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K-Stereo Ambience Processor

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
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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).
Mono-to-Stereo Conversion
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 mono-compatible result.
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).
K-Stereo Menu
Demo Version
Audio Examples
Order & Pricing Information
System Requirements
Client Testimonials
Price: € 664 (excl. VAT)

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I tested the plug-in extensively in an attended session. I was able to shift settings during play back, bypass and enable the plug in, and bring up numerous instances without any problems.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say how convenient the visual GUI is vs. the hard ware unit. I don’t want this to sound negative against the hardware, but having all of the controls available at once – plus the visual of the width and depth fields — really make this plug-in a wonderful transfer from analog to plug in world.
Garrett Haines
Treelady Studios
Last updated: 25.01.2010