Author Topic: StereoTool (DSP based Multiband compressor/limiter/enhancer)  (Read 17456 times)

FrisBäh

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I use this DSP plugin for six years now to polish the sound quality of my MP3 collection when playing back. First in Winamp and now in MusicBee.

This plugin pretty much does the same thing that multiband compressors/limiters do for radio stations: Push music from different sources with different sound quality (too loud, too quiet, too much bass, not enough bass, too sharp, not enough highs and so forth) to the same level, so they blend smoothly when played together.

A good way to test is to search on SoundCloud for tracks and see how the plugin with the proposed settings here deals with the tracks and their various mastering qualities.



First download the DSP plugin:
http://www.stereotool.com/download/dsp_stereo_tool_installer_740.exe

Then download the "Maximizer Dry" settings I use (the plugin is highly configurable, but the build in settings never applied to my taste - they distort more than enhancing and cleaning up the sound):
https://anonfile.com/F4qfl6feb5/Maximizer_-_Dry.zip

This settings file only uses the freeware options of the StereoTool plugin. There are also options that are only available when paid for. You can enable them (like a declipper or dynamic range enhancer) to check them out, but it will mix regularly occurring beeping sounds to the stream.

Copy the DLL from the installer and the .sts file to the plugin folder:


Open the DSP settings and load the preset file:


You can check out the before/after by toggling the Bypass button of the plugin:


If you want to tweak the sound to your liking (more/less bass, more/less highs and so forth), you can do it here (change the levels in the red circled soft limiter area):



You can change the strength of the compression/loudness here:


The strength of the stereo enhancement (phase amplifier) and channel separation (width amplifier) can be tuned here:


Have fun! ;)

BTW: There are already newer version of the plugin available (8.x), but the "Maximizer Dry" settings are not 100% compatible and cause distortions.
Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 06:50:52 PM by FrisBäh

sveakul

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FrisBah:  this is a very good illustrated write-up, thank you!

Personally, I only use a VST limiter plugin (Sonic Anomaly's "Unlimited") to do limiting/compression, and that for radio streams which are often delivered clipping or under-modulated.  And MusicBee's internal equalizer, which is the best of any player I have tried.

The "kitchen-sink" type approach of Stereotool is not for me, but for those who like to experiment with music effects of all kinds it seems like a fun give-it-a-whirl to try.

However, one thing I must mention is that I notice the site where you have the settings "sts" zip linked to throws one of those phony "Your Flash Player may be outdated, click here to update!" windows when one clicks the "download" button, which is off-putting to say the least.  I recommend you use a "safer" site like tinyupload or something similar.
Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 03:16:10 AM by sveakul

rygle

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I wonder if there's a way to make this work for syncing to a USB stick/external device so that it would work for music in the car, on the phone (etc.). I know we can already level the volume, but it's not as advanced as this.

FrisBäh

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StereoTool has also a command line interface.

Here is a Windows script, which allows you to process music files with StereoTool and a preset file, so you have a processed MP3 file as result, that you can play everywhere without StereoTool processing it:

https://github.com/BreakingPoint/SISTERAP

Its description is talking about video files as source, but you can also drop MP3, OGG, WAV or any other format that FFMPEG processes onto it.

The command line version of StereoTool 7.40 can be downloaded here:
http://www.stereotool.com/download/stereo_tool_cmd_740.exe
Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 11:36:23 PM by FrisBäh

xbliss

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StereoTool has also a command line interface.

Here is a Windows script, which allows you to process music files with StereoTool and a preset file, so you have a processed MP3 file as result, that you can play everywhere without StereoTool processing it:

https://github.com/BreakingPoint/SISTERAP

Its description is talking about video files as source, but you can also drop MP3, OGG, WAV or any other format that FFMPEG processes onto it.

The command line version of StereoTool 7.40 can be downloaded here:
http://www.stereotool.com/download/stereo_tool_cmd_740.exe

Very interesting. Would try and connect back with questions / thoughts.