After HF Compressor, Violet EQ, and Transformer, comes the last VST in the series with a pretty sweet deal: SSL Fusion Stereo Image! Like the other plugins of the series, the effect comes from the Fusion Hardware Device. This time, it’s a mixing effect for stereo width – down almost 86 percent for just a few days!
SSL Fusion Stereo Image: Mid/Side – stereo width magic
You have (hopefully) often already set the right panning positions of all your tracks when you’re at the final stages of mixing and mastering. But when it comes to today’s listening habits, where the vast majority of music is consumed through headphones, stereo width is an absolute must. In addition to the SSL Fusion Stereo Image, free tools such as iZotope’s Imager are available. And these can already help you turn the higher frequencies of your mix a bit wider.
But if you’re deeper into mixing and mastering, you might have heard about mid/side. Let’s recap: unlike the classic stereo split between a left and a right channel, here we have a center channel (the sum of the equal signal parts from left and right, or mono) and a side channel (the differences between left and right, what creates the stereo effect in the first place).
In this workflow, it is important to ensure that the low frequencies in the side signal are attenuated as much as possible because too much stereo in the bass range can quickly make it sound unfocused. In addition, a gentle boost of the highs in the side signal can emphasize the stereo effect of a mix just right. And that’s what the Fusion Stereo Image does well.
Shuffle, Space, and Width – Magic on the sides
In addition to controls for the input and output levels, there are three parameters in SSL Fusion Stereo Image: Shuffle, Space, and Width. With the latter you set the volume of the side signal. Space determines the volume of the bass or midrange in the side signal. And with Shuffle you determine in what frequency range Space works: 40 to 400 hertz.
The Space circuit works according to the principle of “Stereo Shuffling.” That means that when you turn up the Space parameter, SSL Fusion Stereo Image creates a particular depth effect in your mix – without it becoming out of phase. You can check for phase correlation with the display in the middle.
SSL Fusion Stereo Image is down almost 86 percent!
If you first want to try it out, the website has a fully featured 14-day demo. If you have already decided or will decide before November 01, 2023: SSL Fusion Stereo Image is currently heavily reduced at Thomann (affiliate) – almost 86 percent!
More on SSL and the VST
´This post contains affiliate links and widgets. When you buy a product via our affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support what we do. Don’t worry, you pay the same price. Thanks for your support!
- SSL Fusion Stereo Image: SSL