One of the concepts that I teach in my Mixing Engineer’s Handbook has always been the concept of tall, deep and wide. That means that for a mix to be sonically successful, it needs to have these three parameters. The tall parameter comes from frequency, the deep comes from ambience, and the wide comes from panning. Until now you had to get those three by manipulating the processors used in your mix, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a plugin that could enhance these as needed? Now there is with United Plugins new Expanse 3D.
Expanse 3D has a simple interface and is easy to use. There’s the typical In and Out controls with meters for level setting, and only 3 additional parameters – Width, Depth, and Height. Width uses an advanced spectral phase processor to create makes things super wide (if needed) while remaining natural and transparent. Unlike many wideners or MS processors, it’s fully mono-compatible and preserves position focus. Even better, it can generate stereo from mono, something that we need more than you might think.
Depth uses a complex algorithm of delay networks with channel and phase processing to enhance the perception of depth and add space. It can be used to add dynamic contrast between separate sounds and glue multiple elements together for a more cohesive mix.
Height make your sounds larger than life by extending out the high and low ends. This occurs not by using EQ but by generating additional harmonics to give you deeper bass and brighter treble. It greatly improves the perception of low frequencies on speakers less able to produce them and adds controlled power and punch to larger systems.
A couple of things that often get overlooked on plugins. Expanse 3D provides Intelligent Bypass, which ensures that you don’t get a click or other harmful noises when automating the parameter. It also compensates for latency ensuring that the the On and bypass states are perfectly in sync with each other. There’s also an Intelligent Sleep function where the plugin detects whether it makes sense to perform processing at all. If it doesn’t, it temporarily turns on sleep mode where it requires virtually no CPU at all to save the computing resources for other processes.
Expanse 3D is fully 64 bit and works on any sampling rate to 192kHz and even higher. There’s a 15 day trial, but the discounted price for the next couple of weeks is only $35 instead of the normal $120.
Who wouldn’t want their mixes to be taller, deeper and wider?
You can find out more here, or check out the video below.