By Jerry Vigil
We’ve all played with “stereo enhancers” and “wideners” to try and get a stereo effect from a mono track, but none of these actually takes a mono piece of music, for example, and separates the instruments to allow for individual placement in the stereo spectrum. Think that’s not possible? Read on.
Ken Martin is the Program and Production Director for WTOJ in Watertown, NY. Ken also does work for Premiere Radio Networks converting old American Top 40 shows from the ‘70s that were done in mono into stereo for rebroadcast. Simple enough – get the stereo versions of the songs and replace the mono versions on the masters. But that didn’t fix the show’s theme song, which only existed as a mono version, and that wasn’t good enough for Ken.
The magic tool in his lab is a program called Spectral Layer Pro from a company with an appropriate name, Magix. Magix is probably best known in radio for their DAW Samplitude. (They also recently acquired Vegas from Sony and have many other products for video, web and graphics design.) Spectral Layer Pro will actually allow you to zero in on various instruments in a song and “extract” them. The various tracks can then be reassembled in your favorite DAW where you can process and pan tracks as you please.
Ken has performed this magic on two original AT40 themes and has prepared a video showing how he did it!
And if you’re interested in how he replaces the mono songs in the show with stereo versions, you’ll like this video tutorial:
Amazing! What I’m waiting for is what Spectral Layer Pro can do to a mono voice track. Is it possible to separate various frequencies of a voice and create a truly stereo voice track? I’ll be looking forward to see what else comes out of Ken’s lab.
Ken welcomes your correspondence at