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Stereo Enhancer block

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Enhancer block.png

Available on which Fractal Audio products

  • Axe-Fx III: 2 blocks
  • Axe-Fx II: 1 block
  • FX8: 1 block
  • AX8: 1 block

X/Y and channels

  • Axe-Fx III: 2 channels
  • Axe-Fx II: no
  • FX8: no
  • AX8: no

Modes: Classic, Modern, Stereoizer

Classic – Old Haas effect delay-based processing. The right channel is delayed by a very small amount to increase the apparent stereo separation between the left and right channels. Haas effect in Wikipedia

"Classic enhancer mode is just a delay on one side (adjustable from 0 to 20 ms) plus pan & phase adjustment. The non-delayed side will tend to seem louder, just like if you used a delay block to get the same delay time." Bakerman

Modern – Multiband techniques for a much more natural effect. Also, the effect is mono-compatible with no phasing problems when summing to mono. The effect both widens stereo signals and “stereoizes” mono signals. Low-cut and High-cut parameters allow control over the region of influence. It is NOT recommended to use the Enhancer if just using one side of a stereo output as phasing effects may be encountered. More information

"The algorithm is such that when Width is zero there is significant cancellation in the right channel that will cause a shift in the balance."

Stereoizer – While the Classic and Modern types rely on micro-delays and inversions to create artificial stereo, the new Stereoizer uses multiple high-order filters to create a realistic stereo image.

Mono and stereo input/output

Input – While a stereo input signal works best, the Enhancer can also "stereoize" an incoming mono signal. Of course, the output signal still has to be stereo.

Output – The Enhancer applies to stereo output. Also, don't use it if you only use one channel (left or right) of a stereo signal.

Position of the Stereo Enhancer block

The Enhancer block should always be placed at the end of the signal routing.

Parameters table

Parameter Axe-Fx III Axe-Fx II AX8, FX8
Type yes
Width yes
Depth yes
Modern – Low Cut, High Cut yes
Classic – Phase Invert yes
Classic – Pan L, Pan R yes

Tips and tricks

Widen the Panner

Make the stereo Panner (Tremolo/Panner block) effect appear fuller and wider by adding the Enhancer.

Alternatives to Stereo Enhancer

Use the Micro Delay in the Cab block to improve stereo imaging. Or the Delay block:

"Another way would be to use the Delay block. Set the Mix to 100%, dial in the desired amount of delay and set Balance to full right." source

Avoiding phase cancellation and comb filtering

When summing a stereo signal to mono, the Enhancer in Classic mode can cause phase cancellation. The Modern Mode is mono-compatible to prevent this.

"Never put the enhancer in parallel or you'll get phasing problems. That's why there is no bypass mode because it should always be in series." source
"The Modern Enhancer will survive collapsing to mono but any enhancer should be used judiciously, especially for recordings." source

More information...

More information