Making a Piano Sound More Stereo (plugin help?)

A few years back I had recorded myself on the piano with a mic. Well, I cant play nearly as good anymore, but still would like to do some work on my song. Is there any way to give it a more stereo effect? Im guessing I am looking for a plugin to help me with this. I am going for this sound where the high keys sound like they are coming from the right side, and the low keys sound like they come from the left side.

Ive done some initial experimentation by splitting the track and making the left side all bass heavy, and the right side all treble… its OK, but still not what Im going after.

I am hoping someone can recommend a plugin in to help me with this. I came across “dual tape decks” here and although it gives me a totally distorted sound, it does sort of give me the separated sounds effect (although still FAR from what i want since this sounds way distorted).

Not sure what to do next! If I understood the plugins better maybe I can edit the dual tape decks to give me the separated sound im going for. Not distorted, but a great stereo atmosphere from my piano.

I’m running Ubuntu 10.10 with Audacity 1.3.12-beta and have all 160+ of Steve’s plugins installed.

Thanks so much for any help!!!

You can get a very presentable fake stereo effect by simply delaying Right only without Left. If you listen in headphones (no computer speakers, please) your playing will become deep and wide as you increase the delay.

You can finish off the effect with a very slight echo or reverb. If you do it right, it will sound like you’re playing in Disney Hall with no additional plugins.


We warn people to only install the plugins they’re actually going to use. One plugin that doesn’t feel well that day and Audacity won’t start.


The person who gave us “dual tape decks” also produced “stereo widener” plug-in,
at the very bottom of this page …
This plug-in won’t make dual-mono into pseudo-stereo though, i.e. the tracks have to be different for it to work.

Thank you for the tips Koz. I’ll give them a try. My main goal, besides a more stereo sound, is to give that lower half of the piano keys sound from the left speaker, and the higher half of the piano keys sound from the right speaker. Have you ever heard this in a song before? I just heard a couple of Taylor Swift songs that use this effect. You really notice it too with headphones. A low C note in the left speaker, a high F note in the right speaker… really sounds amazing. Maybe Im asking too much from a plugin?? :slight_smile:

On Ubuntu, dont know if you are using it, but the whole bundle of LADSPA plugins is available as one download in synaptic called “swh-plugins”. I admit though, many of them I have no intention of using.

Again, no plugins needed. While your channels are split for the delay/stereo effect, apply the equalizer independently to left and right. Effect > Equalization > Graphic Eq. On the low side pull down the sliders above about 400 and on the high side, all the sliders below 400. 440 is the “middle A” on the piano. That will be abrupt. As you cross the 400Hz point the piano will abruptly switch left to right, but you can modify each slider position so as you get further away from 400, the effect is greater and greater.


This example is on the wrong frequencies, but it shows a graceful transition by gently spacing the sliders.

I shan’t pretend to understand why you want the lower half of the piano keys sound from the left speaker, and the higher half of the piano keys sound from the right speaker - real pianos don’t do that. The high notes and low notes of a real piano comes from the entire instrument, not from one side or the other. Since the mid 19th century it has become usual for the low strings and high strings cross over each other inside the piano.

I’ve written a plug-in to create a stereo effect from a mono source - it won’t split the keyboard into left and right, but it will give a sense of three dimensional space to the sound: Pseudo-stereo effect

I will give your pseudo stereo plugin a try, thanks!

I have attached the beginning of a song where you can hear the guitar (i think thats guitar) strings switching back and forth between the speakers. It ads a nice effect. I notice it a lot when wearing headphones.

Wow, I really like the Pseudo Stereo plugin! Nice!

I think that’s panning controlled by a low frequency oscillator (LFO),
David Sky gave us a plug-in for that too …

Panning | View panlfo2.ny | Download

[I’ve never used this plug-in though, but I do use others made by David Sky]

Ohhh very nice… thats pretty much what I was looking for. I think this will work fine on some sections of my song. Perfecto! Thank you.