Stereo Imaging tips????

thin king

Mar 28, 2008
I have always wanted to get my tunes sounding really wide without losing too much punch throughout the mix. I have recently got a stereo imager as part of a waves package and to be honest I don't really know what I'm doing. I've just been adding it on my master and pushing the fader to make things wider - should I be doing this in more detail on individual channels like psuhing it in different directions or is the master the way to go?? any tips will be greatly appreciated!!:confused:

VIP Junglist
Mar 24, 2002
Halfway between the gutter and stars
Yeah work on individual channels that already have some stereo effect to them, like pads or synth hits. Keep drums clear of that thing, just pan them manually will sound better. First try panning your snares 20% and hihats 10% left, and a break (if you have one) 15% right. Even something like this can widen the field surprisingly much. Never go hard left or hard right (100%) except for idm style fills. Peeps generally like to keep their low bass strictly mono but that's just a myth from pressing vinyl, dont worry about it (although harshly panned or stereoized bass can sound shite tbh). On synth sounds you can go a little farther, maybe 40-50% but remember to balance some elements to the opposite side too or you end up heavier on other side and quiter on the other, which then narrows the mix.

For example a tune of mine:

Tighten up dry: 17% left
tighten up dist: 10% right
kick: center
Snare: 10% left
Hihats: 25% left
break cymbals: 20%right
Pad: center (but samples have very wide effect in them), even merged a bit
Bell synth: center (but has a wide stereo lfo effect in the patch)
sine sub bass: center
lo mid bass: 5% left
high mid bass: 5%right
verb fx buss: 7% left (waves trueverb gives a nice wideness)
delay fx buss: center (delay 25% to right)

I'm happy with this stereo image myself, it sounds wide enough but that's just me isnt it.
you can check the result here

Effects like stereo imagers work usually by delaying the other side a little so that the effect sounds wider but this can lead to phasing problems, when the 2 sides of the stereo field are cancelling each other out.


++DuB PrOFesSoR++
VIP Junglist
Jul 22, 2003
good advise kama ;)

i think that panning is overlooked..... dont reach straight for the stereo enhancers

also another thing to try is having two instances of the same synth patch, hard panned in opposite directions, with some slight variation to them

in other words, say you have a synth lead that you want to widen..... clone it so you have two of the same synth.... then pan one left and the other right..... and then make some variations to them

also works with effects.... send the audio to two channels (1 for L, 1 for R) and process them differently
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