Stereo Widening

| Dec 6, 2007 | 3,873 Views | Share


After reading about this stereo image widening technique that Dot posted on Studio Forums, I applied it to my mix. I've uploaded the before and after mixes of "Hopeless"

This was the technique posted by Dot:

Posted 04-24-04 09:51 PM This is not really for a whole mix, but more for a few tracks like backing vocals or guitars.

In this case it's for vocals.

1. Mix your chorus vocals to a pair of L R stereo tracks
2. Copy that stereo pair to a second pair of L R stereo tracks.
3. Take the second pair and reverse the phase on them.
4. Then on the second pair reverse the panning. Make L to R, and R to L.

Set the first stereo pair up in your mix. And then start bringing up the second pair - which has been phase reversed and pan reversed. As you turn up the volume of the second pair you'll hear the image go very wide. You'll get to a point as you increase volume that it will start to be less wide as you begin to introduce too much phase cancellation from the second track. At that point, just back off on the volume of the second track until you hear that it's at its widest.

Try it. You'll be surprised. It's an old trick. : )

Dan Richards
The Listening Sessions
Pro Audio Consulting Services

Audio Clips

  • Mix Before Stereo Widening

  • Mix After Stereo Widening of Chorus Vocals


  • I've done this before and it works best, as Dot pointed out, for "a few tracks like backing vocals or guitars" and not the whole mix (unless you want to cut back the center of the mix). There are software programs which use this trick to remove the lead vocal for karaoke enthusiasts. I've done it for a few clients that want to record their voice on top of their favorite CDs. It only works when the lead vocal is panned dead center. Anything else that is panned center is lost too (often the bass drum, snare drum, and bass guitar). Anything panned left and right (backups, reverbs, and other instruments) will remain.
    By rackrecording on Dec 6, 2007 at 8:10 pm

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