Stereo Love (aka "that stereo phase thing")

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When you are producing material with a wide stereo field, you are bound to lose some gain due to stereo phase cancellation.  I try to mix my stuff so that the gain is lost more or less equally across the frequency spectrum, so I get a similar sounding mono track to my stereo one. 


Generally (and I say that because as you know for every rule there is an exception), I have a mono kick, a snare that's close to mono on the low end and a bit wider at the top (but not much), and everything else is mixed to taste but so that the only real change when  converted to mono is that the drums are a bit more prominent. 

Obviously, things in the sub ~74hz range are completely mono so that I don't end up with no sub bass in the mono mix. 

I use "Haas effect"  (delay based) widening sparingly, and only on the full frequency range (excluding drums and sub bass because they get funny).  Most of my prominent delays are 1:1 time wise for L/R

For this same reason(mono compatibility and delay complications), I try not to go crazy on the 'verb as it leads to mono mud.

Occasionally I will pan things (for an effect or what have you) but I


My question is,, as far as electronic stuff is concerned:


1) amidoinitrite?


2) what is an acceptable level of overall gain loss?


I try to lose no more than 3db of RMS gain MAX and generally am able to get more than a wide enough sounding piece, but I'm always looking to improve....thoughts/tips/tricks for a wide mix?

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What exactly do you define as a wide mix? There are several definitions to what constitutes a wide mix, and everyone views it differently. I've been told I make wide mixes more than once, but I feel mine are actually fairly narrow. 

How I approach the entire situation of it is like this. I make my mono straight up wonderful. In fact I do the majority of my mixing in mono because I feel it ends up creating a better sounding mix on the whole as I spend more time actually focusing on the general vibe of the track and separation of the instruments. As an added plus when you've got a decent sounding mono mix doing the stereo aspect is super simple and easy. 

Really the big thing I think a lot of people assume when they're mixing is that they need to use all sorts of techniques to generate the width artificially rather than baking it into the mix from the get go of the mix. That is to say they're not really trying to figure out how to build a sound stage in which they can place the various instruments in relation to each not only in terms of distance but also pan. 

With that being said though there are certainly tricks you can play to generate more width than you'd normally be able to with just pan. You mentioned Haas delays which is one way. Another way is to use reverb. One thing I like to do from time to time is create the space with just normal reverb and then on certain instruments use a really effecty reverb with a stereo width plug set to the maximum then blend the reverbs together in stereo so they sound good. The cool thing is that when the track is collapsed back into mono often that really effecty reverb disappears or gets much quieter allowing the reverb you used to create to really come to life. In busier mixes something I like to do is actually put the effects on the opposite channel. So, for example say I've got a piano in the left channel. In the right channel I'll place the reverb with a short predelay. On its own it sounds weird, but in the context of the mix it actually sounds very good. It is kind of like a Haas delay except that when collapsed to mono puts the reverb on the instrument where you expect it to be. Another option is Automatic Double Tracking, which basically is as it sounds. You create a double track and hard pan things. It isn't perfect but it can work wonders. However, most importantly I feel is that you really have to utilize a combination of these if you want to get extreme width and have it sound good.

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