Stereo

I dont really know which topic this belongs, because it is not really a beginners question, and it is not a tip from me to you. Maybe you have tips to me though. :)

Anyway… A problem I’ve had since I begun with music is to create a well balanced stereo image in my songs. When composing in Renoise, I think everything sounds so good so it all ends up with that everything are in mono but with reverb (which makes it slightly more wide.)

With strings, chords, etc I can use it with Big Tick Dual Delay;
Tempo: OFF
Wet: 100%
Dry: 0%
Left Channel: 10.00 ms
Right Channel: 10.45 ms
… Then it get as wide as it can get.

So then I have things in 100% mono and in 100% stereo. But what about everything in between? Some people say that I should have every instrument in individual positions. But if I use that technique, then some parts of the song could sound too much in iether left or right channel and I hate that.

Another guy who use Reason, says that he can easy do a nice stereo image. He do use individual positions, but in another way; for instance one instrument 40% in not just one channel, but in both. With other words; 0840 and 08C0 at the same time, if you see my point. :)

This sounds interesting. I guess everything depends on what genre you do as well, but generally I think this technique is the most easiest and effective. The question is just how to do it. I’ve tried Stereo Separation in the DSP chains, but I dont think it works out that well. I use VSTi’s often, and they should have support of this. I think this is possible with Supwerwave P8 VSTi, but how to do it in Synth1 VSTi ? … Which I use a lot.

So, how do you guys handle this “stereo issue”?

Put it in poly mode and use two tracks. Or use two send tracks with muted source, or send track and gainer after send device for panning. It could get a bit messy tho 'cause you can not move send tracks between the note tracks.

I feel very dumb, but I dont understand what you’re trying to say at all. I have to read the manual about send channels, something I dont use. Anyway, so this is the only way to make nice stereo in Renoise?

Use chorus, flanger. Pan hihats, different hats to different positions in the stereo field. If you use reverb on an instrument you can place it ‘further away’ in the mix by reducing the dry signal.

If you put a reverb in send track 1 and route a track to it, you can place a gainer after the send device, which should be set to ‘keep source’, to adjust the amount of dry signal to pass though. Most reverbs has the option to adjust dry/wet internally.

Try use the stereo expander or the width setting in Renoise on a stereo signal to make it wider.

Back in the days when I used trackers without any stereo shaping tools, I used to run the same sample twice, or even three times, then delayed one or two of the samples by a few miliseconds, optionally panning them differently and/or applying a slight vibratio to mimic chorus. I still use this trick to this day on hihats to make them sound richer, wider.

There is a cool plugin called Hi Frequency Stimulator that creates new high frequency content from the original signal. It also has a nice little feature that delays one of the channels to make it sound fuller/wider.

Stereo delays are ‘absolutely essential’ to create a nice stereo image. Renoise’s native delay does the job, but there are tons of other delay plugins that can do more complex, interesting things to your sound.

Hope this helps.

But then the first “hit” will be mono, and only the “after-effect” will blow out wider?

I have to try this one, I am not so familiar with send tracks/send devices though so I have no idea how it works.

The Stereo Expander is not that good I think, or maybe I have just misunderstood it, lol. Width setting, what is that?

(Hmm maybe I should have post this in the Beginners Questions after all :rolleyes: )

Reminds of my trick with Big Tick Dual Delay in my first post in this thread. :) Although I do it on long sounds like strings, chords - never hihats. Seems like there are a lot of tricks to make Stereo and we use it very individually, which is a good thing I think.

Strange. However “delays one of the channels” only make great 100% stereo I guess… But if I want it in the between? Or just slightly? Is then the send devices I should go for?

I use a lot of delays, but like I said before, the “first hits” are straightly in mono.

It does… Thanks a lot! :yeah:

First of all, you have to understand that you can’t simply take a mono sound and turn it into a stereo one. Well, you can, but not entirely so. Basically it’s like taking a blue colour and trying to paint a picture that in the end should contain both a blue and red colour.

A stereo sound is nothing more than two mono channels played back in either channels, but those two mono channels aren’t simply the same ones delayed by a few ms – a good stereo sample is different in a lot more ways than that. Cos that’s what you get if you use the Big Tick Dual Delay with those settings (two mono sounds are played back in either channel and delayed by a few ms), or using effects 0840 and 08C0 in two channels. In fact, doing the latter doesn’t give you any effect other than a louder volume. One of the channels has to actually be delay by a few ms to create a stereo delay, resulting in what’s almost perceived as a stereo sound.

So that’s one way to create a perceived stereo sound out of a mono sample – you could pan the source hard left and add a delay panned hard right.

VSTis generally are stereo, so you won’t have to really worry about that one.

Another way to create a perceived stereo sound is to use a good reverb plug-in. The results can usually be quite effective, but the lower your dry/wet ratio is the less stereo the sound will be of course (more of the mono sound will be audible rather than there stereo reverb sound).

Other ways are just to add lots of delay taps all through the stereo spectrum to increase the sense of space, and as Enigmatic said, experiment with chorus and flanger effects and just pan things around a bit to add space. But really, you’ll never get the same result as if your samples were stereo to begin with.

Yep, that’s exactly true, and I covered that in my post. You can’t turn a mono sample into a true stereo one.

Thanks a lot for your great post, Atlantis!

However what I meant with 840/8C0 was just to make you understand what I was trying to say. I know that panning the same sample that way will make it mono. With Reason, and the instruments that is being used there, this is however possible obviously - because it is not about single mono samples. I want to cover the whole stereo field, and I guess it doesnt get covered totally if I use only hard-left and hard-right-techniques a’la Big Tick Dual Delay.

I use Synth1 very often nowadays. And the presets of it does not play stereo automaticly, or what do you mean? If I apply a’la Big Tick Dual Delay though it gets 100% stereo, so I dont get it. I have created songs with this synth… You just listened to “Justice In The End” for instance, and people are noticing the minor stereo image.

Well, to be honest I don’t have enough experience and knowledge of such stereo implementations yet to be sure, but I just did a quick test in Renoise and didn’t hear any obvious differences when taking two stereo samples and panning them either side. I also used the Waves MondoMod effect to pan the two sounds, but it all sounds fairly much the same. And Reason shouldn’t be any different.

It’s all quite interesting though so I’ll be sure to look more into it at some stage.

If you want to cover the whole stereo field, all you need to do is fill it. ;) If you’re going to use a stereo delay effect such as the Big Tick Dual Delay, you (usually) have the source at the centre, and the delays panned hard left and hard right. This won’t directly fill, say, the ranges at 75% left and 75% right, so you really just need to pan sources there too or set up the delays so that they fill these ranges.

If you think about it, if you happen to have an instance where both the source (dry) and the delay (wet) play at the same time, the sound will appear to originate at about the half way point between the centre and hard left (or right depending on which delay we’re talking about), but most of the time there will still be a gap there.

So this should hopefully explain what I mean. Just pan instruments at values all through the spectrum, but be careful not to overdo it of course or you end up with chaos. You have to apply some kind of balanced ratios…like if you put a lead in the centre, put a rhodes playing some chords at 33 L, and some congas at 44 R etc. It gets a bit hard as Renoise has panning values up to 50 on either side instead of 100, but in this case I panned the rhodes two-thirds towards hard left, and the congas a further two-thirds of that but then to the right. A bit complicated to understand maybe but just make up your own way of doing things. :)

As for “Justice In The End”: It does perhaps sound a little centred, but I hardly noticed this actually. I think it plays in adding to the atmosphere of the tune by emphasising the synthyness of things somehow. Also, reverb plays a big part here, because I hear you’ve used a reverb that has a very narrow room setting, and the late reflections are fairly loud as well making things sound even more distant within that room. I take it you’ve used Renoise’s native effects? Try a high quality reverb such as the Waves IR1 and you’ll hear what a difference it makes. The sound will be much wider and fuller. ;)

But Reason can use “their own” instruments, which are not samples I think. It’s called Refills or something… Maybe those are capable of that panning technique. I don’t know iether, I just heard acecream mentioned it.

Exactly. But I’m not sure if delays can fill up space of its own. Sure it will sound wider, but not as wide as it would get if we had instruments in all areas.

Cool! So now I can pan things 100% AND 50% to left and right, right? lol

Yeah I was aware of that, that I can pan instruments in that way. But I’m not sure if I like it. In this way there are percussions only at the right, and music in left. Even though I maybe use the numbers correct, I’m afraid it would still sound more in one channel. However when we’re talking about instruments like that, I would probably pan the congas so various hits are in different positions - the chords in 100% stereo and yes the lead in centre.

What do you mean by 50 and 100? I use to work with hexidecimals, so panning are from 00 to FF I think. ;) But I know what you mean with that panning techniqe, but as I said it is not my big favourite as it makes the left and right sound so different. And afaiu the point of stereo is to only make slightly differences. But I’m not 100% sure about anything of this, that’s why I started this topic.

I used Stereo Expander, I guess that’s why it doesn’t feel centered but I think everything are placed in the middle. And yes the ordinary reverb in Renoise is used, I think it sound good with big Room Size and small Send setting.
As for Waves IR1… lol, 800 dollars?! Yeah I really hope it will sound better with that amount of money spent. Well I guess I can get this unlegal as well, but I’m not really that kind of guy. The new mpReverb in Renoise 1.5 sounds great enough for me, but I guess I’ll change my mind if I hear something expensive :)
However, this discussion was not about this, but how to make “true” stereo in the best way. And afair you didn’t like artificial effects/cheating to make stereo? ;)

Reason’s Refills aren’t anything more fancy than Renoise’s or any other tracker’s instruments. They’re simply a collection of samples…perhaps mapped to specific notes etc. but I’m not sure about that. The main point: they’re nothing special at all and certainly wouldn’t allow you to do that. It’s just a rule of audio that panning two of the same mono sounds at 50% left and 50% right (or similar) won’t be any different than playing that sound only in the middle.

In fact, since the output of pretty much everything is in stereo (take Renoise, for example), loading a mono sample into that program will cause it to play the one mono channel hard left and hard right anyway to make it compatible with the stereo output. I’m really not sure what acecream is going on about there, but I guess there is some misunderstanding going on.

Yes, they can. Provdided they’re loud enough of course, in which case they act just like a source sound panned at that location, which makes what you say about it not being as wide if we had instruments panned in all these areas a valid point, only because the delays are usually quieter.

Not sure if that was a sarcastic reply, or?

Well that’s partly the point of stereo – it gives you the possibility to pan things around the spectrum instead of bunching them all up on top of eachother.

And it would only be a case of percussions only being in the right and music in the left if you panned each at hard left or hard right (i.e. 100%). If you pan things around subtly, you only gain benefits because the instruments don’t crowd around one centre.

Well, hexadecimals, 50, 100…it doesn’t matter what units you’re using, but what matters is the range of the scale. Currently Renoise works with 50 units either side of the centre, but if this were 100 it would be a bit easier to get your hear around placing an instrument at 50% towards the right speaker, for example, in which case you’d know to select 50 instead of the 25 you have to do now. A topic for the ideas/suggestions forum maybe? ;)

And making the left and right sound different is the whole point of stereo though…

About Reason… Yeah Ok, have to talk about that with Acecream.

Yeah ok, yeah I used a lot of delays in Justice In The End, maybe that is a good trick after all.

Hehe, no! Why would I be sarcastic in the middle of a serious discussion? I just wrote “lol” because the sentence itself I wrote turned out somewhat funny (at least I thought so) … “”“Cool! So now I can pan things 100% AND 50% to left and right, right? lol”""

However… Let me rephrase the question: So, lets say, if we have the same amount on both wet and dry it will not be panned hard left & right, BUT only 50% in both left and right? I’ve tested this and it seems to be in this way, and if this is right, that would mean I should be happy about it, because this was the effect I was looking for. But I can only choose iether 100% or 50% left & right (depending on what the settings on the dry and wet are), not 25% and 75%… So, am I thinking right here? … Or left? ;) Hehe another lame attempt at a joke :)

And about 50 / 100 unit thing. I didn’t knew about this… 00-FF doesn’t make iether 50 or 100, so I am not really following here…
:unsure:

My advide would be not to get too caught up in numbers and theory. Don’t pan something 50% right just cos you think it’ll result in a balanced mix, pan it 50% right cos it sounds right. Use some of the tricks you learn and listen. If it sounds good, it’s all good baby :)

True. Thanks for the tip Enigmatic :)

Yes, but if I remember correctly those delays were only panned hard left and hard right. In that case you have something like this:

L |-------|-------| R

where the | represent a sound source. The centre | is the original source, and the extreme left and extreme right are the delays. But you have nothing panned in between. I’m not sure if the delay plug-in you’re using supports panning of the individual delays, neither am I sure if Renoise’s native effects allow you to do this, but have a look. Or otherwise check RAVE-n’s VST tutorial. ;)

Hmm, your jokes are confusing me even more now. I’m really not following in that middle paragraph. :unsure:

Well, think of it this way:

Using the 08xx effect you get panning positions ranging from 00 to FF, 00 being hard left and FF being hard right. Using the panning slider on each track, on the other hand, you have a range of -50 to 50. This doesn’t mean that 00 converts to -50 or that FF converts to 50 (not that it does anyway), but rather it’s just giving you a a scale and set of units that divide that scale. Both are just two different ways of dividing up the left to right spectrum, that’s all.

And Enigmatic is right. I tend to make things more complicated than they really are. Just trust your ears, and if you have to then you can rely on the technical facts to get things more perfect at the end.

This’s Exactly Correct! I’m using the built-in delay effect in Renoise, yes. I think it’s good, but it doesn’t support panning adjustments of the delays I think. One question… What happens with the delays if I pan the instrument in some way… Will it appear like this;

L |----------|----| R

Forget all my jokes and let me start over again, trying to explain as easy as I can… I explained in my original post of this thread a trick to make 100% stereo with Big Tick Dual Delay;

Tempo: OFF
Wet: 100%
Dry: 0%
Left Channel: 10.00 ms
Right Channel: 10.45 ms

So what you mean is, if I adjust the wet and dry effect to 50% each, the panning will be 50% both to the left and right? But if I adjust it to for instance 25% each, the panning will not get 25% to the left and right?

Ahh, then I understand! I think :) So, you mean that Renoise only uses half of the stereo potential?

Indeed. However, even though I make things in my own way, it is always interesting to know how other works with this issue especially because I feel this is one of the subjects I could use some more knowledge of. But… It feels like people are keeping silent, as if their best tips and tricks other should not know… :ph34r: :D

Yep, that’s correct. Because you can’t pan the individual delays and they are set to hard left and hard right by default.

In the scenario you have written above, you will not hear the source (original) sound but only two copies of that, one panned hard left and the other panned hard right, spaced 0.45 ms apart. Note that in such a case you should really be using a left delay of 0 ms and a right delay of 0.45 ms, because when using 10 ms and 10.45 ms you end up a 10 ms offset before you hear the first sound.

And yes, that’s somewhat what I mean. But only when the delay (wet) and the original (dry) sound at the same time, and are at the same volume (which the 50% dry and 50% wet does).

Think of it this way:

If you have the dry sound playing at volume 100 (just think of ‘volume’ as ranging from 0-100 in this example), and the wet sound is a delay, also at volume 100, which sounds 500 ms after this, and is positioned hard left. What you’ll hear is an echo in the left channel, 500 ms after the dry sound.

But if the delay was set to 0 ms, both sounds would play at the same time and so the perceived stereo position would be half way between hard left and the centre…at least I think so anyway, it’s late and I should probably test this in case I’m confusing you. But yes, I believe if you set both the dry and wet to 50% then the delays would be at 50% left and 50% right…but only if both the dry and wet happen to play at the same time, or are spaced 0 ms apart.

If you set both the dry and wet to 25%, then the sound would still appear to come from 50% left and 50% right because both the dry and the wet are still at the same volume. But this only happens when both sounds play at the same time, because otherwise you just get a separate echo in the left and right channels, simply perceived as being panned hard left and hard right.

It’s only when you set the dry and wet to different volumes and they happen to play at the same time that the sound would appear to come from, say, 25% left or 25% right.

No, that’s exactly wrong and not what I meant. :) Renoise most certainly uses the full potentional, but 800-8FF and -50L to 50R are completely unrelated and just two different ways of dividing up the left to right scale. -50 doesn’t technically equal 800, but the idea behind it is the same in that both pan the sound hard left.

OK. Thanks for all the answers! I think I understand… Well, most of it… :)

However, to step back a bit in the conversation… I tried the Superwave P8 VSTi, it support this feature I want. On each preset I can adjust the stereo, from full mono to full stereo. Look here

Too bad I cant do this with Synth1 VSTi, well I have not discovered it yet at least. So then I have to use Big Tick Dual Delay. And as you say, only the delays makes the stereo effect. Is this a recommended technique you think? Or what is the best? How do you make stereo in your songs? Just wondering ;)

Actually it doesn’t seem like it’s clicked yet, but I really don’t know how to explain it any easier or differently I’m afraid. :(

From the looks of that Superwave P8 screenshot, no, that doesn’t give you the possibility to make it from full mono to full stereo. That just gives you control over the panning position of each of the oscillators.

There are two separate oscillators that generate sound, and you can pan these separately wherever you want in the stereo spectrum. Most likely each of these oscillators do already produce stereo output, but by moving those pots you can place the location of that sound. I could explain that this works by reducing or increasing the volume of one of the stereo channels so that the sound appears to originate off-centre, but that would probably just confuse you even more, right?

Synth1 probably produces stereo output as well – I really don’t see why not. Do you have a screenshot of that maybe so I can see?

Using the Big Tick Dual Delay doesn’t directly make your sound stereo just like that. It only adds “stereo delays”, and it appears to widen the sound. It doesn’t make it stereo at all, since it already is. Perhaps not very wide, but it still would be stereo.

How I make stereo in my songs? By using stereo samples. :) Some are wider than others though, so the effects might be harder to hear on some sounds.

Well I noticed the StereoExpander in the new Renoise version yesterday, so I know what you mean now. I dont like how it works in this version, in v.1.281 it was simplier; -100, 0 and 100 … not 50. I mean, if I want an instrument to be 1/4 to the right, I just set it to 25%. But to devide 50 in the same way is harder… Uhm, 12,5…

Another question… Do you know how I make the arranger to the left to count hexadecimal? I wonder why the first pattern is numbered 0, when it is not hexadecimal at all.

Hehe, exactly… But it does gives an very believeable stereoeffect, doesn’t it? But you mean that this is not true stereo iether?

Sure :)

Synth1 image

Doesn’t it get as wide as it can get? Not counting the first shot, but the delays are as wide as they can get, right?

Do you use only samples? I thought everyone was using VSTi’s nowadays… :) Well, I use to use samples for percussions and sometimes effects. VSTi’s for everything else and sometimes effects. However, about that stereo thing, that is exactly the effect I was looking for… Different “wideness” on every instrument.