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So I found myself slowly entering the world of stereo spread and all that related stuff. Some sources argue that I should be preferring stereo over reverb, that should clean out the mix and still help retain some roominess. As I am completely dumbstruck about stereo, could anybody please help explain what is stereo, when and how to use it properly?

Many thanks


VIP Junglist
Well stereo is when something is played trough two separate channels for left & right. And mono is when it is played trough just one channel. Thats the basics..

And for the ''clean up the mix'' thing… You can, if you have two elements witch take up each others space make one of them ''wider'' (ex. by delaying one of the channels, the left or the right one slightly). This will make both of the ''elements'' be more audible, theoretically. I guess it's something like that you might have heard.

In rough terms: if you want something to have ''power'', and be heavy ex. a kick… you should try to keep it more mono. And if you want something to be big and fill out a lot of space, you should use stereo spreading (phasers, flangers delays etc…) ex. a pad.

Hope that helps you somewhat.

sam the dnb man

VIP Junglist
Just make sure you have a phase correlation meter on your master output and check your mix in mono. D&B is predominantly aimed at a dance floor so make sure it sounds good in mono.
Stereo spread and other plug ins can sound awesome but a lot if people overuse them when they first discover them.
If you use stereo spread on everything then it's just going to it's impact. It's all about contrast between stereo and mono elements to gain maximum impact.

When I use sends to split my bass sounds into different frequency bands I'll stick a direction mixer (controls stereo width) as the last insert on each channel. This way I can use the triangle analogy. Low frequencies are mono then as I climb up the frequency spectrum it slowly becomes wider. Just be careful you don't over cool your settings otherwise the high frequencies may disappear when played back in mono.

I'm tired, which is why my explanation is poor.


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VIP Junglist
there's another quite recent thread about stereo
take a look at it

I can't add much more that he ^ did.
Just experiment a bit with it, see what sounds good..

Also, reverb and stereo doenst give the same effect (in my opinion). Reverb gives a small echo effect, as in a cathedral, and it will probably widen it a bit, but not necessarily, reverb still does the job on mono sounds.
While stereo spread gives a widen effect, an more airy feel, filling more space (not really the expression I'm looking for, but you get my point)


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VIP Junglist
Stereo is most easily heard on headphones.
It's the thing you change with Pan controls.
Normally, when playing with pan controls, you try and make your sound symmetrical, (i.e, if you have two oscillators, pan one left and one right) because it's a bit wierd otherwise, but one way pan can be very effective for grabbing attention.
The 'wide' effect comes from having two almost identical copies of a sound, one panned hard left, one hard right. If they are exactly identical, you won't get any width at all, so you usually need to use a small amount of delay or detune to create a small difference.

Generally, keep drums in the center of the mix, bass mostly in the middle (not always, mids and highs can be wide) and everything else is up to you, it's usually good to have some wide elements but not too many.
All up to you. There is no magic about any of the effects. Widening will require phasing, that's what the whole process is about. The most simple way to emulate stereo widening, is by letting a signal pass through left channel only, and then delay the same signal slightly on a right-panned channel. Phasing will occur, and it is required to make it happen.

I am pretty sure reverb is phasing and extremely frequent "echo"-delaying; you will get large amount of delayed signals repeated in a very frequent manner, so it will make a cohesive delay-sound, sounding like a reverb rather than an echo, and these signals will then be "widened", if it is a stereo reverb.

To me, reverb is about atmosphere. It will help "glue" things together, but it also helps creating an "enviroment" in the sound (Reverb saw synths to 4/4, dun dun dun :duck: ). Stereo widening is, in my opinion, best used to make everything fit together, so that not everything clutters in the center - But it can certainly help intensifying other sounds like basslines, and for effects. It's just very hard to hear widening (Which can be a good thing as well), as mentioned, unless the speakers are kind of built and set up for it. Or maybe I just have shit speakers.