Kn Radiodifusion // Rundfunk

How to get your sounds as wide as possible in the mix

February 4th, 2009  |  Published in Tutorials  |  6 Comments

Somewhere along the way when you are composing your latest track you will start thinking about where the sounds appear on the sound stage.  A key principle to achieving a really nice mix is not just having the right balance of mono and stereo sounds but having those stereo sounds just where you want them.  

You may notice that on some tracks by the upper echelon of music producers, sounds can be placed so wide in the mix that you simply cannot get there by using any conventional stereo widerers like Cryosonics Sindo V2. ¬†While these tools are great for the usual task of ‘sweetening up’ a sample with a boring stereo image, they won’t give you that extra ‘magic’ that you are looking for.

The key here is to employ a Double Tracking technique with the use of a basic delay like Ableton’s Simple Delay. ¬†You can easily replace the delay with any other effect in your arsenal, however delays usually get the best, most controllable results.¬†

I am going to explain the rest with focus on Ableton’s Live production software as this is my weapon of choice. ¬†The principles you will find translate to any DAW you choose as well as any hardware mixing solutions. ¬†

How to get that wide sound:

  • – Choose an audio source to double track (a synth line or vocal/percussion track/ or anything you want) and turn it¬†down at least 3db…it will get louder shortly.
  • – ¬†Duplicate the audio track
    • – Double tracking essentially means duplicating the audio source so you have two copies playing at exactly the same time. This technique is used to apply different processing to separate parts of the audio spectrum in a single audio source.
  • – Pan one channel Full-Left the other Full-Right
  • – Add a Simple Delay (or your delay/effect of choice) to one of the two channels.
  • – Feedback at 0%, Dry/Wet at 100% Wet
  • – Adjust a desired amount of short delay (2ms-20ms) or a very subtle amount of chorus or reverb.
    • To do this, click the SYNC buttons on the delay plugin which will take off the Quantization and allow you to apply small time-based settings.

You will immediately hear the sound become spread into that ‘super’ wide zone you previously thought unreachable. ¬†Now we need to gain collective control over the sound again…

  • – Send both channels to a stereo Bus or Group channel
    • – To do this in Abelton Live create a new audio track
    • – Set the tracks Monitoring to IN (on the routing section’s I/O)
  • – Now you can control the two tracks as if they were one super wide source from that single Bus channel.

Good luck with your exploration,


  • Eyoll

    Thank you!

  • Joel M.

    Oh wow. This is really what I was looking for. I was getting really sad not knowing how to get my tracks sounding as wide as professional tracks. Now I know! Thank you thank you thank you! :)

  • Udo

    Great! Thanks for the simple and efficient explanation!

  • Rubik

    Thank you for the tip! Have you ever considered simply inserting the delay effect at the end of the channel chain and setting left and right channels to “time”, 8ms and 16ms respectively, and wet/dry to 100%? Cheers!

  • Pro Rukuz

    awsome trick. thanks alot!

  • Crankcase

    This is crap. I tried it with a different delay effect plugins (Classic Delay and ReaDelay) within a different DAW, but when the mix-buss is switched to mono the levels on the applied tracks are much lower, making them fall back into the mix, thereby making it incompatible with mono.