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Stereo Imaging – Wider than Life

If you mix music, sooner or later you’re going to want to learn about stereo imaging. Stereo imaging is the process of creating a “wide” stereo field. A wide stereo field means that elements in the mix sound like they occupy more space than they actually do. This can make a mix sound bigger, fuller, and more exciting.


There are many ways to create a wide stereo mix. Some are very simple and easy to do. Others are more complicate and require special equipment. Others are more complicated and require special equipment. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different ways to create a wide stereo field. We’ll also look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

The Pan Pot


One of the most basic and commonly used methods for creating a wide stereo field is the pan pot. A pan pot is simply a knob that controls the left-right placement of a sound within the stereo field. By turning the knob to the left, the sound becomes more pronounced in the left channel. By turning it to the right, the sound becomes more pronounced in the right channel. 


Panning is a very effective way to create width in a mix. It’s also very easy to do. The main disadvantage of panning is that it can cause problems with mono compatibility. Mono compatibility means that a mix sounds good when played back in mono as well as in stereo. When using panning to create width, it’s important to be careful not to overdo it. If you pan too many sounds too far to one side or the other, the mono version of the mix will start to sound strange or even muddy. 

The Haas effect

The Haas effect is named after Helmut Haas, who first described it in 1949 . The Haas effect is a psychoacoustic phenomenon that occurs when two identical sounds are played back simultaneously from different speakers. The brain perceives these two sounds as one sound coming from one direction . This effect can be used to create a sense of width in a recording or mix by delaying one side of the signal by a very short amount of time—usually between 1 and 35 milliseconds.


The Haas effect is very effective at creating width while still maintaining mono compatibility . However, it can be difficult to set up and get right . It’s also worth noting that while most people cannot hear delays below 35 milliseconds , some people with perfect pitch can hear delays as low as 3 milliseconds . For this reason, it’s best not to use too much delay when using this technique—otherwise, your mix may sound strange or “phasey” to people with perfect pitch . 

Go Forth, Rebel Artist.

Stereo imaging is an important tool for any music producer or engineer . By understanding how different methods work , you can make better choices about how to use them in your own mixes Just remember: when in doubt, less is usually more!