In this article we are going to look at the use of delay in stereo width processing…
Using Small Delays 1
Use a mono to stereo or stereo delay plug-in to introduce small delays in one or both sides. Don’t go beyond a delay time of 15ms but be aware that delay is one of the main mechanisms that our hearing uses for sound location. Try this effect on a kick drum and you will notice that for very small delays that the drum appears to come from the side with less delay because that is where the sound is coming from first. Once you get beyond 5ms of delay things are less obvious but go much beyond 15 ms and you will get a distinct 2nd beat, which isn’t desirable. To help the steering effect try reducing the level of the undelayed side and use the mix control to make the effect even more subtle.
Also experiment with keeping the stereo width pretty tight so as too localise that sound to a particular position in the stereo image.
Using Small Delays 2
Now here is a trick that doesn’t even need a plug-in but is something I could have never done when I was working with tape.
Take a mono track, duplicate it so you have two identical tracks and then use the Nudge feature to offset the copied track a 64th note triplet,
The effect is stunning, a one dimensional mono track suddenly has come alive. It is subtle yet very effective and doesn’t cost you DSP power using a plug-in. Try it on guitars, both acoustic and electric. Even try it on vocals, especially for fattening up backing vocals.