. I realize these methods incorporate the mid/side processing where the mid is only the sound that is identical in both left and right channels but I'm still confused trying to get my head around these different methods/tools.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  2. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    those techniques use different types of stero spreading; delays, double panning (with one tuned a couple cents), Side signal gain, spectrum panning. i havent used either plugins but it sounds like Nugen stereoizer and izotope stereo spreader are spectral panners. the double panning your talking about is the one i described, except using a small track delay rather than tuning.
     
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  3. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    I picked up this wicked little double-panning trick for atmospheric sounds off that guy who posted his new neuro tutorial youtube channel thing:

    Grab a long atmos sample - I used a rainforest clip from a relaxation and meditation CD - duplicate, assign the versions to different mixer channels, pan left and right respectively, bus to the same reverb channel. Chop the samples in half and delete the first part of one and the second part of the other and play the two halves simultaneously, now the listener is immersed in the rain forest with bird calls and crickets and wind and stuff coming from all directions - booyaka!
     
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  4. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    this tip is awesome! just tried it out with a rain sample in my latest track, works like a charm!

    and on the stereo image: only double panning doesn't create so much, you have to detune it a tad bit (as mania said)
    On FL studio it's also very easy to create stereo image, and I use this quite alot... On hats, cymbals, pads, piano's, strings, and so on and so on

    It's just to create wideness on your track, it immediately sound more professional, without doing much.

    btw: why snare in mono? I've always kept it stereo
     
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  5. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    The double-panning as Mania describes it is more of a manual chorus effect.

    For me, double panning is typically used for the Haas Effect (aka the precedence effect)

    You make 2 copies of a track and pan them hard R and L respectively; then if you want your sound to come in to the right, you delay the left signal by a few milliseconds. This creates a much more natural panning sound. If you try it out in your DAW and then compare to stanard pan-pot panning you'll hear how huge the difference is.
     
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  6. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    lol, thats what i described
     
  7. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

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    Crizis, i mono with anything in the 200-300hz and below. most snares have alot of upper harmonics above the typical 200hz sweetspot but i just mono it anyway. when it comes to pads, basses or other melodic sounds then i keep the sound mono at lower frequencies and slowly spread it out more with the higher frequencies. do you leave your snare stereo? if so, what frequency do you push it to mono, anything below 150hz?

    thanks for the replies and examples, that definitely helped me get a better mental image on what goes on with a couple different methods of playing stereo width.

    does anyone here use a vst that allows for 3d panning like rotation or maybe even a doppler effect? i read a Sound On Sound article that mentioned a few examples like Spin Audio's 3D Panner, Wave Arts Panorama, Waves Doppler, GRM Tools Doppler. but it's an article from 2007 which is ancient in the vst world.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  8. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    I don't really think about 'from this frequency everythin has to be mono/stereo'
    I just think, what sound do i want to hear in stereo, over the track, giving and airy feel, giving space to the track, and so on...
    and those are the pads, background noises, cymbals... And most of the time that's all lowcut

    I actually don't give stereo image that much thought.. I probably should though

    snare wise: when I have one snare, I put it a bit in stereo, when i have a layered one, I but the lowest one more mono, the upper ones more stereo.. Not sure why though.. Maybe I should try to mono my snares too