Some people will try to have the stereo effect by duplicating the mono track and pan one track to the left, and the other to right. In that case you have what is called, big mono. The same signal played on both speakers one to the left and one to the right speaker. You’ve just doubled the volume. The real stereo signal is made not just of two same tracks, just with differences panning. The real stereo you will get when you will have also difference in time between the two panned channels and difference in tonal balance.
I know many young producers and engineers with lack of recording gear (including me) that know how to record acoustic guitar, choir, electric guitar properly, with two microphone technique, but they don’t have two mics, so they can’t get the desired sound with the gear that they have. And not just them, but the band also want that wide, big stereo sound, every guitar player wants to hear his own instrument wider, bigger and richer. This is also helpful if you record with two microphones, but you are not pleased with the choice and sound from one of the mics. With knowing this, you can use the mono signal that you like, and make a REAL STEREO. All of the musicians saw that you ware recording with two mics, believe me no one will notice that you are making mono to stereo if you do on this way. Well, what you can’t do with proper tools, you can do it with proper knowledge. Do not forget the most important tool, your brain. That’s WHY!
Let us say that I have recorded acoustic guitar with one mic, so let us confirm, we have one channel, or mono channel guitar. You mix and edit the guitar sound, you do everything, but you still lack the wideness, fullness, space and texture of the real acoustic guitar.
So this is my process:
I open one fx aux channel. As effect I engage delay plug inn. (this principal you can use with any delay plug inn that you have in your DAW.)
Then I am sending the mono channel to this AUX channel. The way that I use the delay plugin for creating a stereo is very simple. My Feedback value is 0, mix is 100% wet (that means that whole signal is affected by the delay) and i am going on the delay value with 15-25ms of delay. (all of this process instead of opening aux channel and sending the mono channel to the aux channel, you can duplicate your mono channel and engage on the insert delay plug inn with this parameters).
After the delay plug inn, I do eq. On the original mono channel, I often go with reducing the low mids with shelf eq just 1-2db and add a little bit of 5kHz. And on the duplicated channel or the AUX channel I will do the exact opposite. I will add at low mids with shelf eq 1-2dbs and dip at 5kHz. This will give REAL STEREO image. We are imitating difference and natural latency from mic cables, different frequency response from the microphones and preamps.
“The human brain can detect latency above 10ms, every latency lesser than 10ms, will not create stereo image.”