QuikQuak has released UpStereo, a free, simple, useful tool to make your mixes bigger, in stereo width and loudness.
It uses three basic basic systems:
- A fixed frequency EQ designed to lift the highest audio frequencies, and boost the bass.
- A stereo width unit, for expanding stereo sounds so they appear wider and fatter. At extreme levels other characteristics are also brought out of the sound, so this can also be used as a tonal control for individual instruments. This also has a mono setting, useful for squashing up those aggressive samples that take over the mix.
- A loudness button that raises the waveform to the limits in a smooth curve. This saturation gives the mix a more perceived loudness, without clipping.
These stages create an overall loudness effect on the final output, so a gain control is included to keep the limits in check.
The main 'bubble' display on the plug-in is really a basic meter, when one of the stereo halves flash white, then the output is in danger of being clipped. Try and keep the levels so the white flashes only occasionally, this enables the loudness saturator to work at its best.
- Loudness control enables a complex saturator to boost your mixes.
- Stereo width slider going from mono to wide, bringing the stereo image out and towards the listener.
- Subtle Air & Bass boosters to lift and help the audio 'breath'.
- Very low CPU usage.
UpStereo is available for Windows and Mac OS X in VST and AU formats and it is free.