Making stereo out of mono.



I got a small video to mix turned over to me where the ambiences were all mono (this was a quickie and the FX were cut by the picture editor). It may be quicker for me to find some stereo FX to place in there, but I might as well ask:

Do you have any tricks to make these tracks into true stereo?

I tried a stereo reverb, delays, and duplicating/offsetting it.

Any other tricks you guys have up your sleeves?

EDIT: I guess it would help if I told you what type of FX were done: Wind, underwater, and a murmuring crowd (for 3 different scenes respectively)


  • Ryan


Posted 2010-08-15T20:13:01.833

Reputation: 14 155



Great Trick I stole from Yewdall and his book...

Take the mono track, and cut it in half... Use the first half as left, second half as right, copy to length.


Posted 2010-08-15T20:13:01.833

Reputation: 4 315

I've also used it to turn stereo tracks into L/R/Ls/Rs... – Sonsey – 2010-08-16T03:21:24.310


Well, you'll never be able to get TRUE stereo, but you can fake something that can sound like stereo.

Sonsey's idea will work fairly well as long as your ambience is nondescript enough. If there's too much going on, or any specific events that stand out, it can ruin the effect and really freak the listener out.

One thing I've done is to use copy the file onto two mono channels, pan hard right and hard left, and delay one by 10ms or so. Play with the delay amount to determine your spread and center.

Another thing you can do is similar to Murch's "Worldizing". You can play it out of a mono speaker and record it with a stereo mic. You'll get a different effect from each room you try it in. If you can get a really quiet outdoors location, you could take a big speaker out and record it with a stereo mic from fairly far away. Should get a pretty good effect. Although, at that point, it might be easier to just go record the ambience yourself, unless it's one that's unavailable at your locale.

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-08-15T20:13:01.833

Reputation: 7 588