Stage One Plugin: Enhancing Stereo Imaging Like Never Before

Leapwing Audio StageOne

You know those moments when you’re listening to a song and you just can’t quite put your finger on why it sounds so good? Well, there’s a good chance it’s because of the stereo imaging. Leapwing Audio, the masterminds behind the innovative CenterOne v2 plugin, have done it again with their latest creation – StageOne. This plugin takes stereo manipulation to a whole new level, giving you unprecedented control over your mix.

A New Approach to Stereo Imaging

StageOne consists of three powerful modules – Width, Depth, and Mono Spread. Each module can be enabled or disabled independently, giving you the freedom to experiment and find the perfect balance for your mix. Let’s dive deeper into what each module brings to the table.

Width: Expanding Your Sonic Landscape

Width, as the name suggests, is a stereo widener. But don’t be fooled, it’s not your ordinary widener. Leapwing Audio has employed sophisticated techniques to ensure that the widener doesn’t compromise the integrity of your mix. By boosting the level of the “not phantom center” component above a user-specified frequency threshold, Width creates a widening effect that is impressive, reasonably mono-compatible, and adds a solid feel to your mix. Say goodbye to hollow mixes and weird headphone experiences caused by exaggerating the sides. Just be cautious with high Width values, as they can introduce noticeable pitch modulation.

Depth: Adding a Three-Dimensional Touch

Depth is where things get mysterious. Rather than being a conventional reverb, Depth adds early reflections that are “directionally optimized to create an enhanced sense of depth in the sound field.” With just two controls – Depth and a Color slider – you can manipulate the frequency balance of the added reflections. While it may take some experimentation to uncover its true power, Depth has the potential to surprise you. It can bring together elements in a mix, even when you didn’t realize they needed it. Give it a try, and you might just fall in love.

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Mono Spread: Unleashing the Power of the Center

Don’t let the name fool you – Mono Spread is much more versatile than it suggests. When fed a mono signal, this module performs a magic trick. It expands the width of the “phantom center” component, akin to the classic “electronically reprocessed for stereo” technique of the late ’60s, but with a remarkably good sound. But the real gem lies in the Center Gravity control. This allows you to shift the apparent focal point of a stereo signal to the left or right. Whether you need to rebalance an uncentered stereo image or push a stereo source to one side of a mix, without making it mono, Center Gravity has got you covered. Transparent and powerful, Mono Spread is a game-changer.

Unleash Your Creativity with StageOne

StageOne’s three modules, working together or individually, have the potential to enhance and transform your mix. From corrective adjustments to creative experimentation, this plugin opens up a world of possibilities. So why settle for ordinary stereo imaging when you can take your mix to new heights?


Price: $199

Learn more: ProgramMatek