Master Tones release The Stage Package ($119 intro offer) featuring The Widener and The Deepener plugins.
The two-plugin package has an introductory price of $119 (usually $159), or you can buy them individually for $99 each.
The plugins are modeled from analog mastering gear.
Starting with The Widener ($99 when purchased separately), it’s, as the name suggests, a stereo width enhancer.
The GUI expectedly doesn’t have many controls to speak of, but the ones included are nice and clear; I like how it looks.
Once you get past the Input/Output sliders and the main Width control, you’ll see an EQ on the right-hand side. The EQ is interesting because you can target a specific frequency range.
The technology behind The Widener is Master Tones Ariosa AI, which sounds like an omnipresent villainous corporation from a dystopian 80s movie; to be clear, I’ve looked into it, and it’s cool; they have nothing but good intentions! We have been talking about AI a lot lately with things like RipX DeepAudio, etc.
My limited experience of The Widener seems like it’s offering a cleaner and more precise alternative to some already available plugins. I can’t say it beats the competition until I use it myself, but the demos show a clear enhancement between dry and wet, and it sounds excellent.
Here’s more info about The Widener:
“Breaking the borderline of the stereo image, The Widener expands the boundary of your sound to a whole new level, immersing the listener in the dimension of the sound field you build. Powered by our very own Ariosa AI technology, The Widener is able to work seamlessly without having any phasing issues, giving you the smoothest user experience.”
Jumping over to The Deepener ($99 retail price), also powered by Ariosa AI, focuses on dynamics.
It allows you to modify the sound source to any distance in the center of the sound stage. It also has the same EQ function as The Widener and the same GUI, replacing Width for Depth and white for black.
Listening to The Deepener in use seems like it could be a great plugin if you want to enhance the impact in certain areas without doing anything too obvious, and I like that.
Here’s more info about The Deepener:
“Creating an incredible dynamic to your work, The Deepener empowers you the freedom to alternate the sound source to any desired distance in the center of the sound stage, the size of the sound image is decided by your imagination. The EQ feature enables you to target the frequency range specifically for your sound, alternating only the frequency band you want to work at.”
Both plugins feature some useful presets that help you get the right results faster. Each plugin also has the same highest supported sample rate, which is 96kHz ( up to 192kHz internal working sample rate).
On the surface, this package offers two very straightforward plugins, but each can have a very powerful effect.
Both plugins come in 64-bit AU, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS (10.9 and higher) and Windows 10.
More info: The Stage Package ($119 introductory price)