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Width and the balancing act

As I slice and dice this menagerie of guitars, I’m reminded how often I’m sent a perfectly balanced arrangement—every voicing doubled and panned, each note edited to the grid, each vocal stack tuned with precision—and the artist asks for a wider mix. If I mute a track or upset the symmetry in any way, I’ll usually get some pushback.

But here’s the thing to keep in mind. The more similar the sides of a mix are, the closer it gets to mono. For a mix to be wide, the information on each side has to be distinct.

It’s something you can use in your arrangements. Let left be left and right be right. Be bold, or be mono.