The importance of wide stereo sound is an accepted truth for the music producers and artists. This is required both while mixing and while recording. Music production will not be that vibrant without the wide stereo sound.
Bluemelein or Mid side technique help to get that effect while recording the music, but when you need to add the effect on the pre-recorded music or song, then it becomes a problem. However, in the modern era of technology, the software can sort any issue. This wide stereo effect also can be achieved by using a software plug-in while playing the track in DAW.
To solve this problem, quite a few free VST and AU plug-in have been developed, and we will now probe into them to know which plug-ins are best for this purpose.
Best stereo width plug-ins
We are now discussing the best and most effective plug-ins instructor. If you need to make the individual track wider you can get that done with these below-mentioned software plug-ins.
- Ozone Imager by iZotope
This is a free plug-in and it provides the unique feature of imaging technology. It has been recapitulated from the owner company’s own Ozone mastering suite. It has a fully-featured version, but here we will be talking about the simpler Ozone imager counterpart. This technique is used to narrow or widen the image of your audio track so you can precisely modify that.
The brand Ozone is famous for their imaging technique, so this plug-in also helps to provide visual feedback of the audio playing in DAW. This is the best option for you to set the parameters while working on the modification of the track. The vectorscope and correlation meter is also present in this plug-in so you can precisely soundstage while mastering the width of the track.
- Voxengo Stereo Touch
Stereo Touch works with mid or side coding and it can transform the most basic mono sources to stereophonic sounds. When you are working with mono sources with lesser or no impact, like sharp transient or loud musical instruments, it can be spiced up by widening acoustic or synthesizer, electrical guitar and vocals. This plug-in can create magic with the spaces. The expansive surround produced by this plug-in is just the right thing to avoid double tracking.
You can easily get that effect by using this plug-in and will not have to spend time and energy on that. It can work on multi-channel input signals and treats each signal as a mono signal independently. The output will be a single stereo signal after the stereos are streamed together. This is the quickest way to add stereo imaging or if you wish to widen a mono source, you can use this plug-in to get the best result.
- A1StereoControl by A1Audio
The name of this plug-in says it all. The stereo image can be precisely controlled with this. Aided only with a single knob, you can utilize this plug-in to expand or limit the track to the utmost degree. While stereoizing bass sounds, you can surpass the common issues, with the help of “safe bass” algorithm. This helps to centralize all the low frequencies below the threshold where the users will be unable to define them.
Thus bass and other low-end sounds are kept at the centre of the stereo spread, and no phasing issue comes up. There is no particular side or mid control in the imaging, still, this plug-in keeps the low end away the low end sounds so those did not collapse on the mono.
- MAutopan by MeldaProduction
This, unlike the previous ones, is not a dedicated stereo imager. You can rather call it a panning plug-in. but still, it is quite capable of stereo imaging. There is a unique modulation system which can control the adjustable oscillators. These oscillators are there to combine predefined shapes, custom waveforms, and post-processing which is algorithm-based. Your sound thus can be placed right on the stereo as you will control the system efficiently.
When you need to handle more than mono and stereo sources, check MAutopan. This plug-in can processes up to eight channels, along with the surround audio. Thus it is not only a studio device for track modification but also a great game tool and can be used in film audio production.
- QuickQuack Audio UpStereo
This plug-in has the simplest controls, and it is a classic stereo imaging tool. This one efficiently stereoize mono source. The working method of this plug-in involves a fixed-frequency EQ, a unit for stereo widening, a loud switch, and the output is wider and louder tracks. The option of putting the sound into overdrive is available with UpStereo. This is how the individual sounds are made without extensive processing. You can combine the audio widening feature with the tracks and get the independent tracks with this plug-in.
- Brainwork bx_solo
You can get this plug-in by registering at Plugin Alliance for free. This one is a free stereo imaging plug-in. the supreme technique of m/s processing is employed by this plug-in to produce the ultimate control over the placement of sounds at the stereo spread. The extensive ranges of solo features are not available with it, but a few comprehensive features can be experienced in this plug-in. you can successfully hear the left, right, middle and side channels at the tracking time. While working on ay DAW you will be able to function smoothly with this ability. Not all the plug-in in the list offer this flexibility.
- Dimension Expander by Xfer Records
This one has been designed after the famous Boss/Roland Dimension D chorus effect. This one is a spatial expander and it splits the audio into four parts. The phase is flipped into two streams and then these are delayed, meanwhile, the plug-in produces a rich and wide textured lush sound which has got punch and clarity. As you can assume, this plug-in is best at one job, but definitely, that job is done meticulously. This one is again a free plug-in, and if you compare it to other pricey plug-ins, you will definitely admit that it surely can be added to your host of stereo imaging plug-in lot.
From the list above, we declare the Ozone Imager to be all-rounder, thus it should top the list. iZotope has been a clear winner in the field of stereo imaging with the highest level of flexibility, control and sound quality, and it can single-handedly justify all you need in the sector of imaging. Other competitors like Voxengo, A2StereoControl or MAutopan are special for their own causes too. The capabilities offered by this imaging plug-ins make them a must-keep to any sound mixer’s library.