Have you ever returned to your edit suite to realize one channel of your stereo field recordings is distorted beyond hope? Has a client demanded a stereo delivery spec, regardless of the source sound effects in your sound library? Do you have a cool mono drone you’d like thicken up?
If any of these situations sound familiar, you’ve likely thought about transforming your mono sounds into a stereo file.
However, this task of “stereoizing” mono files isn’t simple. Why? Well, there’s the ever-present risk of accidentally corrupting your new stereo file with phase problems. And what about audio quality? Often stereoized files sound flat and lifeless. Is it possible for stereoized mono files to sound good?
I struggled with this for years. I used mastering hacks to get this done: shifting a duplicate track a few frames, or dropping half of a mono clip underneath on a second track. There are other tricks. I wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
A few years ago I stumbled across a post that explained a bulletproof, acoustically sound method of stereoizing a mono file. It recreates the physics behind the way our ears hear sound.
I tried it. I was thrilled with the results. I’ve used it ever since.
Today’s post is the first in a two-part series that explains how to use this trick. This article shares step-by-step instructions for stereoizing mono files, with the kind assistance of a special guest contributor.