• This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Magnus Hallin.
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    eX Cess

      Hey everyone,

      Lately I had 2 issues about mastering.
      First one is that only recently discovered how much people have to use in the mix bus these days (comp, limiting etc), since I always did it old-school, leaving compression, general eqing and limiting for mastering. Well, that's about solved.

      Second one, which would be the topic here, is about widening.
      I discovered widening when I first started using T-Racks many years ago, and of course it's ear-flattering etc, so I overused it then realized it made the center disappear.
      So going back and forth i ended up using a widener on my mixbus so the whole mix would be wide and the center would not disappear during teh mastering process.

      Now, I know Warren doesn't use wideners on his mixbus, I kind of feel few people actually do it. I didn't do it either on my "Bullet" mix, was pretty happy with the result be didn't take time to try another mix using a widener on the mixbus.

      So : do you guys know if and how widener is used on mastering?
      What do you think about using a widener in the mixbus for mixing?
      Any favourite widener?

      Thanx for any light!


      Magnus Johansson

        I´m no masterer, I´m just a dedicated hobbyist mixer throwing in my thoughts.

        1: Don´t know but if a mix needs widening or narrowing and the ME has a tool to adress it, I´m pretty sure he will do it. He corrects eq and dynamics so why not wideness. I do think he is more limited to what to achieve/correct and if mix has a real wide problem it´s better adressed earlier in the chain. But so is final eq and dynamics.

        2: I´m all for it. Do whatever you want on your mixbus. Seems like a popular mix workflow that after setting initial levels to start with the mixbus and work your way up. In that workflow, at what point does the 2bus processing intrude masterland? My mixbus pretty much is my "mastering" chain (minus the last limiter). Sure I get it that it can be great to have a second pair of ears as a final quality assurance, but that´s probably not going to happen with my cheap projects. I don´t mind tweaking wideness during final referencing as a quick fix. Sometimes it´s enough and it doesn´t destroy anything. Sometimes I rather go back and fix it in the mix. For stereobus widening I only use mid/side as it´s a natural part of the stereo source.

        Some additional blabbering: mid/side alone wont get you very far in widening a mono source. It wont get you anywhere 🙂 So to widening mono sources I recently has turned into the bx_stereomaker wich I think works over expectations every time. I don´t think it´s any magic to it. You can probably achieve the same results with a mid/side matrix, a short delay and some filters. I don´t think it will do well on the masterbus. Mainly because the first thing it does is monoing the source, then it adds it´s widening trick. So any panning you have made is out the window.

        3: For the stereobus, FabFilter ProQ2 in mid/side mode. Monosources, bx_stereomaker, MicroShift, ReelADT

        I think this vid is pretty good... and short. https://youtu.be/ESVRCT28d5o

        Lastly, I´m no pro and I´m happy to be corrected/educated.

        Jon Burns

          Use m/s to keep bass frequencies mono centre. It's up to you where you cut off
          from whether that's 80-200hz. The more you roll off, the punchier and the higher
          master level you can get, but the less rounded/old-school sound so it depends on
          the style. I use Boz digital Labs Mongoose for this.

          Also, having mid-range on one side & high-end on the other will improve stereo
          impression and give the centre more depth. It's tempting to stereo electric
          guitars because it sounds big but kind of ironically it will reduce the impression
          of size overall. I've only recently learned this & started trying it out.

          The widener in Ozone is cool though!

          Magnus Hallin

            Old topic but.. I usually don't use wideners on the 2bus but sometimes I've actually slapped one on there (mostly the S1 from Waves) and just veeeery slightly widened it but it's very small movements. The fader in that plugin starts at 1.0 I think and I rarely go over 1.10.

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