Compared to other stereo widening plug-ins, StageOne is the smoothest and most transparent sounding, while retaining the centre punch and transient clarity. Slide it all the way up and it can even push the sound outside the speakers. When you increase Depth, it adds a delicate, smearing ambience to the sound that pushes it back into the mix while adding a little extra width. It is neutral at 100 percent and collapses toward mono with values less than 100 percent or widens out with values above 100 percent. Left, Centre, Right Contrary to common misconceptions the centre channel is not designed for dialogue only.
The Auto button automatically compares input to output levels and matches; I found this to work best when adding a Stereoizer effect late in my mix process—there was no need to reset or redo automation moves for newly processed tracks. Unwanted phase inconsistencies are easily taken care of; low frequencies can sound more centered and solid within the mix. You can see how narrow the stereo field becomes in the graphic, just where it starts to open up into full stereo. Although the panning of a track is seen as an essential part of the mixing process, the actual width of a sound or channel is often overlooked, but can have a dramatic impact on the quality and depth of a mix. Under the hood are three advanced and carefully tweaked algorithms for controlling width, which have been distilled down to two controls each, plus an Output Trim. Stereoplacer window Stereoplacer finishes with an output meter to show clips and the ability to do a spectrum analysis before and after the stereo redistribution.
I used Monofilter on a sustaining stereo pad that I had developed through a nice mix of stereo effects using reverb, multitap delays and chorus. First up is Width, which can be used on stereo signals to stretch the sides further away from the centre, while leaving the phantom centre signal untouched. Up to 10 color-coded parametric nodes can be used at the same time. Visually, you can see exactly where to set this point, and it is adjustable relative to frequency with the high width control. The Width effect is good for creating space as it increases the distance between the centre and side elements, and works well on things like backing vocals, or to gently widen a whole mix. Phantom power Finally, we have the Mono Spread control, which stretches the whole signal, including the phantom centre, allowing you to add natural sounding width to a mono source, or to thicken the middle of a mix.
For my music mixing, using this on individual stereo instruments is a winner. The Width control will do nothing to a mono track, but if you add some Mono Spread, then it will widen it further. Unfortunately when your speakers are behind the screen in a cinema, the majority of the audience will be sitting outside the sweetspot. This feature in 0 percent is true solo of just the frequency and its current panned location. Both processors are usable and adjustable separately or will function together. The Stereoizer 3 window, showing intensity of signal across the left-right field. Alongside this you have a high-pass filter, which is a nice addition.
You can tempo-lock in subdivisions and you have a choice of sine, triangle, square or random wave modulation sources. I found it perfect for widening mono pad tracks where I had added stereo delays, chorus and Haas effects. Once you start experimenting with the sliders, it becomes clear that each of these carefully chosen effects has a role. Dialogue, Effects and Music are all designed to be passed through this speaker, and the effectiveness of the front sound image depends on the centre speaker being identical. Leapwing Audio recently released CenterOne, which is a centre channel extraction plugin.
There is also a delay percentage that increases at 0 percent or decreases at 100 percent the relative positional level of the subsequent added curves. Similarly, if you widen a track too far using Width, then you could use a little Mono Spread to help thicken the centre and fill the gap in the mix. The answer actually makes a lot of common sense. It is not like using a Haas effect or phase shifting. The bandwidth of the centre extract can also be controlled within the plugin. Indeed the centre speaker should be of identical frequency response and power to the front left and right speakers. I have then picked up the Centre output of the plugin and brought it back in on a mono aux input, which is fed straight to the centre.
Monofilter was especially useful in controlling recordings with unfortunate room resonances that led to certain bass notes causing modal ringing. You can also weight the signal to the left or right with the Center Gravity control, which might be useful for re-balancing off-centre audio. This can act as a cleaner alternative to traditional reverbs to help push sounds back without making them muddy. I have used it extensively in my current feature mix, where I've been supplied stereo music tracks, but as a submix within Pro Tools, so I can't simply use an upmixer plugin. Rather than compromising the full sound of the pad by just using a conventional highpass filter, I used Monofilter. Then you may set the low-frequency node below which all audio will be mono.
Brighter bursts indicate the focus of stereo energy; this is especially visible with centered mono signals. If you are balancing say music against dialogue, and the music is only coming from the left and right, and the dialogue is only coming from the centre, then if you are sat outside the sweetspot, then the relative balance of the dialogue against the music will be significantly different to what the mixer heard, and indeed what you would hear if you were sat in the sweetspot. I found this useful in troubleshooting stereo instruments and drum kit recordings that unexplainably went off-balance. Stereoplacer 3 redistributes the stereo balance by frequency in a practical way. . It can be ever so subtle and not intrusive at all.
When any node is selected, a detailed control zone indicates its filter type be it bell, or high or low shelving curve , its center frequency, Q or resonance in the case of a shelving equalizer, and current panned position. To compensate for this Dolby and other cinema sound system manufacturers decided to add a third speaker to the front, directly behind the centre of the screen. Conclusion CenterOne is a very effective and versatile plugin. The Result As you can see from the screenshot above, CenterOne is very effective and doesn't introduce any horrible latency. Whilst it is very useful within the stereo domain, it is also really handy for use with dialogues, music and effects in 5. Stereoizer has a great collection of evocatively named presets to choose from, and some of them can dramatically increase output level.