Stereophonic sound, commonly called stereo, is the reproduction of sound using two or more independent audio channels through a symmetrical placement of loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions. In contrast, monophonic or "mono" sound, is where audio is in the form of one channel, often centered in the sound field.
To record in stereo, two or more microphones are placed in strategically chosen locations relative to the sound source, with both recording simultaneously. Usually, in commercial music production, different tracks of the same song are recorded individually and then mixed into a final two-channel recording using "left-right" panning controls to create the stereo effect.
Thanks to software like Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter, you don’t have to a be a sound engineer or have access to expensive recording equipment to create stereo music. All you need is a simple, Windows PC.
Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter takes monoaural MP3, WAV or WMA tracks and convert it into faux stereo by digital post processing. The effect is very convincing.
The monoaural file can be one you recorded at home off the TV speakers or at a live event using a single microphone. Or the original recording itself could be mono.
With Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter, it is very easy to convert mono audio files to stereo. Simply load the file into the program (supports batch processing too), and with just a few clicks of the mouse you can breathe new life into your flat and dull home productions.
The program lets you fine-tune the stereo width, harmonic richness, level balance and panning. The stereo width determines how spatially “wide apart” the left and right channels are; level balance controls the output power or signal gain for the left and right channel. An off-balance stereo gives the impression of the sound source placed off-center; and panning controls the spread of the monaural signal in the stereo.
Even at it’s default settings, the program produces excellent results. Musereo has a page where you can listen and compare the original mono and converted stereo file. These demos are very impressive.
Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter is priced at $29.95. So the immediate question that arises is: can’t this be done using free tools? Technically, yes. But a simple test I ran shows that it can be very hard to get results. I converted a monoaural track to stereo using Audacity and MDA’s Stereo Simulator plugin. The effect was barely perceivable. When I ran the same track through Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter, the stereo effect was more pronounced and it gave the soundtrack a depth which didn’t exist in the original.
I have packed the music files I used to compare Musereo Mono to Stereo Converter with Audacity. Users who are interested in listening to the difference can download it. Using headphones is recommended.
Musereo is sponsoring 10 licenses of this software, each worth $29.95, exclusively for Instant Fundas readers. Those who are interested in entering the sweepstake may leave their name and email ID in the form below. Winners will be selected by a random draw.
The contest closes on November 15, 2010.
Related: How to increase volume in one channel of stereo MP3 files
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