Stereo imaging

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Jagwah
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Post 14 Apr 2015


I get the idea of stereo imaging and I know how to apply it, but I am wondering when you guys use it.

Would you say use it for everything in the mid and high range or only use it when it's necessary? What about percussion and white noise?

Really have no idea so any comments would be welcome.


Cheers. :comp:

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selig
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Post 14 Apr 2015

Jagwah wrote: I get the idea of stereo imaging and I know how to apply it, but I am wondering when you guys use it.

Would you say use it for everything in the mid and high range or only use it when it's necessary? What about percussion and white noise?

Really have no idea so any comments would be welcome.


Cheers. :comp:
Stereo imaging has to do with how sounds are distributed in a stereo field, but I'm guessing you're talking about the Stereo Imager device in Reason (and I never use it for "stereo-izing" so I'm not a good person to ask). To me that effect is more a stereo "BLUR" that smears a focused stereo image into a slightly wider but far more diffused (in space, not time) image. :)
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Tincture
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Post 14 Apr 2015

I used to use the Stereo Imager quite a lot but when I got my first pair of monitors and started listening to the likes of selig I tend to agree that it can have the type effect that selig describes and can badly affect the central sound. Now I tend to try and build my stereo width with the instrument itself if it's a synth or perhaps with a bit of chorus or other effect if it's a mono instrument. I like the AllPass Chorus on the SA16 for guitar for instance.

When I do use the stereo imager I tend to use it pretty subtley usual to take some width (say -10 to -15) off the below say 640Hz and add a touch (10-15) to the freqs above.

I have found that with synths such as Mono/Poly, Antidote etc it is so easy to get a nice spread so that one synth can sit inside the circle of another but have tended to use panning less and so I want to get back into the habit of using panning more ;)

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Jagwah
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Post 14 Apr 2015

Thanks guys that's very interesting. I have usually been using it to thin out the low end of things to keep the bottom end as mono as possible.

@ Selig, yes I meant stereo imaging like one would do with the MClass device. Interesting that you use the word 'smear.' I guess I shouldn't start getting used to using it, but thinning out the low end seems like a good practice, or do you think that might be a bad practice?

@ Tincture, Thanks for your comment. I tend to neglect panning myself, something I'm not too familiar with.

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selig
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Post 14 Apr 2015

Jagwah wrote:Thanks guys that's very interesting. I have usually been using it to thin out the low end of things to keep the bottom end as mono as possible.

@ Selig, yes I meant stereo imaging like one would do with the MClass device. Interesting that you use the word 'smear.' I guess I shouldn't start getting used to using it, but thinning out the low end seems like a good practice, or do you think that might be a bad practice?

@ Tincture, Thanks for your comment. I tend to neglect panning myself, something I'm not too familiar with.
I use a HPF to thin out the low end, and the primary reason to make bass frequencies mono is to cut to vinyl. To me, "smear" has more to do with the stereo image, meaning it's no longer as clear. Any time you try to 'stretch' something it gets smeared so some degree.

That being said, using the Stereo Imager on a synth would not necessarily be a bad thing, especially for a pad, since you want those things to get lost in the background anyway - they are more a "take it out and miss it" thing for me anyways. One other use may be on a reverb return to similarly smear the reverb or to open an intentional 'hole' in the middle. 

As I write this I'm realizing there's an idea I need to check out in Reason regarding a slightly different way to use the Stereo Imager. Be back in a while on that one…
;)
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Jagwah
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Post 14 Apr 2015

Thanks guys this thread has turned out more useful than I expected. I was definitely approaching the MClass Imager the wrong way. I swear I remember some video tutorial where the guy said to thin out low end frequencies with imaging because the low end has a lot of energy, I take it I don't need to be doing that.

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selig
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Post 14 Apr 2015

Jagwah wrote:Thanks guys this thread has turned out more useful than I expected. I was definitely approaching the MClass Imager the wrong way. I swear I remember some video tutorial where the guy said to thin out low end frequencies with imaging because the low end has a lot of energy, I take it I don't need to be doing that.
What I have noted is that when you widen either band you will loose up to 6 dB level in that band (at max wide). This can help in some cases, but in others you probably want to keep the frequency response the same (you notice this the most in mono).

In my earlier post I mentioned an idea for a different way to use widening, since I felt there were tradeoffs. So I began building a Combinator that included a dry/wet control, and I've found it's actually quite useful! 

While I was at it I decided to add the EQ correction to the issue I mentioned above, and that also ended up being more useful than I original thought. Now that I've heard what "flat" sounds like, I cant "not hear" the loss in levels when widening a band with the Stereo Imager!

So my Combinator allows two things: blending the widened signal with the original for more subtle "widening", and allowing you to choose to compensate for the lost levels when widening. Here's what it looks like:
Image 

Get it here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/147 ... er.cmb.zip
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Tincture
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Post 15 Apr 2015

Jagwah wrote:Thanks guys this thread has turned out more useful than I expected. I was definitely approaching the MClass Imager the wrong way. I swear I remember some video tutorial where the guy said to thin out low end frequencies with imaging because the low end has a lot of energy, I take it I don't need to be doing that.
selig wrote:
What I have noted is that when you widen either band you will loose up to 6 dB level in that band (at max wide). This can help in some cases, but in others you probably want to keep the frequency response the same (you notice this the most in mono).

In my earlier post I mentioned an idea for a different way to use widening, since I felt there were tradeoffs. So I began building a Combinator that included a dry/wet control, and I've found it's actually quite useful! 

While I was at it I decided to add the EQ correction to the issue I mentioned above, and that also ended up being more useful than I original thought. Now that I've heard what "flat" sounds like, I cant "not hear" the loss in levels when widening a band with the Stereo Imager!

So my Combinator allows two things: blending the widened signal with the original for more subtle "widening", and allowing you to choose to compensate for the lost levels when widening. Here's what it looks like:
Image
selig wrote: 

Get it here:
selig wrote:


I've made use of this already. Thanks!

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avasopht
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Post 15 Apr 2015

Pitch shift by 1 cent up and down either side.
---

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Tincture
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Post 15 Apr 2015

avasopht wrote:Pitch shift by 1 cent up and down either side.
Sorry to be a bore but could you extrapolate?

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Benedict
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

Post 15 Apr 2015

Thanks Selig

I have actually been using M-Class Stereo Imager again a bit and yes while it does widen it also smears (the reason I stopped using it). I turned it right up a few times and noticed that the left/right balance of frequencies shifted dramatically which made me think that at least part of it's method is a Comb Filter type of situation to move one half of the interleave right and the other left. That would explain the loss of clarity and position of instruments. It also explains why it can sound nice and magical as it is messing with reality.

:)

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Jagwah
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Post 15 Apr 2015


Very cool Selig thank you :)

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avasopht
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Post 16 Apr 2015

avasopht wrote:Pitch shift by 1 cent up and down either side.
Tincture wrote:
Sorry to be a bore but could you extrapolate?
Take any mono track, make two copies to be panned either side (not necessarily all the way), with one pitch shifted down by 1-2 cents, and the other side pitch shifted up by 1-2 cents.

You can play around with eq, filters and effects as well to see what works best for this particular sound.
---

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selig
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Post 16 Apr 2015

avasopht wrote:Pitch shift by 1 cent up and down either side.
Tincture wrote:
Sorry to be a bore but could you extrapolate?
avasopht wrote: Take any mono track, make two copies to be panned either side (not necessarily all the way), with one pitch shifted down by 1-2 cents, and the other side pitch shifted up by 1-2 cents. You can play around with eq, filters and effects as well to see what works best for this particular sound.
There's a popular preset in the old SPX-90 called "Pitch Change C" that does a ±5 cents shifting, which was copying the popular effect done with the AMS delay/pitch shifter from the mid 80s. Still one of my favorite "stereo" effect, but it can have a bit of an 80s flavor at times.   ;)
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Tincture
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Post 16 Apr 2015

avasopht wrote:Pitch shift by 1 cent up and down either side.
Tincture wrote:
Sorry to be a bore but could you extrapolate?
avasopht wrote: Take any mono track, make two copies to be panned either side (not necessarily all the way), with one pitch shifted down by 1-2 cents, and the other side pitch shifted up by 1-2 cents. You can play around with eq, filters and effects as well to see what works best for this particular sound.
Thanks, I'll give it a try.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 16 Apr 2015

For cool Stereo imaging take a trip back to the 60's :D
Panning is king!

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