The 8 Best Stereo Width Plugins 2017

Stereo Width is a huge deal, and depending on what DAW you use, the panning features may be very artificial. That’s why there are some really good Stereo Width plugins out there to accommodate. Here are the best ones as of October 2016.  Note for transparency that this page contains affiliate links which can generate commission to help run LearnProducing.com (at no extra cost whatsoever to the consumer).

Stereo Savage:

By Plugin Boutique

Free Trial: Yes

Price: $79

stereo-savage

This one is hot, with tons of producers commenting on how sick it is. There is a free trial version available as well, so you can try before you buy.  It has also won several awards. Here are the best benefits according to PB, and I concur:

Benefits:

  • Create stereo from mono sources for richer soundscapes.
  • Control the placement and width of stereo sources. Separate instruments within the stereo field.
  • Use the rotation effect for an incredibly natural sounding pan.
  • Get lush wide vocals in seconds.
  • Quick simple controls for achieving a ‘big sound’.
  • Add motion and excitement with modulation.
  • Retain great mono compatibility with the bass bypass feature.
  • Reduce the number of vocal takes required for rich, tight, backing vocals.

Halo Upmix

By Nugen Audio

Free Trial: Yes

halo-upmix

Coming in at $469, this stereo width plugin is for serious pros. Many professionals swear by it, we’ll leave it at that. Luckily there is a trial version download, so you can see for yourself.

Halo Upmix 9.1 Extension

By Nugen Audio

Free Trial: Yes but only with the Halo Upmix full trial.

Coming in with the 9.1 extension, even more big effects from Nugen Audio. It has a hefty price tag for an extension, but provides some very valuable vertical controls, meters and energy.  “The enhanced umpix algorithm allows for simultaneous use of all the original features including dialog isolation and individual channel output control.”.

Haas Snapin

by kiloHearts

Free Trial: Yes

haas-snap-in

This is definitely on the more affordable side of the top stereo width plugins, but it still brings some serious heat to the table. I’ve recorded a video of it in use below.  Haas Snapin can also be affordably purchased in a larger bundle from kiloHearts.

PanShaper

by Cableguys

Free Trial: Yes

Price: $39

panshaper

There are plenty of features packed into this plugin by the Cable Guys. Here is a quote below from PluginBoutique:

Features

  • Waveform-based modulation editing
  • Multiband split with spectrum view and 6dB or 12dB slopes.
  • Independent modulation curves and stereo width controls for each band
  • Multiple panning modes (0/3/4.5/6dB ‘Stereo Balance’ and ‘Stereo Combined’) for deep control
  • Sample-accurate LFO, in sync with your DAW, and in Hz mode up to the audible range or retriggered via MIDI
  • Precise display of left/right volume for helpful visual control
  • Preset library and fast access to a comprehensive selection of preset curves

Magic Stereo

by Singomakers

Price: $39

Free Trial: Yes

magic-stero

Singomakers and Rezone come together in their first VST plugin. It’s an accessible and great tool to widen your sounds. It’s designed to be simple but still pack a professional sound.

From PB – ” With it’s simple intuitive controls Magic Stereo offers wide to super wide spatial widening without losing anything within the mono signal.”

Sidewidener

 by Joey Sturgis Tones

Price: $49

Free Trial: No

sidewidener

So this stereo width VST called the Sidewidener is a collaboration between  Computer Music Magazine, Boz Digital Labs, and Joey Sturgis Tones to make mono content stereo. With names like that you know its going to be good. They say they are all about widening the sides while keeping your center. A quote: |SideWidener is intended to be used on mono content to make it stereo but can also be used on stereo content.

Stereoizer

by NUGEN Audio

Price: $99

Free Trial: Yes

stereoizer

Another VST from Nugen Audio in the top 8? Yup. They make good plugins, and there is a free trial to try for yourself.

Voxengo Spatifier

by Voxengo

Price: $69.95

Free Trial: Yes

voxengo

“Spatifier is a “mono to stereo” spatial enhancer AU and VST plugin for professional sound and music production applications. ” Therefore it is like the Sidewidener plugin 2 spots above by Joey Sturgis. Spatifier uses decorrelation to widen the sound as effectively as possible.

These look to be the most popular stereo width VST plugins moving forward in 2017. There are of course lots more as this is a main category for VST makers. The demand is real to use the entire sound stage.

Further Reading:

Stereo Sound Demystified

What is Stereo Imaging?

Pan Law

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Output Movement Multi Effect from Pluginboutique.com
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Music producer and DAW wiz of 12 years.

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