Mono To Stereo Methods

Recently I got interested in the methods of creating stereo sounds out of mono (or mono-ish) sources. What I’m thinking about is altering the sounds slightly and then panning it opposite the original to get that ‘double-tracked’ effect, like the sound was recorded twice.
I know a lot of bands with predominantly guitar-oriented music still tend to record the guitars twice, and afaik this was also the practice with vocals before ADT (as heard on The Beatles’ Revolver).

Are there any good practices for achieving these sorts of effects? I’m cool with the two sounds being very different as well, they don’t have to be nearly identical.
So far I just do a send and then experiment with effects on the send track and in the end pan one to left and the other to right, but this is in a rather incoherent fashion.
I was wondering if some of you guys have established methods for ‘spacing’ the sounds like this.
Any tips would do, from favorite VST to filter ideas and whatnot.

A dime for your thoughts.

Ok, a dollar then :D


Also vminion, but that has been discontinued unfortunately.

that vminion looks nice :dribble:

too bad its discontinued though

you can get this effect with a very common oldskool tracker-trick.
Assuming you have short samples (e.g. amen break), you can play them with the equal note on two different tracks (no subtracks) and play one of the notes together with a slight sample offset (e.g. 0901). Now if you hard pan one track to the left and the other one to the right, you will get just what you were looking for. Some call it Fasttracker-stereo :)

C-5 00 -- 01 0000 | C-5 00 -- 80 0901  
-- -- -- -- ---- | -- -- -- -- ----  

The same trick will do if you use the Delay DSP, click on “mute source”, set the left delay to minimum and the right delay slightly (10 - 100 ms) above the left one.

I do the first example on vocals sometimes but then I lower the highs on the delayed channel so you get that unison effect only on the melodic frequencies and won’t hear any doubled sibilants (which would be ugly).

Now the first trick won’t work, if you have long samples, because Renoise always adresses the whole sample with the 9xx effect in a kind of intelligent way, while Fasttracker didn’t. So the longer the sample in Renoise is, the less accurate the adressing works with 9xx. But you can make Renoise behave oldskoolish by setting the 9xx effect to Fasttracker mode.
I don’t recommend this because it comes along with a couple of disadvantages.

However, if you have long but soft mono samples like strings or leads, then you can still be in Renoise mode and do the 9xx effect - one wouldn’t hear any synchronization issues.

There’s one more trick to get stereo sound, also being used on Fasttracker back then. Say you’re having a mono Rhodes sample and you want to play chords with that. Depending on how many notes your chord has, you can slightly pan the first note to left, the second one to right, the third one to left, fourth to right, etc. But for this I’d rather suggest to use any of the today’s internal dsp’s that create a stereo sound (phaser, delay, flanger, reverb).

After using one of these three tricks, you can also put a stereo expander behind the sound and see if it’s nice to widen the stereo image a bit more.

edit: some typos and reworked explanation

Thanks, this is all very useful!

I used to do the 901 trick in protracker, but since it is usually played mono, the effect is commonly used to get a flanger, for example on snares or drum rolls.