Quick Tip For Creating Massive Ambience

Alright, if you're anything like me, you love your mixes to have a huge ambient blanket. Maybe it's because I was born in the 80's...who knows! Anyways, here's a quick little tip for making things extra wide!

Once again, I'm a Pro Tools guy, so I'm going to talk about the Pro Tools setup for this. So, we're going to make an Stereo Auxiliary Track in Pro Tools. When we select the plugin, we're going to want to go in the Multi-Mono menu. So go ahead with that, and let's pick either your favourite delay or reverb. I like to do this trick on the UAD EP-34 tape echo plugin.

Next, we need to unlink the left and right channels of the plugin. When you open the plugin window, you'll see a little button on the top right that looks like the infinity symbol (kinda like this -> ∞). Make sure you deselect that button. This allows you to adjust the left and right channels of the plugin independently, which is what we're going for. 

Finally, you'll want to change the settings on each side of the plugin so that they contrast each other, or work together in an unusual way. So in this instance, you can do some cool things. One method might be to set the delay on the left hand side to be darker and have a shorter decay. Maybe a short delay time too, let's say a dotted 8th note. To flip to the right channel, you'll need to click the L/R button right below the channel link button. Flip that to the right! On this side, let's make the delay slightly longer, say a 1/4 note. Then, make the delay brighter with the plugins EQ, and make the repeats (decay) longer. This will give the delay an overall sweeping effect, where the delay starts darker on the left, and explodes into a bright sound on the right, eventually decaying out over there. Cool!

You can do this with anything you want. I like doing it with reverbs and delays, but feel free to try other methods. You can take this one step further by creating two mono auxiliary tracks panned hard left and right, and then put two entirely different plugins on them. Maybe you want a verb on the left and a slap delay on the right. Who knows! Experiment :)

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