stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

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33tetragammon
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stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:43 pm

hi all,

i'm looking for a good stereo widener plugin for mastering.(which DOESN'T require an ilok btw)
i'm using MAC.

currently i use izotope ozone 4's stereo widener,but it does something to the sound that makes it unnatural.

thanks!

3dot...
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:52 pm

Image

33tetragammon
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:05 pm

thanks a lot,3 dot!

will try it out!

Tarekith
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:08 pm

I've heard a lot of good thigns about the Sonalksis one as well:

http://www.sonalksis.com/index.php?section_id=107

33tetragammon
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:24 pm

great,thanks Tarekith.
btw,what do you use for a task like this?

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:31 pm

hmmm,strange:
FLUX stereotool doesn't do anything except display the stereo image/levels and phase shift.
the rest doesn't do anything

leedsquietman
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:34 pm

Sonalksis stereo tools is awesome. As are most of their products.

But - be careful with stereo widening, it's a tool which has to be used with subtlety unless you are using it for special FX purposes.

The best part about the Sonalksis stereo tools is the monoize function, so that your kick drums sound really centred, set a frequency i.e. 80 Hz, everything undeneath that threshold goes to mono. It's easy to do mid/side processing too.

It's a lot like Waves S1 and PAZ Analyser put together.
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33tetragammon
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:44 pm

Sonalksis stereo tools is awesome. As are most of their products.
agreed,Sonalksis is totally amazing.i used their sv-315,517&DQ-1 for some time now,and they are truly gorgeous on anything!
But - be careful with stereo widening, it's a tool which has to be used with subtlety unless you are using it for special FX purposes.
i understand,i did some widening with ozone 4,but the mids and highs started to get some sort of boost in frequencies that were annoying and tiring to listen to.so i decreased it,but still the same effect to a lesser degree.
The best part about the Sonalksis stereo tools is the monoize function, so that your kick drums sound really centred, set a frequency i.e. 80 Hz, everything undeneath that threshold goes to mono. It's easy to do mid/side processing too.

It's a lot like Waves S1 and PAZ Analyser put together.
well,thanks a lot guys!

case closed,i'm getting the Sonalksis!

see you around!

all the best!

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:55 pm

33tetragammon wrote:great,thanks Tarekith.
btw,what do you use for a task like this?
Pretty rare I need to mess with the stereo imaging in a tune when mastering to be honest. I can think of maybe one time in the last 2 years I had to? Usually I'll just work with the artist to suggest some fixes they can make in the mixdown to solve the problem, and then they resend me the file. When that's not an option, I'm more likely to decode the file to m/s, apply processing, then re-encode it to stereo again. In that case, Vonxengo has a free M/s decoder, and most of their plug ins can work in m/s mode.

But as was mentioned, be careful doing this, there's often times more issues that you make than solve when you start manipulating the stereo width. Mono playback is one of course, but too much and it'll just sound weird on most people's playback system too.

BTW, I love the early Sonalksis plug ins, and use the SV-517 a LOT. But I was really unimpressed with the mastering suite except for the stereo tools. Their limiter is one of the least transparent ones I've tried, and starts pumping very early on. Not recommended for mastering ironically (IMVHO of course).

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:10 pm

I had that opinion at first too on MultiLimit, but as I have used it more, I have really grown to like it.

It can actually be very transparent, almost too much so, when you set a long release time, with the smooth function turned up past 80 and the 'soft' button turned in, it really preserves transients.

Then again, for your average boom-boom-boom-boom 4 on the floor, bass heavy, heavily volume maximized dance tracks, this would obviously not suffice, and it is less transparent when smooth is less than 25% and the release time is less than 20ms. Then again, many people use an L2 and that is one of the least transparent limiters of all, so many people are used to the colour that gives in that genre.

It also rocks at bringing old stereo cassette mixes to life with the multiband options.

I still use Voxengo Elephant as my main go to tool, but recently used MultiLimit on 7 tracks from a 10 track album I mastered for someone else and they loved the sound *I gave them a blind A/B/C mix with MultiLimit, PSP Xenon and Voxengo Elephant for 3 tracks, they chose MultiLimit ahead of the others on 2/3 tracks and placed it 2nd on the other track*. One thing I dislike about Multilimit though is it's lack of oversampling. I often run Elephant on 8x multisampling as a safety net, with no input or output gain at the same release setting as Multilimit just to make sure there are no intersample peaks.
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mr.adl
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by mr.adl » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:22 pm

+1 for Sonalksis Stereowider. Not on the cheap side but sounds just best.

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:29 pm

I still use Voxengo Elephant as my main go to tool
yeah,it's a wonderful plugin,sounds really good,really transparent.i just started demoing that.love it!!!!

ozone 4's "intelligent 2" algorithm for the loudness maximizer(geez,i HATE that word!) sounds really good,but Elephant sounds even better(more neutral)

so while we're at it,any recommendation on a really good and TRANSPARENT (fullband)mastering compressor,which has really low ratio's like 1.1:1 and doesn't require an ilok or dongle?

btw Tarekith,how do you like that Voxengo polysquasher you bought recently?

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:38 pm

Loving Polysquasher, very clean sounding, and being able to do parallel compression internally with it (my mian use for it) is great. Only downside to the Voxengo stuff is that they can be kind of complex, you can't just find a preset and set it and forget it for most material. Elephant3 for instance will sometimes distort certain sounds, and unless you're really familir with what all the controls do, I could see it being confusing trying to solve that.

Still my favorite limiter though, for just that reason.

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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by 33tetragammon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:51 pm

Tarekith wrote:Loving Polysquasher, very clean sounding, and being able to do parallel compression internally with it (my mian use for it) is great. Only downside to the Voxengo stuff is that they can be kind of complex, you can't just find a preset and set it and forget it for most material. Elephant3 for instance will sometimes distort certain sounds, and unless you're really familir with what all the controls do, I could see it being confusing trying to solve that.

Still my favorite limiter though, for just that reason.
yeah,i understand what you mean,i'm still in the process of getting used to it.
won't be hard,because i WANT to understand though......

take care!

leedsquietman
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Re: stereo tools for mastering;which do you recommend?

Post by leedsquietman » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:14 pm

Elephant is cool because it does transparent really well, but can do to the sound what a junkyard crusher does to a rusted 1984 Yugo car if you need that effect. Like taking out a bad man not with a 9mm Glock, but with an anti-tank gun.

It has several algorithms and a wide range of controls. The oversampling cannot be beaten and the GUI is customizable.

Having DC filter and Dither can also be handy, although I tend to use Soundforge for removing DC Offset and more dedicated dithering solutions.
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