Stereo Imaging

Stereo imaging is the manipulation of a signal within a 180º stereo field. Its main goal is to create a perception of the area within that specific field. Musicians use stereo imaging to produce a sense of space for the listener. It is a typical strategy during tracking, mixing, and mastering. The modern stereo image is quite precise.

Stereo Imaging Today

Music production has suffered major changes throughout the years. Today it involves a wide variety of genres, including electronic music and audio TV productions, as well as gaming audio. Produces and audio engineers need to pay close attention to the smallest details to set the adequate stereo image. Contemporary music software tools have implemented many advantages regarding the stereo imaging. Nowadays, there are many different software plugins you can specifically for controlling the stereo image of audio signals.

Stereo Image: Classification

The stereo image can be classified into three main sections. Firstly, the center 90º image; secondly, the left 45º image; and thirdly and the right 45º image. The majority of the audio signal locates in the center section. In contrast, the left and right sections involve delay and phase cancellation. When it achieves phase cancellation, the signal expands into several parts of the entire 180º stereo image. This expansion depends on multiple variables. Examples of these are the amount of delay used and the frequency and amplitude of the audio signal.

Stereo Imaging: the Mono Signal

Mono signals can appear in stereo signals. For this to happen, the producer or audio engineer must create inequality between the left and right channels regarding time, frequency response, and volume. In some cases, a combination of both channels is necessary. When the user creates this inequality, he’s mimicking the processes in the sounds of nature.

The Stereo Generator: a Perfect Example

The stereo Generator produces very natural sounds. It has two main purposes. To begin with, it can try to improve the stereo image of stereophonic tracks. In second place, it can try to widen and bring close together monophonic ones. The stereo Generator creates small artificial spaces that don’t affect the existing special image. In addition, it involves a plugin specifically designed to sound as natural as possible. This plugin doesn’t tend to affect the spatial position and it adds a very short atmosphere to the incoming signal.