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" WIDE" elements of a mix. Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
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beyondat's Avatar
 

" WIDE" elements of a mix.

I know that if all elements of a mix are wide then none of them will sound wide essentially. which elements do to choose to widen in a mix, I know every mix is different. I had a mix recently that sounded wide during the hook but shrunk when the verses came back. Do you generally choose an element(s) in the verse to widen?

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Old 12th September 2011
  #2
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I've been making these elements wide and liking the results: pads, stings, adlibs, delay and verb. (no not always) The last two are quite easy with the use of center by waves, or utility in live. The benefit of going "wide" with those is you can leave important elements squarely placed in the image, while still getting a wide mix... give it a shot. Best of both worlds and very easy to control.
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ray View Post
I've been making these elements wide and liking the results: pads, stings, adlibs, delay and verb. (no not always) The last two are quite easy with the use of center by waves, or utility in live. The benefit of going "wide" with those is you can leave important elements squarely placed in the image, while still getting a wide mix... give it a shot. Best of both worlds and very easy to control.
Ahh, that's something I have only tried on kick and snare. I guess its just a matter of finding the right verb/delay settings so its not so obvious.

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Old 12th September 2011
  #4
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" WIDE" elements of a mix.

I don't go wide with the kick. I know timbo does to great effect, but I'm a firm believer in keeping my bass register mono.

Snare for me can sound great in stereo, but still wouldn't consider it a good idea to go "wide" with it.

As far as verb (and I'm approaching broken record status by repeating this), but I really find storyville's technique/thread to be the way to go...

Here's a reciepe: (treat it as a starting point/example- not a law or preset)----

Let's assume you have a lead vocal and two adlibs/overdubs. Let's say the overdubs are NOT full doubles. Let's keep the main vocal dead center on the pan pot. Now let's pan the two overdubs, but gently just a small spread, let's not try to go too wide yet...

Bus time (satson users should give the cross talk function a chance here): grab a lexicon vintage plate (or whatever you favor). Now let's set it up: "rhythmically" (again, not a law, but a great technique). This means it's time for some math. (or cheat like I do in logic and convert the track delay to display in milliseconds: right click for the menu)
Let's try a predelay of 1/96 and a reverb time of 1/32... Remember to subtract the value of 1/96 from 1/32 otherwise it will be 1/96th too long.

Whew... Boring part over.

So now feed the three vocals into the verb. Sparingly for the main, but a bit more generously for the overdubs. (worth pointing out that the usual rules of properly vs poorly synced stacks will apply)

Then place a high/low pass filter and/or eq of choice... Set to taste, mindfull of build up, brightness and mud. If a verb is too noticable because of a freq build up- then eq that part out.

Compress to taste (side chain might be cool, not normally what I do for vox verb)

Finally, follow that with the waves center. Attenuate the mid, leave the side. Feed the low to the mid, feed the high to the side, and put the punch on the side just a touch.

Here's what you should have: a vocal stack that is rich and appealing front to back, wide as trailer trash ass, but uncluttered and focused, with all the benefits of a mono vocal.

The secrets are (to summerize): rhythmic verb (so that the ear detects an intentionality), contrasted sends (where the bg vox are pushed futher "away"), good stacks (vocalign if needed), and marginalized effects that hardly exist in the middle but are lush in the sides (and the center plug is your best friend here).

I assume you can figure out other non-vocal applications of this method faster than I could type them!
Old 12th September 2011
  #5
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyondat View Post
I know that if all elements of a mix are wide then none of them will sound wide essentially. which elements do to choose to widen in a mix, I know every mix is different. I had a mix recently that sounded wide during the hook but shrunk when the verses came back. Do you generally choose an element(s) in the verse to widen?

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I usually do this intentionally. I like it when the verse is a little tighter and the hook opens up wider.
Old 12th September 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
I usually do this intentionally. I like it when the verse is a little tighter and the hook opens up wider.
Yeah, I do it intentionally also but I may be making the difference between hook and verse too drastic. Either that or I'm paying too much attention to the phasescope.


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Old 13th September 2011
  #7
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Ken Lewis and/or Mike Dean.
I'd really like to hear your take on this.
Old 13th September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beyondat View Post
Yeah, I do it intentionally also but I may be making the difference between hook and verse too drastic. Either that or I'm paying too much attention to the phasescope.


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Stop using phasescope. Fold to mono instead.
Wide is relative to how many instruments are in the arrangement.
Are you recording a folk singer with one acoustic? You probably don't need to worry about wide.
Old 13th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnevz View Post
Ken Lewis and/or Mike Dean.
I'd really like to hear your take on this.
"Wide" as in panning hard left and right, cool, use to taste. I found the biggest problem WITHOUT A DOUBT when i did the mixoff, so many of the submissions so utterly and completely abused the width techniques that incur out of phase techniques it was ridiculous. Just because you CAN do something doesnt mean you SHOULD. your ears should hopefully tell you "hey, this makes my head turn sideways its so out of phase". a little bit of extra here and there is fine, just dont overdo it.

What to pick? thats ALWAYS dependent on the mix content. no magic bullets. find things (or thing) to go wide with and make sure it actually enhances the song and the mix and make sure you are not doing it just because you are trying to be cool or have no idea how to use your gear. Thats not a slam, its good advice
Old 13th September 2011
  #10
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I am coming from a beat maker's perspective but I usually try to "feel" what should be wide, not just take things and make them wide. If I am sampling, I may have a very filtered part of the sample "widened" by using the stereo imager effect in Reason. I just listen, it's often a pad sound, sometimes it's general panning of many things that are pretty much mono on their own. Then, when it comes to recording the track, I kind of follow my beat as the lead. I am no expert when it comes to mixing songs but if the vocals follow the beat, it usually works better.

When I produce and when I mix, I really want everything to sound good and in there place. I don't care if it's basically mono all the way or I get some width. I let the music dictate my decisions more than anything. I know we have many accomplished mixing engineers in here but as someone who creates, and someone who just likes music, I would rather hear a "musical" mix than a "big" mix. They often overlap but plenty of great mixes don't sound wide.
Old 13th September 2011
  #11
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Thanks Ken, Dave, Story and the OP. I'm gonna watch the pensado vids where he talks about clearing out the middle and get to widening out my tracks a lil bit more. I've had a difficult time wrapping my head around what techniques to use on what instruments and where. But I'm sure that comes with experience.
Plugins that are good for this and phase problems, especially in mono, have been my main concern.

Anybody use izotopes widener on the master or is that probably not the way to go? lol... I've tried it, and granted I might not have had it set right, but the track lost punch or became cluttered whenever I got it to the point that I could hear it actually widening out.

Thanks.
Old 13th September 2011
  #12
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Thanks for all the advice on this thread. I have been ABing my mixes with lupes "laser' album which is a very "wide " sounding album due to the mix and or instrumentation. I was trying to keep up with the stereo image of a lot of songs on that album. I just listened to "watch the throne" and although it is mixed great imo it doesn't seem as "wide" as Lupe's but somehow it still sounds just as "big". Well back to more mixing!
Old 13th September 2011
  #13
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Storyville's Avatar
Just be careful with widening things. Wide is great - but panning has a distinct effect on rhythm. I'll see if I can dig up some examples.
Old 13th September 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
Just be careful with widening things. Wide is great - but panning has a distinct effect on rhythm. I'll see if I can dig up some examples.
Im pretty sure I know what you mean but that'd be great is you could post some examples.
Old 13th September 2011
  #15
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wide is cool, especially when mixing it makes you go wow! but it does something to the riddim sometimes, like storyville said. i usually back off the wideness of things in the final stages of mixing and mono-fy more. the wide thing is cool on headphones, in other situations its a lot less important. i rather have mono than my mix desintegrating or sounds dissapearing in less then ideal circumstances.
Old 13th September 2011
  #16
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" WIDE" elements of a mix.

Tnevz:

I don't like to ozone's "wide maker." at least not on the stereo bus... It's one of those things that's better track by track, and its easy to make it sound weird and unnatural. However, I have often used it on the two bus to narrow the lower freqs to mono. Very easy to do. Use the learn function. Right click, select learn, and wait for the animation to stop. The program is attempting to select the best place to have the crossover to minimize artifacts. Like always your ears should be the final judge but I've found it very effective.

Funny enough, I like to use the learn function in ozone to find data on where to set the low cross over... Then use that as a starting point in brainworx digital mono maker. Likewise I have used it's widener... The most I've gone is 114%, 106% is the usual stopping point. I don't tend to use this on a great mix at all. But when you are sent a two track it can be very effective for making room for the vox.

Random tip: Matthew lane dr ms is a freaking beast!!! You have been warned!
Old 14th September 2011
  #17
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Thanks a lot Dave! That helps me out quite a bit.
Old 14th September 2011
  #18
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DesmondA's Avatar



Just record Rick Ross....everything's wide.
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