Mono to Stereo

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Ocean of Waves
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Post 20 Jan 2015

This subject popped up on PUF on many occasions, I've posted my list a couple of times on PUF and I think it's important to have a thread about 'how to' on this forum as well

These are the techniques I use to go from mono to stereo:

Haas with Tape Echo wobble in Kong
Just the simple Haas effect but I create the delay with Kong's Tape Echo. You can dial in some wobble so the stereo effect to me is more stereo IMHO. I always dial down the Reso and give full Freq when I use the Tape Echo of Kong but you can experiment with it, remember that the Kong output is a little higher than the original so you have to adjust it on either Kong or the 6:2 mixer I use. You can also use The Echo for this with extra effects.

Split signal into High and Low
Sometimes this works, I split the signal with the Stereo Imager. I use both outputs on the back and route both to a 6:2 mixer, hard pan left and right. Dial the imager to split the freq left and right. Works great in combination with Haas. I only use the Stereo Imager as a freq-splitter here, I almost never use it for it's original purpose btw.

Wet and Dry
Split the signal and hard pan left and right. Give one side a room reverb full wet, easy on the decay. You can do this with lots of effects, sometimes a chorus/unison works great. (I tend to use the chorus of Thor a lot for this).

Alligator
I discovered you can widen with the Alligator. Hook up an Alligator to your mono signal. Flip the rack and connect CV cables from Gate 1 out to Gate 2 in, from Gate 2 out to Gate 3 in, and from Gate 3 out to Gate 1 in, now Alligator let's all audio pass. Now you can use the effects on the three lanes in Alligator, I tend to drop the volume on the middle lane till zero. Pan the High and the Low hard and play with the delay, phaser and drive knobs. Just use different settings for both sides. You can even use the Eq of the Alligator but that'll change the character of the sound too much maybe. I use the Alligator if I want to do something radical.

Automation
If you create a stereo effect with one of the above techniques it's sometimes cool to automate certain knobs, I use the global pan knob on the SSL a lot, just to "move" the sound more.

Set up a stereo pair in a room and record
Really easy to do! If you have a couple of mics you can use for this (I sometimes use a M/S setup) in a good sounding room, do it!

I have two big PA speakers for this, but any speaker will do. I place each speaker in a spot I like and feed the same mono source to each. If you have a mic pair that you can move around while recording you can try that out as well! Just experiment with this one. This is the best stereo effect you'll ever hear!

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Ocean of Waves
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Post 20 Jan 2015


A post I lifted from PUF, I never tried this but I will soon.

QwaizanG wrote: I thought I would share something I stumbled on to last night.
 
Send the left and right audio channels each through their own BV512. Set them both to equalizer mode. If you choose different band counts on each device you can get a strange extreme wide "surround" type of effect. This will distort frequencies passing through so it only has certain uses.
 
Edit: the surround is more evident if you automate changes in band count as sounds pass through.
 
 

VOLCANIC
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Post 20 Jan 2015

While on the same issue. When recording vocals on stereo mode only one side is recording which and that is the top one, so what's going on there?
Volcanic Music

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normen
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Post 20 Jan 2015

VOLCANIC wrote:While on the same issue. When recording vocals on stereo mode only one side is recording which and that is the top one, so what's going on there?
One microphone is one channel, when you set your channel to stereo input it will record two channels but only the first of them (the left one on a stereo track) has the signal of the microphone.

VOLCANIC
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Post 20 Jan 2015

VOLCANIC wrote:While on the same issue. When recording vocals on stereo mode only one side is recording which and that is the top one, so what's going on there?
normen wrote:
One microphone is one channel, when you set your channel to stereo input it will record two channels but only the first of them (the left one on a stereo track) has the signal of the microphone.
So u mean even though it shows top or left lane recorded it still recorded on stereo mode? Now there is only one side playing
Volcanic Music

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normen
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Post 20 Jan 2015

VOLCANIC wrote:So u mean even though it shows top or left lane recorded it still recorded on stereo mode?
"Stereo" just means "two channels", one for left and one for right. If you put the same content on both channels thats still the same as if you had a mono channel where both speakers in a stereo setup play the same content. So by setting the channel to stereo you tell your DAW to "please record these two channels onto one track and route the first to the left speaker and the second to the right speaker". Your microphone is still only one channel of audio (one membrane in the room recording the waves at its position) and will only deliver data to the first channel.

VOLCANIC
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Post 20 Jan 2015

VOLCANIC wrote:So u mean even though it shows top or left lane recorded it still recorded on stereo mode?
normen wrote:
"Stereo" just means "two channels", one for left and one for right. If you put the same content on both channels thats still the same as if you had a mono channel where both speakers in a stereo setup play the same content. So by setting the channel to stereo you tell your DAW to "please record these two channels onto one track and route the first to the left speaker and the second to the right speaker". Your microphone is still only one channel of audio (one membrane in the room recording the waves at its position) and will only deliver data to the first channel.
Ok I get it now. So you recan I use mono then to spread the vocals to be not too much mono I use audio splitters and stereo images rather or is the some other way to spread or open them wide ?
Volcanic Music

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normen
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Post 20 Jan 2015

VOLCANIC wrote:Ok I get it now. So you recan I use mono then to spread the vocals to be not too much mono I use audio splitters and stereo images rather or is the some other way to spread or open them wide ?
I'm personally not a big fan of the "haas effect stereo" (which btw somewhat distorts the technical meaning of "haas effect"), the only ways I use to make a track wider are re-recording / using stereo impulse responses (see the ReStereo RE), simply using reverb or a stereo chorus effect or recording in stereo in the first place. I also don't think that a full arrangement needs to have everything in stereo, one can just use the pan knob to place the separate parts in the stereo image, I guess I more often *reduce* the width of single parts to make them fit better into the whole arrangement. After all a single instrument in an orchestra or a voice is only coming from one direction anyway.

To make a voice sound more "wide" I'd use reverb, a stereo chorus or simply record multiple tracks and pan them (or have a full BG choir with multiple voices). But I personally think that a single voice should mainly come from one direction and have focus instead of being all over the place.

kloeckno
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Post 21 Jan 2015

You can also use an EQ on both left and right channels, with cuts at different frequencies on either side.

Another way is to use two phasers or flangers, with different settings for the frequency on either channel. An alternative way is to use two phasers with the same settings, but with different LFOs sweeping each one. I like to use LFOs with a 90 degree phase offset and the same frequency. You can do that with Pulsar, LittleLFO, one of the AMMO REs, or 4Phase LFO.

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normen
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Post 21 Jan 2015

kloeckno wrote:You can also use an EQ on both left and right channels, with cuts at different frequencies on either side.

Another way is to use two phasers or flangers, with different settings for the frequency on either channel. An alternative way is to use two phasers with the same settings, but with different LFOs sweeping each one. I like to use LFOs with a 90 degree phase offset and the same frequency. You can do that with Pulsar, LittleLFO, one of the AMMO REs, or 4Phase LFO.
EQing both sides differently is often causing phasing issues because of EQs shifting the phase of whatever they boost or cut. But if you're even out to get phasing effects using a phaser I guess it doesn't matter for your intended purpose :D

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selig
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Post 21 Jan 2015

normen wrote: I'm personally not a big fan of the "haas effect stereo" (which btw somewhat distorts the technical meaning of "haas effect"), the only ways I use to make a track wider are re-recording / using stereo impulse responses (see the ReStereo RE), simply using reverb or a stereo chorus effect or recording in stereo in the first place. I also don't think that a full arrangement needs to have everything in stereo, one can just use the pan knob to place the separate parts in the stereo image, I guess I more often *reduce* the width of single parts to make them fit better into the whole arrangement. After all a single instrument in an orchestra or a voice is only coming from one direction anyway.

To make a voice sound more "wide" I'd use reverb, a stereo chorus or simply record multiple tracks and pan them (or have a full BG choir with multiple voices). But I personally think that a single voice should mainly come from one direction and have focus instead of being all over the place.
Just wanted to give this post a big Plus One! Every point you made hit home for me - literally couldn't have said it better myself.
:)
Selig Audio, LLC

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matt9the9cat
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Post 23 Jan 2015

I've used Maelstrom in the past to get a stereo effect. The audio inputs on the Maelstrom each go through one of it's filters. I set one of the filters to comb+ and the other comb- while keeping the freq. and resonance knobs turned all the way down. This is similar to using two EQs to process each channel separately, but a comb type. Maelstrom also has a stereo width knob that enhances this effect.

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ScuzzyEye
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Post 23 Jan 2015

matt9the9cat wrote:I've used Maelstrom in the past to get a stereo effect. The audio inputs on the Maelstrom each go through one of it's filters. I set one of the filters to comb+ and the other comb- while keeping the freq. and resonance knobs turned all the way down. This is similar to using two EQs to process each channel separately, but a comb type. Maelstrom also has a stereo width knob that enhances this effect.
I don't have time to check right now, but I think this might actually be mono compatible. I achieve a similar effect by abusing a M/S encoder/decoder. If you input a mono signal into an M/S splitter, you get nothing but mid, so you copy the mid signal, and delay it a few ms, and use that as the side into the decoder. What happens is you get two comb-filtered signals on the left and right, but the combs are inverted from each other.* So the frequencies that are removed from the left are in the right, and the other way around. It creates a really wide sound field, and collapses back to the original mono signal if the left and right channels are combined.

*The size of each tooth of the comb is caused by the frequency content of the signal when phased with it's delayed copy. So higher frequencies have smaller teeth. The presents a problem for tones under 100 Hz, because the tooth is so big, just about everything under 100 Hz is entirely in the left channel. If you want to build one of these things yourself, you should high-pass the delayed signal, to remove the low frequency content to keep it from phasing with the original. So the original will be passed to the center only, no left/right comb.

EDIT: Here's a Combinator I made for the effect a while back. http://scuzzyeye.com/patches/Fake%20Stereo.cmb

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matt9the9cat
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Post 24 Jan 2015

matt9the9cat wrote:I've used Maelstrom in the past to get a stereo effect. The audio inputs on the Maelstrom each go through one of it's filters. I set one of the filters to comb+ and the other comb- while keeping the freq. and resonance knobs turned all the way down. This is similar to using two EQs to process each channel separately, but a comb type. Maelstrom also has a stereo width knob that enhances this effect.
ScuzzyEye wrote: I don't have time to check right now, but I think this might actually be mono compatible. I achieve a similar effect by abusing a M/S encoder/decoder. If you input a mono signal into an M/S splitter, you get nothing but mid, so you copy the mid signal, and delay it a few ms, and use that as the side into the decoder. What happens is you get two comb-filtered signals on the left and right, but the combs are inverted from each other.* So the frequencies that are removed from the left are in the right, and the other way around. It creates a really wide sound field, and collapses back to the original mono signal if the left and right channels are combined.

*The size of each tooth of the comb is caused by the frequency content of the signal when phased with it's delayed copy. So higher frequencies have smaller teeth. The presents a problem for tones under 100 Hz, because the tooth is so big, just about everything under 100 Hz is entirely in the left channel. If you want to build one of these things yourself, you should high-pass the delayed signal, to remove the low frequency content to keep it from phasing with the original. So the original will be passed to the center only, no left/right comb.

EDIT: Here's a Combinator I made for the effect a while back.
http://scuzzyeye.com/patches/Fake%20Stereo.cmb

Cool. I opened your combi and played with it for a bit. I like how you've got the delay milliseconds controlled by a combi knob. I sent a slow LFO (0.5 hz) cv to that knob (the one you labeled "Room Size") and turned down the cv input knob (to 11) so the LFO only slightly affects that parameter. So it changes the room size parameter only between like 15 and 25. The slight pitch modulation that occurs because of the change in delay time while the audio is playing makes sort of a chorus/flange/tremolo kind of sound. It's very cool. Thanks for sharing.

The effect I made with Maelstrom actually blends well with yours after that modulation of the room size knob. I've got a subtractor mono synth split to three ways, one dry, one to your effect and one to mine. Then these three are on separate channels on the mixer and those channels are bused together with a delay insert on the bus channel. It sounds great. I'll try to record an example.



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ScuzzyEye
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Post 24 Jan 2015

Wow, happy to hear you found some uses for it. The most I've ever done is automate the width of the mixer channel that its on, to make the effect come in when vocals needed to stand out, and then fade back in a slower part of a song.

The reason I labeled the one control "Room Size", is because when you make a real M/S recording the Side mic will pick up reflections from the room. Sound travels about 1 foot for each ms of elapsed time. So you can simulate the first reflection by setting the delay to how every many feet wide the room is (or at least the distance from the sound source to the and then to the mic).

But as the Combinator is named, this is entirely fake. :)

And I would definitely love to hear what you're doing with it.

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Noplan
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Post 24 Jan 2015

You can also split a mono signal, pan it and detune one channel.  

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esselfortium
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Post 25 Jan 2015

The Echo and Pulverizer are both great tools for adding artificial stereo width to sounds.

The Echo can be used as a unison device, if you set its delay time to 1 millisecond and then turn up its LFO and/or Wobble amounts. I think you can eliminate the 1 millisecond of delay by routing your audio into the breakout input rather than into the main input, but I usually use it on pads or other soft-edged sounds where I'm more inclined to use 8 milliseconds of delay, set Offset R (the right channel's additional delay) to another 8 milliseconds for some extra width, optionally enable the Diffuse section, then set the Wet/Dry knob to taste. With that, you have a sound made up of the original signal plus two short delays that are being unisoned by the LFO.

Pulverizer can be used to create lush, flangey stereo movement. Set the filter type to Comb, and find a Filter Frequency and Peak (i.e. Resonance) amount that sounds good as a starting point. Then set the Tremor section (i.e. LFO) to affect the filter frequency. Now enable Spread, so that the left and right channels have inverse LFOs from each other. Adjust Squash and Wet/Dry to taste, so the stereo flange effect is blended in with your original signal. I love using this on drums, especially cymbal-heavy tracks. It's like the drum sound in Kashmir, but better!

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avasopht
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Post 25 Jan 2015

Enjoy my Haas panner, the ONLY combinator of its kind that adjusts the has effect according to the pan settings.
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