Nugen Audio offers streamlined versions of their three powerful plugins that make up the Focus bundle. The first released is called Stereoizer Elements, a stereo width plug-in that adds depth to stereo and mono mixes and individual tracks. Most importantly is that mono compatibility is always maintained even with extreme settings. Compatibility means your music mixes will hold up on any playback system even over live sound systems—often mono only.
I have reviewed the original Stereoizer3, and Elements gives a path to its basic functionality at a lower cost and less CPU usage. The same algorithms are used under the hood just without individual controls over many deep parameters that are already pre-optimized. Inter-aural intensity difference and inter-aural time difference—the two main ways humans locate sounds within a stereo field are adjusted together by a single control. Stereo audio tracks are adjustable anywhere from mono to wide stereo.
Stereoizer Elements maintains the Analysis feature that shows stereo spread relative to frequency. Stereo balance is a simple adjustment with readout display with is a -100% to +100% Linear Width control plus the Mono button collapses stereo down to mono.
I found Stereoizer Elements to work great in music mixing for controlling how much stereo space and width sustaining pads, pianos, drum kits, choirs will occupy. Manipulating stereo imaging is as important to me as any other processors I use in music mixing.
Stereoizer Elements also does a pretty convincing stereo conversion from mono sources. On a mono guitar track, at about 40% width, I could start to hear certain frequencies “shuffled”—spread out left and right.
The Focus Elements plugins are available for both Windows and Mac OS in 64-bit AAX, VST3, AU and AudioSuite formats.
Nugen Audio Stereoizer Elements is available for $49 USD download.