EXTRA WIDESCREEN MIXING TRICKS
Cinematic effects are often at their best when they match the ‘widescreen’ experience they’re intended for. Stretching the stereo width of the textures you create will give them an excitement factor that can help create genuinely stand-out treatments.
There are a number of ways to enhance the perceived width of such sounds, and the first one is easy – particularly if your textures are constructed from multiple sound sources. If you’re making several recordings to build risers or textures, give each of these its own pan position. Consider each individual sound or recording as a separate voice in a choir of others and, accordingly, progressively place sounds around the middle, away from the centre, so that in each part of the stereo field, a unique sound or recording is playing out its own adventure as part of a wider whole.
Another way to add stereo drama to individual sounds with a group like this is to add Auto-Panners to individual sounds. These will make sounds jump from side to side, and you can decide on the movement type (jumping, or gliding sinuously from one side to the other) and the speed of movement (whether clocked to tempo or ‘free’).
Adding ping-pong delays to sounds can help hugely too, as these allow an initial sound to remain panned centrally (which can be useful for sounds with a heavy bass component) before creating echoes which bounce from side to side. Using EQ controls to tame low-end frequency content usually helps Delay effects too. And finally, don’t forget that Stereo Spreading plugins select clusters of frequencies and disperse these across the stereo field. They’re great for enhancing the widescreen nature of your sound design.
Stereo width can be baked into a piece of music from the sound design stage, whatever the tactic