Tips & Techniques #001 - Getting Wider Reverbs

During the first part of the Sean Paine Workshop (credits: Gucci, Future, Young Thug, 2Chainz, Migos, Fetty Wap, Waka, Sosa, and more) at RAC, Sean spoke about his journey through the industry and how he started, followed by revealing some of his own techniques. As most engineers start out, Sean stuck to a certain guideline of what to do/not to do, until his mentors taught him a few tricks of the trade.

If you're listening to your reverb effect after countless tweaks and still aren't satisfied with its width, read on to find out how to actually manipulating the stereo spectrum of the reverb to give it that "outside of the speakers" width.

First, you're going to want to get your hands on a plugin from Waves, named the S1 imager. This plugin can be used to extend the stereo spread of reverbs to get an even wider and bigger sounding effect (think of Travis Scott going "Yeah!"). Using the S1, you only have a few sliders to adjust, but you can easily set how wide or narrow you want it to sound, as well where you’d like to place it in the stereo spectrum.

Placing the S1 imager on a full mix for example, at default it sounds like a normal mix should. While listening on speakers, you'll notice your mix start to sound like its coming from the sides of your speakers once you start increasing the width slider, giving you this awesome stereo image. For heavy guitar based tracks or for layers of synth tracks, you can easily spread them out creating more room for other instruments to sit in the mix. When you decrease the width slider on a stereo track, you'll hear your source go from stereo to mono.

The power of this plugin is the asymmetry slider. This slider allows you to manipulate the balance of the sides without affecting what going on in the centre. Thinking of stereo drum overheads for example. If one side was more dominate than the other but your kick and snare were centred right, you can quickly correct that issue using the S1 imager plugin by manipulating the asymmetry slider.

You can download a trial version of the plugin and experience the power of S1 imager yourself here.

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