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ruperthawkes

Stereo widener

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Hi,

 

is there a stereo widener option somewhere?   Would be a great additional pedal.   Is there some clever “workaround”?

 

thanks!!

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Excuse my ignorance but I don’t understand what you mean by ‘stereo widener’. Please elaborate.

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34 minutes ago, ruperthawkes said:

Is there some clever “workaround”?

 

The natural way! IMO, the best "wide" stereo image on guitar is done with multiple mics on a cabinet, or multiple cabinets. 

 

Start by separating the amp and cabinet, then insert the dual cabinet for a quick lesson on how effective this can be. Play around with different cabs, mics and distances. By default this cabinet will hard pan each cabinet left/right. A couple mono cabs on parallel paths gets a similar effect with more control over the spread. 

 

*** Make sure any effects downstream of the dual cabinet are the stereo version or the signal will collapse back to mono. 

 

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27 minutes ago, silverhead said:

Excuse my ignorance but I don’t understand what you mean by ‘stereo widener’. Please elaborate.

 

I haven't seen a guitar "stomp" version (although I'm sure they exist)... but there are many plugins available for DAWS that can widen a stereo image. The separating the signals more to the left/right - away from the center - or vice versa. 

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Volume/Pan -> Stereo -> Stereo Width with RPolarity set to Invert enhances the stereo width. Adjust with Width.

 

This puts the stereo sides in paraphase. It's a strong effect. Use with caution: when you mix both sides to mono they cancel each  other out and the sound disappears.

Alternatively try this delay trick.

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11 hours ago, sweetpete said:

What about the Dimension FX block?

 

4 hours ago, ruperthawkes said:

That’s not stereo is it, it’s legacy

 

I believe it is stereo. Most (if not all) legacy effects are stereo. 

 

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14 hours ago, ruperthawkes said:

I wanted one for the helix not in DAW

 

FYI: I was explaining to silverhead what a stereo widener was, I wasn't directing that comment toward you. 

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On 10/26/2020 at 10:47 PM, ruperthawkes said:

Shame they don’t document these cool features!


They do. It was added in FW 2.30 in November 2017


You can also find it here.

https://helixhelp.com/models/15/5

 

 It is actually described as,

 

Stereo Width Stereo Line 6 Original (utility to collapse stereo paths)

 

Quote from Digital Igloo about this:

 

It should probably be stressed that it doesn't spread a stereo signal past 100%; it only collapses already stereo signals by a certain percentage.”


plus, most (if not all) legacy FX are stereo.


Best thing for stereo width - 2 speakers about 15 feet apart.

The speed of sound is roughly 1100 ft/second (depends on temperature and elevation) 

so 15 feet/1100 = 0.013 sec. or 13 milliseconds.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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You could as well try it the EVH way. Apply some cents of detuning and perhaps a tiny delay to either the left or right signal. For maximum effect do the same for L/R (opposite detunings) and keep the center dry.

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The perception of Stereo Image width is all about milliseconds (of delay) between the Left and Right signals. Use any of the Helix's Block features to explore what sounds best to you.

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I use a mono "Simple Delay" block on one side immediately after the stereo split and set time to 10ms, feedback to 0%, mix to 100%. This creates a pretty huge stereo image. My dad has a Strymon Deco and the effect is similar to the "Wide Stereo Mode" on that pedal. 

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how do you do that, you don't get to put an effect on the r or l path.... or am I missing something (which is a distinct possibility :) )

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3 hours ago, PaulTBaker said:

how do you do that, you don't get to put an effect on the r or l path.... or am I missing something (which is a distinct possibility :) )

Put a SimpleDelay on Path B, then navigate to the split block before it, set it to Split Y with BalanceA @L100 and BalanceB @R100.

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The best I was able to do was, on my old X3L, it had a square wave chorus. I ran in Dual Tone, Tone 1 panned to one side and Tone 2 panned to the other side with a 10 or 20 ms delay and the square wave chorus, both on 100% mix. The reason it worked so well is that because the chorus shift jumped instead of a gradual sweep from min to max, it DIDN'T have that chorusey character that would give away that it was an effect. In a DAW it's even better because you can set up random jumping delay times and random jumping pitch shifts.

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Here is how I implement it.

 

This patch runs mono until after the amp, then splits to a stereo path. The split looks like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2032%20PM%20(

 

The Simple Delay block is on one side only and is set up like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2042%20PM%20(

 

Each side has a cabinet IR and a modulation block that only affects that side, then the paths are merged but the stereo image is maintained through the merge block like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2055%20PM%20(

 

All blocks after the stereo merge must be stereo or the signal will be collapsed back to mono. I hope this helps!

 

 

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One more bit of advice for the L/R delay to achieve stereo width: it's a good idea to add a mono gain block at the very end of your chain, which will collapse your stereo field back to mono, and listen to your patch after you get it tweaked to your liking. It's possible when using delay to align things just enough out of phase that when collapsed to mono, you get significant phase cancellation which sounds thin and ugly.  You won't notice phase cancellation problems in headphones since each ear is hearing a signal fully independent of the other, but if you listen with regular speakers it can really be an issue.

Sometimes when building patches with stereo width using delays, I first set the delay to get it sounding close to how I want it in stereo, and then collapse it to mono and fine-tune the value of the delay for the 'fattest' sound. That way you still get your stereo image, but you've also aligned the phase offsets to sound reasonably good through monitors. After all of this, just delete or bypass the mono gain block and your signal goes back to stereo.

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6 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

It's possible when using delay to align things just enough out of phase that when collapsed to mono, you get significant phase cancellation which sounds thin and ugly.


Hi,

 

In my earlier post which, mentioned the “Stereo Width” block, the quote from DI said that it for collapsing the stereo path to mono, which is essentially what you are saying about inserting a mono gain block. The “Stereo Width” block also has an option “RPolarity” which when set to inverse will produce that “thin” frequency cancelling sound. IIRC, pulling the Stereo Width block down onto a parallel path can actually null the signal if you mess around with this option.

 

This phase inversion feature could do with a little more explanation in the re-write of the manual for v3.0 firmware, whenever that appears.

 

The mono gain block is a good trick to have in the bag, thanks.

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14 hours ago, zappazapper said:

The best I was able to do was, on my old X3L, it had a square wave chorus. I ran in Dual Tone, Tone 1 panned to one side and Tone 2 panned to the other side with a 10 or 20 ms delay and the square wave chorus, both on 100% mix. The reason it worked so well is that because the chorus shift jumped instead of a gradual sweep from min to max, it DIDN'T have that chorusey character that would give away that it was an effect. In a DAW it's even better because you can set up random jumping delay times and random jumping pitch shifts.

IIRC The Rockman chorus used a square wave for this reason.

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49 minutes ago, datacommando said:


Hi,

 

In my earlier post which, mentioned the “Stereo Width” block, the quote from DI said that it for collapsing the stereo path to mono, which is essentially what you are saying about inserting a mono gain block. The “Stereo Width” block also has an option “RPolarity” which when set to inverse will produce that “thin” frequency cancelling sound. IIRC, pulling the Stereo Width block down onto a parallel path can actually null the signal if you mess around with this option.

 

This phase inversion feature could do with a little more explanation in the re-write of the manual for v3.0 firmware, whenever that appears.

 

The mono gain block is a good trick to have in the bag, thanks.

Yep, those are all essentially similar ways of accomplishing the same thing. It's best to check for phase cancellation at the very end of your patch, right at the output, which is why I just throw a mono gain block there (plus it has very low DSP usage).

Another useful way to do this is with the phase inversion you mentioned (R Polarity). If you invert a channel and mix it with the other channel, then adjusting for the 'most-cancelled' (or quietest) signal will give you the least phase cancellation when you un-invert it. Sometimes it can be easier to hear how much a signal is being cancelled, rather than vice-versa, so this is another useful approach to have in your back pocket.

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11 minutes ago, qwerty42 said:

If you invert a channel and mix it with the other channel, then adjusting for the 'most-cancelled' (or quietest) signal will give you the least phase cancellation when you un-invert it.


Yes, I noticed that you can never get a fully cancelled null signal especially when using modulation effects, either regular mod blocks, or those built into the delays - obviously because of the sweeping/shifting frequencies of modulation. As you say, you can find the best spot for least cancellation then  switch back to normal mode.

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I've always wanted to be in a band with a guitarist that was as much of a gear-head nerd as I am, because I've always had this idea that you could matrix 2 multi-fx and the 2 guitar amps in an integrated 4CM-like setup, like it was just one guitar-only PA. In normal situations where the 2 guitarists are playing rhythm, each guitarist's signal would only be going to their own amp, but when one guitarist took a solo, his signal would be coming from both, just like if it was centre-panned in a PA, and the other guitarist still playing rhythm would also be coming from both amps but with a slight delay and square-wave modulation on one side (maybe even with the other guitarist's rhythm settings) so that it would still sound like two rhythm guitars hard-panned.

 

Of course, it would be theoretically easier for both guitarists to just output to the actual PA system and do the same thing, but then I use 4CM just because I think it's cool that you can do that, not because I think it sounds any better than amp models. 

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13 hours ago, Verne-Bunsen said:

Here is how I implement it.

 

This patch runs mono until after the amp, then splits to a stereo path. The split looks like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2032%20PM%20(

 

The Simple Delay block is on one side only and is set up like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2042%20PM%20(

 

Each side has a cabinet IR and a modulation block that only affects that side, then the paths are merged but the stereo image is maintained through the merge block like this:

Photo%20Oct%2028,%206%2024%2055%20PM%20(

 

All blocks after the stereo merge must be stereo or the signal will be collapsed back to mono. I hope this helps!

 

 

What is the output for the very last path... 2b?  I don't understand that last merge.

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2B comes back and merges back with 2A. Following the merge, 2A is a stereo signal and all blocks (including the FX loops) are stereo. 

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I tried different cabs on each side but it was too much. With a hard pan in headphones it was about enough to split your personality. I now run with a subtle variation, same cab with different mic combos. 

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I like to put a simple delay on B path, feedback off, 0.3ms, bring mix up from 0 until it gets phasey, then bring it back down to taste ~30 ish. I like reflections but not from the room, I like the reflections I'm used to getting bounced off my face when I'm in front of the cab irl. I wish the cab reflections had a space slider to move the virtual mic closer up toward the 'source', just like drums, a huge big chunk of the recorded tone of guitar sounds is the room resonance its in, IRs don't do a lot in the way of getting that phase swirling interaction unless you roll your own space

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On 10/26/2020 at 8:42 PM, ruperthawkes said:

Hi,

 

is there a stereo widener option somewhere?   Would be a great additional pedal.   Is there some clever “workaround”?

 

thanks!!

 

Pete Thorn mentions what he does in this video using an Eventide H9 but the theory can be applied in the Helix world: https://youtu.be/YqCFo32emgg?t=483

 

And Michael Westbrook has a video about this specifically in use with the HX Stomp: https://youtu.be/St155g4t2w0

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A good way to create stereo width if to boost a frequency on one side and subtract exactly the same frequency on the other. This is the only way to guard against phase cancellation if summed to mono in a live situation.

 

Any delay or modulation effect is a risk if the engineer doesn't fully pan, or the PA is not working properly.

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Is it for recording ? if so don't do it. Record in mono and use the DAW when you mix down. ( I know you've said you don't want to use the DAW)

I use Cubase and found if you record in stereo you can get balance problems with some of the plug ins when doing a final mix.

 

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned already but... Using the ping pong delay you could set the effect time to 0.21 and adjust the mix and feedback until you have a desired space.

 

I say 0.21 because i love the sharp sound of 0.01 time on a mono delay. And it is similar i'm thinking.

 

Or you could go with 0.25 or 5-10-15-25-25 whichever math you prefer. Or even climb up from 0.01 in stereo if you've got the time. Time haha.

Go to space with you're widening. ;)

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8 hours ago, vanilla said:

 

I say 0.21 because i love the sharp sound of 0.01 time on a mono delay. And it is similar i'm thinking.


 Hi, once more, vanilla,

 

I am intrigued and confused  by your comment about using a Ping Pong Delay? Yes, the discussion is about stereo width and a Ping Pong delay is by it’s very nature - stereo - but then you mention mono delay? I’m confused.
 

Mono, stereo - It’s not similar I'm thinking. 

 

You quote an effect time of 0.01, but 0.01 of what? 
 

AFAIK, nothing in the Helix family can produce a dialled in figure that goes into decimal hundreds of a division. Tenths - yes, but I would be interested to hear how you can accurately display a figure for an effect time such as 0.21 on a Helix. Theoretically you can achieve a approximate/similar effect time by using the Scale option.
 

Please tell us how you can manage to do this, if you've got the time.
 

Time haha.


You really are weird!

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Free your mind datacommando. I was stressed when i said 0.21and i was thinking decibels 0.00 0dB (0.21)..... For the ping pong delay, it would be 0.1 - 0.9ms and 1.0 - 25ms beginning with an attack that has more bite (sounds sharp if you ask me) but yeah 25 has some spring to it good enough to widen the stereo field. and if you apply enough of your desired feedback and mix, yeah.... width.

 

A ping pong delay is not the most effective choice for stereo widening track or mix, but i'm hoping you know that.

 

It's all math in the mix. Unless you were to mic an amp? :)

 

I was thinking "Alien Time" in a parallel universe and it's xmas 0.25.12 it's not too cold here but i would like to go sledding instead of shredding and wherever you are if it does snow or already has............ don't eat the yellow snow! if it's red... slipknot made them wait too long. haha

 

what are you waiting for? to see if santa fills your wallet? try capital one by notallica. hahat

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