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Imager plug-ins yay or nay?

fustrun

Active Member
Hey all!

I am writing a score for a video game and have decided that i want to have a very big fat orchestral sound rather than the opposite hyped/compressed sound of trailer music and no matter what i did i could not hit the nail on the head.

So i tried using the Ozone imager and it seems to do wonders but at very extreme parameters ... have anyone tried doing anything similar? do you even use imagers to expand the stereo space? are there any downsides?
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Check for mono compatibility.
^^^^^^ This!

That said, I use M/S-processing for enhancing (or reducing) the stereo width - and even more "dangerous" stuff like Gerzon shuffling - on many sources, even on the main bus.
 

josejherring

Senior Member
Hey all!

I am writing a score for a video game and have decided that i want to have a very big fat orchestral sound rather than the opposite hyped/compressed sound of trailer music and no matter what i did i could not hit the nail on the head.

So i tried using the Ozone imager and it seems to do wonders but at very extreme parameters ... have anyone tried doing anything similar? do you even use imagers to expand the stereo space? are there any downsides?
A little goes a long way. Don't over do it.

An orchestra if done right is big and expansive already. If you're not getting the sound you want I'd look for other reasons for that, orchestration, harmony, melodic, the space the orchestra sits in (if samples are they recorded in a good room) and also the reverb settings, ect.. Also, if using samples are they balanced or is everything coming at you near the same volume. Nothing collapses space more then having your flutes and the same volume level as your trumpets and your violins drowning out your entire orchestra.
 

Beat Kaufmann

Active Member
Before you use Imagers and stereo broadening tools, I would mix-everything exploit, which allows a lot of power and width.

A) Low bass voices in the middle. Then, for example, violins 1 pretty much left (panning) violins 2 pretty much to the right. Us so on until the whole stereo width is used nicely. You should also make sure that the important frequencies of rear instruments are not obscured by the same frequencies of front instruments. That does not mix flutes directly behind the violins. If you do that well you have already gained a lot of latitude and transparency.

B) Remember that you should keep your mix dynamic. Not all effects must always be set to 100%. To do this, you can use controller curves to decrease those things that are not that important and increase those that are important. This is true even for panning positions. If the horns in the middle should sound as powerful as possible, you can "shift" the violins aside even more during this time.
... as I said - keep everything dynamic.
If you have such a perfect mix, you can still use a stereo widener during the mastering process without any major correlation problems.

C) Attention: For many people, who mix with the goal "as wide as possible", the middle positions in the mix are completely missing in the end. Everything is on the left and right. Keep in mind that especially when the middle is occupied prominently, the left and right positions could be perceived even more intense.
For the evaluation of the width in the stereo field, I strongly recommend speakers.
Likewise, when pressing the mono button, the left and right instruments should not disappear.

D) A large stereo-wide and "Volle Karotte" can not be achieved with a piece of music that is completely "over arranged". Therefore keep the arrangement as simple as possible - according to the circumstances of course.

All the best
Beat
 
One thing you could also try first is just using Voxengo MSED on various channels to spread things across the stereo width, which is free, and manipulate the mid-side balance (a little can go a long way), before doing anything "fancier".
 
OP
fustrun

fustrun

Active Member
Thank you all for your replies however i did forget to mention that it is a hybrid track with lots of synths and guitars of the like so i kind of wanted the orchestra to be the "Space" of the track providing most of the mid lows and no air (contrary to trailer music mixing), you can take "fast-five" from Brian Tyler as a reference, so it would be ok if sounded artificial.
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
I use the Ozone and S1 all the time (in different ways) but you need to be careful as they can really mess things up. When expanding, I generally only use a very small amount.
 

Henu

Senior Member
Try using delays, M/S- processing, panning and reverbs to make things wider first- the outcome is way more natural that way!
 
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GtrString

Active Member
Imager plugin or not, I would check the mix with something like Levels on a post fader. It allows you to check the stereo field and identify problems with your mix.

 
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