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Looking for ideas on how to add stereo spread


ChristThePhone
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Alright, I thought I'd do it like I used to do in AmpliTube and just add a pitch shifter into the signal chain that's just a few cents off to generate a nice stereo spread but had to learn that this doesn't really sound the same way. I tried various ways to add a stereo spread, the easiest is probably to add a chorus with a very slow rate. However, this still produces too much of the wobbly chorus effect. So I tried the delays to add a few milliseconds delay but it all doesn't create this nice spread that I like using the AmpliTube pitch shifter. What's the best way to add a stereo spread to your sound on the Helix ?

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Alright, I thought I'd do it like I used to do in AmpliTube and just add a pitch shifter into the signal chain that's just a few cents off to generate a nice stereo spread but had to learn that this doesn't really sound the same way. I tried various ways to add a stereo spread, the easiest is probably to add a chorus with a very slow rate. However, this still produces too much of the wobbly chorus effect. So I tried the delays to add a few milliseconds delay but it all doesn't create this nice spread that I like using the AmpliTube pitch shifter. What's the best way to add a stereo spread to your sound on the Helix ?

 

 Hi ChristThePhone,

 

You don't mention where in the signal chain you are adding the pitch shifter. This may seem obvious, but if you have inadvertently placed it before an amp/cab block it will collapse the signal to mono. Likewise, the same will happen if it is placed before any other block that is working in mono. I'm not really sure why you don't think you are getting a good stereo image because I can send myself nuts with 1/8 dotted and 1/4 note delays bouncing around my near field monitors. It gets even more crazy in headphones. If all else fails - you could split the final output into 2 paths and pan the signals 100% left and right. Not sure if this helps any because I'm not really sure what you want to achieve. Whatever it is - it's a Helix so it should be possible.

 

Good luck.

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I'm adding the pitch shifter after the amp but before the dual cab combo. It's pretty much the thing that's supposed to generate the stereo before I send it to the delay/reverb effects. So far I've been using the Helix through headphones only. I'm not talking about bouncing around longer delayed signals like 1/8 and 1/4 notes. To give you an example what I'm using so far on the Helix to generate the stereo spread : I put in a dual delay behind the amp, set the left time to 9.5ms, right time 0ms, no feedback left and right, left and right mix both at 50%,  0db level, 422Hz low cut, 4.1kHz high cut, modulation off. This works ok although the effect is not quite as impressive as the pitch shifter in AmpliTube and I was wondering if there's a better way to achieve this effect.

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Not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but I get good results with a dual pitch block placed after any cab or IR. On one of the pitches in this block I have the cents at 4.0 and the delay at 2.0ms, the other pitch's parameters are both zero. The mix is 100%. Left and right pan at 100%. To add just a little bit more to it, you could put a room reverb after the dual pitch block. Try the attached preset.

wide-stereo.zip

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To me if you want a stereo spread I'd do it simply by two L and R delays and two L and R EQs.

 

Not sure If you can do this with the Helix but try to pan the lower frequencies mono preferably without delay and the higher frequencies delays hard left and hard right. A multiband makes this easy in your DAW but you should be able to make splits.

 

The EQs can be quite drastic but generally different frequencies are pronounced one side while  cut the opposite side but are generally high passed above the low mids or higher if you have a good center tone going thru by having another split  as your main tone slightly dampening the highs.

 

If you really want to extend the stereo effect to sound beyond the speakers some of this left right material can get pitch shifted ever so slightly as a snapshot occasionally to the opposite side. Too much will sound like ping pong or chorusing

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What helped me was this diagram that shows how Helix handles stereo and mono routing.  Using this information, along with a stereo delay, might get you where you want to be.  The stereo delay runs one side at a time that you choose and the other at a percentage, which you control with Scale, of that time.

 

Helix%20Stereo%20Routing%20Diagram.jpg

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I use this stereo trick very often in my DAW, and the helix!

A very short mono delay (+-0.2 ms) in one of the signal chains.

For the Helix, this will work best using a parallel path with two mono cabinets (2 cabs or cab + ext. IR, or two IR's etc) panned L & R ( can do that in the merge block. Put a mono single delay with about 0.2 ms on one of the single path's (not both of course) and the stereo image will be greatly enhanced!! It's a classical studio trick, nothing special, but very efficient ;-)

 

You can hear an example on one of my tunes :

 

https://soundcloud.com/lulu-m/wanna-play-on-my-back-seat

A similar effect can be achieved by using different eq settings for the L and R channel.

These tricks "widen" your normal LR panned stereo spread.

 

Try it!!

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An old school trick...  Using two 10 band EQ's, one panned left, one panned right.  I haven't tried it on the Helix, but it should work.

 

Initially set up with ONE EQ, to get your sound, then clone that eq and pan them hard left and right.

 

Then, go to each slider starting with one, say the left and alternataly bumping up 2db or down 2db go to each slider, up 2, then down 2 from the setting you determined in step one.

 

Then go to the OTHER eq, and starting on the same side, START the first slider DOWN 2db (opposite of the other EQ where you started with 2db up) and do the same thing alternating down and up a couple of db.

 

Make sure they are hard panned left and right and this should give a pretty full sound, or you may have to go more than 2db each.

 

This may or may not be enough separation, but due to reasonable default Q settings on each slider, you shouldn't loose any tonal quality, your just making each side sound just a little different.  

 

Used to do this all the time to make mono cassettes sound good when converted to stereo.

 

Now speaking of which...  there used to be some nice mono > stereo and vs versa plugins for DAW... Q-Tools was a favorite.  They did a real nice job.  Not sure if there is enough use, but a tool like that in the helix would be nice.  maybe not necessary.. haven't thought about it that much.

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Hardware wise Stereo spread = what Duncann did above, plus 2 FRFR monitors set 10 feet apart or better and panned hard left and right.  

Ha ha ha!

Oh damn, glad that was not me!

I was just waiting to have someone say place the speakers further apart - LMAO.

That's a real gem Spikey - classic!

You're real star, man!

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Ha ha ha!

Oh damn, glad that was not me!

I was just waiting to have someone say place the speakers further apart - LMAO.

That's a real gem Spikey - classic!

You're real star, man!

Sometimes its the simple things that work the best... lol  :P

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been using stereo power amp to a stereo wired cab and/or a pair of EV powered speakers for some time: 

Don't forget for true stereo you can run Path A chain out to your L 1/4" or XLR.

You split the A line wherever it suits you and do not return to Path A merge, but down to Path B line and that goes straight out to your other R XLR or 1/4.

A great way to have separate L and R chains. You can design a myriad of chains like each line having its own amp/cab and what not, depends where you split the A line off and what you do to it. I use this sort of template all the time even to create full on wet/dry sides and true stereo feeds. you can still place stereo effects near the end of the chains to still get them on each side without compromising the stereo separation. 

 

If you want more spread add a slight delay no repeats like 20ms just on one side and it pulls the stereo spread more. If you use any stereo effects be sure to increase the spread param. 

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