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Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

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Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby NewMixer101 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:53 am

Hi guys, Im a newbie mixer
Ive already read and looked up all their is to know regarding terminology etc
and psycho acoustic effects etc and the various techniques except polarisation

My mixing idol is GigaP who has epic mixes, and I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on getting a similar sound in terms of that very wide/stereo image with placement of sounds where you want them to be. I know the HAAS/precendence effect can get close but Ive found that their is greater sound in one ear (which is as excepted by that effect). 1. How do you get a more balanced stereo image i.e. plays same on L) and R) and then 2. any tips or plugins to orientate the sound to a particular position in the stereo field? can anyone please elaborate?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6H7Gcu ... 6H7GcuORWI
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby job » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:35 pm

Oh dear, I feel confident enough to post in a mixing thread... hopefully the sky does not fall! :thumbup:

NewMixer101 wrote:1. How do you get a more balanced stereo image i.e. plays same on L) and R)

Plays the same? The source material should be the same in the left and right channel. True stereo will often be different and therefore lead to discrepancies between left and right. So, assuming the source is identical in both channels, a balanced spread can be achieved with a stereo spreader.

NewMixer101 wrote:2. any tips or plugins to orientate the sound to a particular position in the stereo field? can anyone please elaborate?!

The balance and pan knobs. :thumbup: Some fancy surround plugins might allow for greater precision in this, not sure.

As an aside, the example track seems to be a combination of a large amount of panning and balancing, stereo spreading and automation to my ear. I don't really hear anything 'fancy' going on like a HAS effect... maybe a slight one at the end, but it's minimal.
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby The Elf » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:46 pm

Welcome NewMixer!

There's a danger when you start out with all this technical detail of latching onto a small piece of information and getting lost with it.

Don't get hung up about Haas effects, stereo wideners, or any of that fancy stuff right now. Get a clear understanding of the differences between stereo and mono sources and get practice with simple panning. If you can achieve a good understanding of these basics then you are on your way.

Wide mixes often come from mono sources panned out wide - which is contrary to what many people seem (or want!) to believe!
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:24 pm

Yeah. What Elf said.

Plus, in the music you listened to, try and hear the effect of the panned delays, and try to notice how few sounds are actually happening at once (even though there are plenty of little details that come in and out).

It's tempting to assume psychoacoustic trickery, but it all sounds like pretty straightforward mixing chops to me...
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby NewMixer101 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:15 am

Thanks for the tips guys!

So if its a mono signal I can still achieve a wide sound with a stereo plugin?
Coz I heard that duplicating a mono signal so that it is identical and panning hard R and L has the effect of only really increasing +3db of sound?
What is the purpose of this then? if panning the same mono signal essentially just makes things louder?
and if so what is a method where I can convert a single mono source into stereo that is wide?
- if its a stereo plugin, any tips on ones to use?

Thanks!
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:57 pm

No, they meant using a mono source as mono, but panning it hard left or hard right. Not having a hard left and hard right version of the same track. You can use automation to move the sound around the stereo spread, or an autopanner effect or a delay where the repeats are moved around the stereo field (again something you can automate yourself using the delay's pan control if anything built-in isn't doing what you want.

If you want the whole mix to simply sound wider, then you could use a mid/side widener on the master bus (much better than effects that use phase). There should be at least one that's standard with your DAW, but I like the Brainwork plugins, available from Plugin Alliance. Most of their plugins are based on mid/side processing. Reasonably expensive (even so they're worth it) but keep an eye on the PA website https://www.plugin-alliance.com/ as they often have them on special offer.
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Re: Creating very wide and accurately positioned sounds in a mix

Postby varunbkk » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:31 am

In order for a mix to sound wide,
some components of the mix have to be centered and sound 'narrow'.

It is the relative difference of width between the mix elements that contributes to the overall width perception of the whole mix.

Some guidelines:

Elements that MUST be dead-center:
Kick
Bass esp. sub-bass (40-80 Hz region)

Elements that CAN be stereo spread:
Mid & high-basses
Sweeps & FX / White Noise
Pads
Piano
Hooks & lead synths (especially if they're layered)

ELEMENTS THAT ARE IDEAL FOR L/R PANNING:
Claps & snares
Percussive elements e.g. toms, rim-shots and hi-hats

In general:

1) Use stereo wideners and sample delays sparingly [see 4) below]

2) Sample delays work best to widen hi-hats or sweeps & FX.
But these can cause phase issues when played back in mono.

3) Panning works well for percussive elements esp. claps, toms/rim-shots & hi-hats

4) Widening is best done at the synthesis stage i.e. using the tools within your VST/synthesizer i.e. oscillator panning, stereo spread, unison etc.

5) M/S is a good option to manipulate width perception of a sound without causing phase cancellation problems
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