High-Resolution VST processor for natural and unobtrusive enhancement,
expansion, and equalization of the ambience, space, imaging, depth and
width in a recording without adding artificial reverberation or causing
unwanted coloration or artifacts
K-Stereo is a patented psychoacoustical process (US Pat.7076071)
that extracts the ambience inherent in ordinary recordings, and
is capable of spreading that uncorrelated ambience around the soundstage,
and enlarging the size of that soundstage, both deeper and wider.
In addition, K-Stereo enhances the depth and imaging of the
instruments and vocals without adding any artificial reverberation.
It does not have a sound of its own; it just enhances the existing
ambience and early reflections. K-Stereo is also capable
of making a natural mono to stereo conversion.
The plug-in is intended to be compatible with the new VST version
3.0 and is the first in the new Algorithmix CHROMIUM SERIES, a set
of reference mastering plug-ins.
The World’s first Ambience Recovery Processor
Welcome to a brand-new category of audio product: the world’s first
Ambience Recovery Processor. You are about to experience a sound
enhancement plug-in that can add the last polish to an excellent
audio recording, or improve a good recording. It’s based on a psychoacoustical
process developed and patented by US mastering engineer Bob Katz.
Unobtrusive and Natural Ambience Enhancement
For the first time, the mastering engineer can easily enhance, expand,
and equalize the ambience in a recording. K-Stereo works
unobtrusively and naturally. It can help a “small” rock&roll
recording become bigger, make a mono recording sound stereophonic.
It can improve the definition, depth, width and space of any recording.
K-Stereo is primarily a mastering tool, but it is also useful
during post-production, and occasionally during mixing. K-Stereo
provides control over reverb returns or ambience mikes after the
program has been mixed, and it enhances the shape, spread, tonality
and depth of that reverb. After mastering, the resulting reverberation
envelops the direct sound but the mix becomes clearer and the definition
improves due to the psychoacoustic nature of the process.
Merging Different Ambience Types
K-Stereo helps to glue a recording together without need
for dynamic compression. Recordings that were made with multiple
stereo microphone techniques sound more realistic and cohesive,
as K-Stereo removes or reduces the artificial “edges” between
the different spaces that were mixed together.
Ambience Enhancement Without Adding Any Artificial Reverb
K-Stereo can help give a demo the polish of a better mix,
or reduce the weaknesses of a poor mix. There’s no substitute for
a great mix; no substitute for use of stereo and surround microphone
techniques in a natural acoustic space. However, an experienced
mastering engineer will discover that K-Stereo can put the
final polish on nearly any mix.
This is accomplished without adding artificial reverb, without
the muddy effects and artifacts that are associated with adding
reverberation to an existing mix. Plus you won’t have to spend an
hour playing with reverb settings to avoid the “room within a room”
effect, or attempting to match the color of the original recorded
reverb. The color and feel of the original reverberation is preserved.
K-Stereo improves the spread and diffusion of the inherent
reverb and reveals the critical early reflections that define the
position and location of the instruments. It can’t turn a $600 reverb
into a $6000 model, but it can give the $600 reverb some of the
qualities of the more expensive model.
Adding and Modifying Real Space to Vocals and Instruments
You can instantly create a deeper, wider soundstage, move instruments
and vocalists that are too far up front away from the listener.
Instruments and vocalists take on a spatial, kinetic, quality, improving
the illusion of being in a real space, without coloration, pitch
modulation, “phasiness” or artifacts often noted with other processes.
You can restore or enhance the front-to-back depth in stereo recordings
that otherwise sound flat and one-dimensional. Recordings become
integrated and organic; “in your face” recordings can be made to
sound just right. The effect can range from subtle and intimate
to extremely spacious with the touch of a knob, without losing center-panned
information (as would occur with competing techniques that reduce
the M to S ratio).
K-Stereo also performs natural mono-to-stereo conversion,
by bringing out the ambience in the original mono source and spreading
it to the sides in a stereophonic fashion, and with an extremely
Ambience Enhancement Keeping the Character of a Mix Unchanged
K-Stereo does not have a sound of its own; it just enhances
the existing ambience and early reflections. Initially, the effect
appears subtle. Even when you turn the effect up too loud, it doesn’t
sound bad. You’ll hear a natural, diffuse ambient field which is
extracted (derived) from the ambience in the source recording. The
recording’s clarity, spatiality, depth and soundstage is enhanced
without creating phasing or comb-filtering effects, without matrixing
or altering mid/side ratio (unless you choose to do so), without
changing the “mix”, without fancy steering, and with no effect on
the tonal balance of the direct sound. The tonal balance of the
ambience can be altered so as to produce a more pleasant sonic effect,
which is a different and more subtle form of equalization.
Preserving Ambience in Coded Recordings
Normally, conversion from long wordlength to 16-bit CD format as
well as coding (data compression) to mp3 or other coded formats
for the Internet tends to narrow the space and the depth. But through
the use of the K-Stereo process and a good dithering algorithm
(today included in every serious DAW), amazingly, a 16-bit master
can have much of the depth of the 24-bit original, and mp3s as well!
A 24-bit and/or high sample rate master destined for a high resolution
medium will also improve if the original mix was small or “depth-deprived”.
And finally a secret: K-Stereo makes the sound louder, but
rarely causes clipping. (shhhh).