Recording Studio: Enhancing the Ambience

Mastering in a recording studio I find to be an incredible experience.  As I have mentioned before, with my Sound Healing album I had no control over the mix because it was recorded through the air with a Zoom H4.  Since I had no control over the mix, I had no control over the panning.  The Sound Healing was recorded in a huge cathedral like old church so there was definitely some width and ambience but not quite enough for my liking.  Enter stereo widening techniques and in my case access to an incredible plugin called the UAD Precision K Stereo.

Recording Studio: UAD Precision K-Stero

Here is a great video that explains what the UAD Precision K Stereo is and what it isn’t.  It also explains how to to use the plugin and explains it very well.

To my surprise on watching this video it isn’t actually a stereo widener.  It actually accentuates the ambience that is already in the mix.  In my case this was exactly what I needed.  My recording was from a beautiful old church with gorgeous ambience.  I just needed more of it and for that purpose it worked brilliantly.
The follow recording studio screen capture shows the settings that I used for my project.  As you can see I had the “Recover” button on which indicates that I am recovering the ambience.  I also have the “Wide” wide button on which indicates that I am going for width since I had no control of panning.  I had the M/S Gain button on “Middle/Side Gain” with a touch of side gain giving it even more volume out mide in the mix.

The precision K-Stereo made a huge difference to the sound of my album especially since I didn’t have the luxury of panning.  What I love about this plugin is that it accentuates the ambience without thinning out any of the frequencies like some stereo wideners can.