Canadian Davey Badiuk is a composer, producer, mixing engineer and remixer, known for his unique ability to modernise organic music. His production, programming and mixing credits include artists such as Liam Gallagher, Tegan & Sara, Karl Wolf, Dragonette, Kiesza and Carly Rae Jepsen, to name but a few. Here he details how he got his favourite sound on Harrison Brome’s ‘In The Dark’.
“One of the most interesting tricks I discovered in this mix is a very strange widening trick with Waves’ S1 Imager plug‑in. If you pan a mono signal 100 percent left or right, and then send it to a stereo bus and apply this S1 Imager plug‑in, it will create an out‑of‑phase signal on the other side.
“So, if a signal is panned hard left, and you apply this move, the plug‑in will create a sort of phantom out‑of‑phase signal on the other side. The effect is a feeling as if the signal is ‘further’ than 100 percent right or left, like it’s past the speaker.
“Most engineers would be troubled with the fact that this would mean that the signal wouldn’t collapse properly to mono, but after a lot of referencing, I realised that this creates minimal phase cancellation in mono. The out‑of‑phase signal that is created by the plug‑in on the opposite side is the only thing that doesn’t appear in the mono fold‑down. This allowed us to get parts super wide, and we ended up with a ton of extra space to utilise in the mix. The result is an extremely separated, slotted, wide mix.”
Davey Badiuk: Over the years I’ve found that in headphones, when I pan something hard left or hard right in a mix, it sounds thin, or sort of disconcerting and exposed.
“Over the years I’ve found that in headphones, when I pan something hard left or hard right in a mix, it sounds thin, or sort of disconcerting and exposed. On speakers, though, your ears are getting crosstalk to whatever’s panned hard left or right. This trick allows hard panning in headphones to be super‑wide and more palatable because the hard‑panned signal is also coming in the opposite ear. There’s a sort of fullness that really comes across in headphones with it.
“The S1 Imager plug‑in is doing a Sides/width boost to achieve this sound. You can achieve it with any plug‑in that can boost the difference (Sides) signal. I would sum this up and explain that this is my favourite sound, because I’ve always really loved wide mixes. I really like how immersive it can feel when a mix almost feels like it’s bigger than the speakers are actually capable of. I’ve researched so many ways to achieve width like that in a mix, and I’ve found that this seems to be the most efficient way.”