Stereo Imaging Question

Discussion in 'Production' started by Josephm561, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Josephm561

    Josephm561 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    London
    Ive just really discovered about stereo imaging in the last couple months and I have been using it a fair bit. I find when i use it on the mids and highs it helps brighten up the track a lot however when its summed to mono the brightness disappears. Was wondering if there is away around this brightness disappearing or should I use other methods to get the brightness.

    Also when i listen to other producers tracks i find that there tunes especially drums sound really wide and fat. Was wondering if anybody can give some pointers in how to achieve this?

    heres an example of "wideness"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXF67-koWlI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrW_MIgb85o
     
  2. SENATE

    SENATE Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Josephm
    The stereo imager works by splitting hi/lo band frequencies. Stereo being 2, mono being 1-so summing it to mono you will loose the effects of the device.

    As for the wideness of drums, id say that's achieved in the mastering process, again in which stereo imagers will most likely be used.
    Hope i answered your question.
    I cant spell imager though at the moment.
     
  3. D Double U

    D Double U FQ Sessions

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    Panning and delays can make drums fat as does sometimes a touch of compression, however again in a club you will lose this due to mono.

    I have a mono switch on my master bus that I switch on/off regularry to check mix down doesn't lose anything, what you gain in width you will loose in power!
     
  4. D-Jhepz

    D-Jhepz ◕‿◕

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,196
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)
    the mono point is a good point but to get over this parallel compression is a good way... fuck your drums on a next level without losing dynamics, as well as bus verbs... also layering... you'd be surprised that your "fat drums" can be soooooo much fatter with proper layering when you eq properly
     
  5. Paul Ashmore

    Paul Ashmore Audio Animals Mastering

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    When mixing down try not to think too much about widening. If you get it into your head that everything has to be massive and wide you will just end up widening your track too much. Remember that club systems are mono so you really want your track dominating the mono field. If when you are widening you are stripping away mono audio do not widen the sound. We personally never widen a sound but enhance the stereo ambiance when mixing down. A great way to do this mixing down to tape emulation. A personal favorite is the ampex atr 102 or the uad studer. Will give your mix that full analogue sound whilst staying in the box. Bob Katz also has an amazing plugin which can enhance the ambiance in your sounds. We use this in every mix sounds incredible.
    Something else worth noting is that that full sound you are referring to almost always is due to the track being mastered professionally on high end analogue gear. If you've never had a track mastered before it'll really open your eyes to how full your sound can be. At some some point or another digital audio should be converted from 1's and 0's to true analogue. The most cost effective way is to do this in the mastering stage as mixing down to an analogue desk is not cheap.
     
  6. Josephm561

    Josephm561 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    London
    Cheers for all the reply's. I do use paralel compression quite abit I just felt that the drums had something missing. I used a touch of room reverb and it seemed to help. The main thing i dont like is how much high end it loses while its in mono. I listened to some professional tracks and even though they lose some high end its not as much as mine so i guess the lesson is not to rely on the stereo imaging as much to give brightness. Whats the name of the bob Katz plugin Paul? Ill have a look into some of these tape emulation plugs. I got PSP vintage warmer and old timer but i never used em on the final mixdown.
     
  7. Paul Ashmore

    Paul Ashmore Audio Animals Mastering

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Everything your describing here that your having problems with can be fixed with both tape emulation and ambience enhancement.

    Both plugins are available at the Uad store. Bob Katz - k stereo and the Ampex atr 102 tape emulation.

    If you email me a quick loop of your audio to our email address info@audioanimals.co.uk ill quickly run the audio through our mixing chain show you what they two plugins can do to your sounds. Then post what you think.

    The way I like to work is have one good plugin for every job rather than 100's of ok plugins for every job.
     
    Josephm561 likes this.
  8. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    London
    first learn to create a proper stereo field using panning and individual effects on your sounds - shifting big chunks of the audio spectrum with stereo expanders and the like, without really understanding what/how/why you are doing it is the reason you are having problems, stereo mixdown FX should only be used as a last resort, when you dont have access to the full channel set (ie by mastering engineers), imo

    EQ is also important, read up on M/S EQ for some interesting ways to deal with Stereo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  9. aeor

    aeor New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    this sounds like phase correlation issue. if you are using cheap stereo enhancers, they might just delay and/or revert phases of the channels, and when it sums up in mono you lose frequencies

    or it's just a psychoacoustic experience you'll get use to :p
     
  10. Josephm561

    Josephm561 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    London
    Cheers ill send that clip through now. I have some understanding of stereo imaging in that i know your not supposed to let it go below 0, im using Izotope stereo imager which probably isnt the most amazing stereo imager money can buy. And ill read up on M/S Eq thanks for telling me about it.
     
  11. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    London
    if you want a stereo drum kit, pan your drum hits, if it sounds empty, layer your sounds up, nothing wrong with having lots of kits all panned in diffrent directions, long as your snare and kick are mono'd, I frequently have 7-8 diffrent kits, 4-5 of them with diffrent hat/shaker combos in diffrent parts of the stereo field, simply by panning; forget about stereo imaging for now, you have access to the full channel set in your mixer, and stereo imaging plugins will not give you a better result over working on your stereo mixdown technique, and as you are discovering, they will make things worse if you arnt really sure what they are about


    M/S is an awsome tool, but you shouldnt use that in place of good mixdown technique :)
     
  12. BassGorilla.com

    BassGorilla.com Founder BassGorilla.com

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    If you feel like the drums have something missing, one technique to brighten them up is to layer the hats with some pink noise. You can use bright noise in the noise amp in NI Massive, and shape the ADSR of it. Put it in the background quietly sitting behind the hats. You can also do this on the snare (I usually use white noise for this) to help it cut through the mix a bit more.

    With stereo imaging, I use the multiband one from Izotope Ozone. I think of stereo imaging being shaped like a tree. The bottom end of the freq spectrum is in mono up to about 500 Hz, and then becomes stereo from there upwards, gradually widening as you move up the spectrum. But be very subtle with this, or it will destroy your top end.

    One technique to get your top end still sounding dope when widening the stereo image is to layer your bass sounds with the sound of you mixing pasta or beans in a pan, or screwing up paper and layering that over the bass, putting it through the same fx chain as the bass synth. This will add a crazy top end texture to your sound and is awesome for bass sound design especially if you make neuro.

    Hope this helps!
     
    RUSSLA likes this.
  13. SafeandSound

    SafeandSound Mastering Engineer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    London UK
    Sound sample selection will count for a lot when it comes to wide punchy drums. To clarify your terminology, stereo imaging is not a process in itself it is the spread of sound (including a phantom central image) across your 2 speakers/headphones itself. Be it true stereo sources, pseudo stereo sources, mono panned instruments, and effect returns spread / balance. Stereo imagizers / stereo wideners / the 'side' aspect of M/S processing are tools in their own right. They can be useful but I would try and build the mix without them.

    As far as top end eroding in mono (it is usually the low end that is noticeable first) I have never really experienced that but it is highly likely that you have created an overly wide top end and the phase relationships mean that you are getting cancellation and thus less top. Check this about phase and await my new article about stereo imaging. (ready in a few days I am told)

    This phase primer will stand you in good stead for the forthcoming article:

    http://www.musicthinktank.com/mtt-open/understanding-phase.html

    A "full" sound is rarely soley to do with being "mastered professionally on high end analogue gear". Analogue is the last 5-10 pct on the 20pct mastering can add to a well mixed track. It can certainly make a difference but learning to achieve this at source is better. Then mastering is the icing on the cake. Most important is the mastering engineers experience, monitoring and room, choice of processing moves and then high end stereo mastering equipment can add that final enhancement that plug ins do not produce.

    cheers

    Barry

    SafeandSound Mastering
    Cheap yet high end mastering
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013