Mixing Techniques – Widening the stereo image

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Mixing, Videos

basically any difference between the left and the right side will be perceived as a wider stereo image,

the more obvious the differences, the wider the stereo image,

until in some point the differences will be so obvious that the left and the right sides will be perceived as two different sounds, which still make a wider stereo image.

if I take a mono sound, and duplicate it, and using the panning, placing one to the left and one to the right, without changing anything, IT IS STILL MONO.

and you know why,

because there is no differences between the two sounds, the left and the right.

in the video I duplicated a mono track and panned one of tracks to the left and one to the right,

and I am going to apply some processing to introduce some differences (Between left and right) that will be perceived as widening the stereo image.

one more effect I didn’t use in the video but is one of the most useful ones, is delaying by 1-40ms only one side of the stereo and leaving the other side as it is,

this will open up the stereo width and will change timbres two.


the stereo expander effect usually is used to take a stereo sound and emphasizing the differences between the Left and the Right channels,

it can be used to push the stereo to the extreme in some stereo expander,

and mostly after other effects already been used to make the sound stereo, to give you control over the stereo width, to make the stereo more prominent or less prominent.


at the end you can here the effect of changing the phase on one side only,

this is used mostly as a special effect and it makes the illusion like the sound is coming out of the speakers,

I use it mostly for music for movies, it makes a dramatic effect on some instrument, and it helps the audience believe that the scene is really wide and big in term of space.

but be aware!! if you turn the sound to mono after applying the phase effect, the sound will disappear, so use it with caution.

changing the phase on both channels means there is no difference between left and right, which means : we are back to mono again.


the sound of the guitar was downloaded from freesound, I don’t remember the name of the user, but thank you very much, if I will find the name of th guy who uploaded I will update this article with his name inside.

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