iZotope Ozone Imager is a completely free VST plugin, and it works really well! =)
There are many stereo imager plugins out there, but I personally only use plugins that truly enhance the final sound.
If you are a perfectionist like me when it comes to good audio, you will be glad to know that the Ozone Imager is one of the best ones I’ve heard out there.
And it does its magic while also being super quick and easy to use. Perfect! =)
It has even been endorsed by Alan Meyerson. Scoring Mixer for The Dark Knight, Gladiator etc. I will quote him: “Imaging control is one of the big bonuses of the digital signal processing world. No plug-in does it better than Ozone.”
Visual Stereo Overview
With Ozone Imager you will get immediate and intuitive feedback as you adjust settings. You get both a Vectorscope as well as a Correlation Meter, witch visual feedback to help guide your mixing and mastering decisions.
Wide or Narrow?
You can of course choose to go in the opposite direction, and reduce the stereo width on particular sounds. Don’t forget that depth comes from contrast.
Some sounds should be more in the centre of the stereo field, while others should be more spread out to widen the field.
For example: I personally like to use the Ozone Imager plugin on my different group bus tracks. This gives me control to decrease the stereo field on the bass group, increase it on the harmony group and so on.
I also like using it on the final stereo master bus, to add a touch of extra stereo depth to the final mix.
You get two simple sliders. The first is the width control, which goes from -100 to 100. -100 is effectively making the sound completely mono, while 100 is doubling the stereo width on the sound you feed into it.
The stereoizer slider is where you can adjust the character of the stereo effect. It is very subtle, and you will probably find yourself focus far more on the stereo width slider which is where the main magic is.
My Final Thoughts
I would say that every music producer needs a good stereo widening plugin. And the Ozone Imager is one of the best I’ve used, both in terms of sound and ease of use. And all of this for free!?
Download Ozone Imager for Free here. And also get full specifications and learn more about it.