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Simple Mono-to-Stereo Converter


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Been fooling around with this...it's an EQ-based way to convert mono into stereo, that collapses perfectly back to mono if you choose the right panning law.

 

1. Split your mono track into two mono tracks, and pan them left and right using a -6 dB linear pan law.

2. Insert a 5-band multiband dynamics processor into one of the tracks, and set the compression ratio to 1:1 to defeat any compression action.

3. Set the band split points as desired (i.e., roughly the same amount of perceived level in each band)

4. Copy the 5-band multiband dynamics processor into the other track.

5. Mute the multiband dynamics processor's bands 2 and 4 in one track, and bands 3 and 5 in the other track. Leave the lowest band alone so the bass stays centered.

 

Done! The reason for using the -6 dB Linear pan law is to avoid a center-channel buildup as you move the panpots closer to center or collapse into mono, but you can use whatever pan law you want as long as you're aware of the potential center-channel issue.

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There's good reason to make a centre voice in a stereo reproduction not equal amounts of left and right, even though this is logical for the sweet spot and lack of "head related transfer" function mixing.

 

Apart from perfect mono reduction, even, because the way a voice in the middle of the two stereo speakers is perceived everywhere else except the sweet spot has to do with creating a acoustic field, which makes normal listeners believe the sound is coming from somewhere in between the stereo speaker set, including the standard room reverberation tails. That's a pretty hard thing to achieve, but once music (or film) sounds transparent and even listening from anywhere in the room, you don't want it another way!

 

T

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