Basic/Beginners Mixing Concepts – Stereo Width

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Mixing, Videos

Stereo width is what the suggest, it means how wide your stereo image is.

the wider the stereo image the more you will feel that the music comes from the sides and cover your head/ears and the instruments more separated between the speakers.

this doesn’t mean : the wider the better.

because the wider the stereo image is, the more holes there will be in the mix, and with too much separation the instruments will sound that they don’t belong together/they won’t mix.

so this means :

wider — narrower
more seperation — less seperation
more holes — less holes
less clashes between instruments — more clashing

in order for our brain recognize the stereo width, there must be something from the center to contrast, means with less/no stereo width,
that means one instrument at least should have less/minimum/no stereo width, and one instrument must have a bigger/wider stereo width.

as with everything in mixing, it is a dynamic process, and the settings you found good for one moment might be less appropriate when more instruments comes in.

panning is the first tool here to create a stereophonic sound stage.

the second tool is a stereo expander/widening tools.

I used less panning here because I didn’t find it use full in that situation, and it would make the mix less symmetric which sometimes is preferable but not this time,

this is not a busy production, so it gives me more freedom to choose.

of course there are some nice panning effects that can be done, in this tutorial however I am not going to cover those techniques,

don’t worry, they will be included in other sessions and other articles.


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