stereo field?

Discussion in 'Production' started by IV4, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,159
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    One thing I have notice about my music and others is how..... thin it all sound as compared to a professional song. I have also notice Mistz talking about stereo fields here lately. What the hell is that and does it have any thing to do with this thinness I speak of.
     
  2. Rezonate

    Rezonate Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey IV, 44 thread views and not one response so here ya go.... When you are referring to a stereo field you are basically talking about instrument panning. Back in the good old days everything used to be recorded in mono so you just had one channel for both the left and right speakers. In modern production and recording the signal is separated to the left and the right making stereo. This creates a fuller sound as well as a more realistic reproduction of a live performance.

    A drum kit is probably a good place to start to help explain this. If you think of the general arrangement of a kit....Kick drum, toms, snares and cymbals. They are positioned centrally to left to the right etc. If you then programmed this into your daw and panned each channel to reflect the positioning of the real parts of a drum kit this would create a fuller and more realistic sound as opposed to having all the channels splitting the signal equally between the left and right speakers.

    You can do this with lead, melodies and drums in your DAW just using channel panning controls on your mixer. I'm sure there are a number of stereo imaging tools you can use as well, i know logic and reason both have specific stereo imagers in the software. Certain things should be left in mono like sub bass as they have no real stereo properties that would benefit from stereo imaging.

    With regards to your tracks I don't think that the thinness comes from a lack of stereo field probably more to do with the sounds you are using. Try layering up multiple oscillators to create rich pads, synth and bass lines, same with your drums and percussion. This should get you sounds bigger and fatter. Try incorporating the stereo imaging in there as well, it will help to generate a little more space if used correctly.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  3. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,971
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Essex, England
    Best description i ever heard regarding the stereo field is this...

    Instead of trying to understand it with sounds, try to visualise it. Imagine your music as a room. There is a front, back, left and right. When producing your tracks you need to try and fill these areas. Obviously panning can help with the left and right. But mono and stereo can help with the front and back feel to the tune.

    Try getting two synth sounds, put one in mono, and the other through a stereo enhancer. You will notice that the one in mono, sounds like its behind the stereo one.

    So yo gotta try and fill all that space. Sub bass and kicks usually always mono. Things higher up the spectrum like hats can be panned left and right. Pads can be either mono or stereo enhanced depending on what you are aiming for. Lead synths etc can be panned, mono, stereo.

    Basically try and keep your lower frequency elements centered. And as you go up the spectrum, try and widen them more.
     
  4. IV4

    IV4 Currently a newt.

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,159
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Thanks guys this gives me a better understanding and a possible good idea to try.
     
  5. Plaindialogue

    Plaindialogue New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    One thing I like to do on some pads is once I've got a pad I'm happy with is to export it as an audio file, re-import it twice
    into Cubase (on separate channels) pan one all the way to the left the other to the right, then zoom right in and nudge
    one of them ever so slightly along out of time. It makes things really wide. Some vocals sound good doing this.

    I do this sometimes on a clap behind the snare too.
     
  6. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,087
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    NZ
    You can do this with a stereo delay too, save the exporting and that. Just choose a slightly different delay time for the left or right.
     
  7. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,946
    Likes Received:
    360
    Location:
    London
    /\ great description


    some ideas for Stereo Field enhancement (besides panning)


    Chorus, play with diffrent settings
    Filter Delay, if you can set the delay to ms instead of beat, you can do all sorts of interesting things with the stereo placement of your sounds, experiment
    Reverb, Hi-Passed very wide Reverb can really bring your stereo field to life
    Bass, tweek your FX, esp things like Chorus, Phase, even Verb (on bass?! yep!)


    the important thing for playing with Stereo imo, is movement, get sounds talking to each other/ bouncing off each other, moving from left to right, mono to stereo....even up and down, behind and in front of the listener

    Look up Doppler effect, and see how you can use it to create 3D spaces in your music, moving filters and panning can create some awsome effects, you can get Doppler plugins, for eg WAVES do one, but you dont need that, you just need to understand doppler and use your filters and other FX creativly