Stereo imaging is an important component of creating a three-dimensional mix. Without this stereo imaging, our mixes would sound flat, two-dimensional, and uninteresting. Ensuring that the elements in your mix occupy the entire stereo spectrum in a balanced way is crucial for the success of your track. Below I have listed 5 ways you can stereo widen your sounds to create a professional three-dimensional mix.
Before I go over the top five tips for stereo widening, I would like to go over what exactly stereo imaging is and what instruments you should stereo widen. Stereo imaging is the perceived spatial locations of a sound source.
Instruments that respond well to stereo widening are sounds that are high-frequency dominant. High frequencies are directional, meaning that you can better perceive where they are in space much better than lower frequency elements. Leads, high hats, background sounds, and any other elements that contain a fair amount of high frequencies are all great elements to stereo spread in your mix to create a wide professional stereo image. Here are the top 5 tips for stereo widening.
When you begin playing music out – especially in a new place – it can be intimidating. There’s often gateholders to breaking into a music scene, and they often have their own standards by which they allow people to play the shows they involve themselves with. I come from a big town where I was involved in the music scene for almost a decade, and then moved to a giant city with hardly any idea of what to do next. This one is personal to me.
What I truly believe is that no matter how old you are or what kind of music you play, there are ways to find people to play with and an audience for you. You just have to get out there and find them. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to play shows or have never done it before, let this serve as a guide to booking your first show.
Writing music for the first time can be one of the most exciting things in the world, no matter your age and ambition. Whether you’re still in high school or have been a musician for decades, writing music is an experience different than anything else. But things like fear of failure and not knowing where to begin keeps a lot of musicians from writing music. If you’re someone interested in writing music for the first time, here are three things to remember during the process:
Without a compelling song arrangement, your track stands very little chance of keeping the attention of your listener. The song arrangement must draw in your listener with its dynamics, change in sounds, transitions, and sequencing of elements. But how do we create these compelling arrangements and make sure we are giving the listener a memorable listening experience?
Creating music can be bruising or even downright crushing at times. Writing meaningful music often requires isolation, vulnerability, and fortitude in withstanding dead-end after dead-end throughout the creative process. When an idea is finished, it’s put out into the world for everyone to hear and criticize – or even worse, to be ignored or never heard in the first place.
If you make music, you are inviting disappointment into your life in some form. And while young musicians seem to be able to roll with the inevitable physical and emotional punches of a music career, older musicians don’t cope as well. Add in the fact that as musicians age the non-musical aspects of their lives become louder and more pressing, and it’s easy to see why so many people stop making music after their twenties. An image of someone at a desk job reminiscing about the good old days of being in a band comes to mind. Lots of perfectly talented musicians trade in their dreams for lives that are financially and emotionally safer with claims that they weren’t good enough to keep making music. But the truth is that when musicians lose their passion, the world loses something as well. Individual musicians lose a vital creative outlet and the rest of us lose the music they would’ve made if they wouldn’t have quit.
Late 2017, I received a social media friend request from someone who played in a band I had grown up knowing about. I thought it was pretty cool until he messaged me and mentioned that we were both members of the Christian punk & spirit filled hardcore social media group, and asked if I had ever seen certain popular bands in that genre live in concert. I told him I had not, but that I knew of his band from a compilation I had stashed away at my parents’ house. It turns out that’s what he wanted to talk about. It wasn’t long before I discovered that he was contacting multiple people in many punk and hardcore affiliated social media groups with the same questions and the same copy-and-paste responses he had sent to me. What’s worse is that he was doing this so often he was getting on people’s nerves.
The last time this guy reached out to me, I told him very kindly that people were getting annoyed by his requests and he should probably cut back. One of the next messages he sent me was a copy-and-paste response to a question he’d sent me several messages earlier and that I had already answered. It wasn’t long after, that I asked him to stop contacting me all together.
This is not the best way to promote via social media. To avoid alienating your target audience, here are some examples of good promotion vs. bad promotion.
In today’s day and age, it’s not enough to just make music and release it. While it is not impossible to just release music, go viral, and jump-start your career, it’s becoming increasingly harder to do so.
The entry level for producers to create a professional sounding track is very low because of how affordable professional grade equipment is. The result of this is an overwhelming amount of music being released every day. This makes it more and more difficult for artists to stand out and build a career.
The playing fields have been leveled for music producers all over the world making social media an absolute necessity for artists.
The thought of making a mistake so bad that it ruins an entire show is something that keeps a lot of us up at night. When my old band was unexpectedly asked to open two big sold out shows in my hometown a few years ago, I literally wasn’t able to sleep the nights before out of fear that I’d blow it. Luckily, my bandmates and I played well both nights, and none of the disasters I lost sleep over materialized. Unfortunately, show meltdowns do happen to musicians, whether it’s rooted in the preventable performance mistakes or something purely psychological. Here’s some advice on how to avoid them: