Published on: May 04, 2020
Stereo imaging is an integral part of the mixing process that can make or break your track.
Simply put, stereo imaging is where you spatial place the elements in your mix.
Many producers fail to spend an adequate amount of time adjusting the stereo image of the individual elements and groups of elements in their tracks.
Stereo imaging not only determines how wide or narrow your track will sound, but it will have a direct impact on how powerful your track is.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to mixing stereo image is not knowing where to place the elements in their mix in the stereo field.
To understand where to place the elements in your mix in the stereo field, you can use a reference track and a simple stereo imaging plugin called MSED by Voxengo.
By using this reference track and the stereo imaging plugin, you can listen to how the mids (mono) and sides of the stereo field sound and then you can replicate that in your own track.
The Voxengo MSED lets you solo the mids and sides of the stereo field.
This allows you to isolate the 2 different parts of the stereo field so you can hear how loud each element is in these 2 parts of the stereo field.
Once you get a clear idea of how loud certain elements are in the stereo field in the reference track, you can then replicate this in your own song.
ACTION TO TAKE:
1. Find a song in the same genre or style of the track you are working on.
2. Download and install the Voxengo MSED plugin
3. Place the MSED plugin on the reference track and press the "mid mute" button to listen to just the sides of the stereo field. Take note of how loud each element in the reference track is in the sides of the stereo field. Next, click the "side mute” button and listen to how loud each element is.
4. Replicate how loud each element is in your own track. The reference track is used to be just as that, a reference. Don’t feel you need to get the exact volume level of each individual element the same as in the reference track. You can manipulate the sides and mids of the stereo field to sound similar to your reference track by using the “mid gain” and “side gain” controls on the MSED plugin.
5. Use your ears to make final adjustments to the stereo image of your track.