Jan Krüger's blog

Creative Engineering and randomness


Oh well, better late than never. I present to you the next version of Stereo Pan (announcement for previous version), introducing a second mode of operation: the subtle mode. It’s called that because its effect is more subtle. Duh. A great property of it is that it doesn’t distort the sound if the output is downmixed to mono. If you downmix to mono while using Stereo Pan in its normal mode, you get a flanger-style effect on the sound.

(A newer version is available!)

So perhaps you noticed that I’m a musician and also a coder. What better than to combine both of those and write software I can use when making music?

My first project for this was writing a VST plugin (VST is a trademark of Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH and it’s basically an effect interface supported by a large number of DAW applications) that does stereo expanding. What’s that, then?

A trick that’s well known among musicians and mixing engineers for making something sound fuller is to record the exact same thing twice and then superimpose these two takes. A special case of that is putting one take in the left stereo channel and the other in the right. If you do that, it will sound a lot “wider” in the song, and it will also dominate the overall sound of the song a lot more.

Sometimes, though, you’re short on time or don’t have two takes of something handy (or it’s actually impossible to get two takes). Enter stereo expanders! They basically pretend that you recorded two takes, and pan them left/right for you. I’ve got one right here for you, and it’s free to download.