RAZ Audio has introduced STC-3, a freeware stereo width control utility in 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows based digital audio workstations.
Judging by the product description on the developer’s website and the looks of the actual user interface, STC-3 is supposed to work as a stereo enhancer, as well as a stereo-to-mono converter. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the plugin’s main stereo expander module do anything in my 32-bit DAW (the free version of MuLab). The plugin loads properly and everything seems to be working fine, but the sound is not affected in any way by the main stereo width control (it sounds completely the same when set to mono, wide and anywhere in between). The controls are responsive and I can change their values normally, but the sound simply doesn’t change and the numerical readout stays at zero.
Of course, this could be (and most probably is) caused by some sort of incompatibility issue with the latest version of MuLab Free, however I don’t currently have access to another 32-bit host on Windows. If you’ve tested STC-3 on your machine and it worked for you, please share your opinion about the plugin in the comments section below.
On the other hand, the LF Processor module works just fine here and I really like what it does. The user can enter any frequency value between 5 Hz and 800 Hz and set the content below it to mono, mute it, or solo it. Such functionality can come in handy when processing bass tracks with stereo content, or pretty much any part of your mix that you’d like to keep fixed to mono below a certain frequency.
UPDATE: The new v1.1 release fixes all of the issues explained above. Please update your copy of STC-3 to the latest version in order to enable the stereo width boosting functionality. Many thanks to RAZ Audio for letting us know about the new version of the plugin as soon as it was released.
It’s quite unfortunate that I can’t fully test STC-3, as it really seems like it could be a useful mixing and mastering utility. Hopefully, a future update will fix the incompatibility issue with MuLab Free and, who knows, the developer might even release a 64-bit version of the plugin at some point.
STC-3 is available for free download via RAZ Audio (2.1 MB download size, DLL file, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows).