Kilohearts releases Channel Mixer, a FREE stereo and phase utility for macOS and Windows.
Channel Mixer is a simple but pretty powerful plugin that you can use as a regular plugin or as part of Snapheap (as a Snap-In). It is the latest addition to the free Essential Bundle from Kilohearts.
On the surface, Channel Mixer provides an easy way to separate your audio’s left and right channels and process them independently. It also makes it easy to create mid and side channels from any source. It’s when you get into separating channels and adding automation that Channel Mixer becomes a far more creative tool.
If we think of common use for a plugin like Channel Mixer, it could be to apply reverb to the mid or sides only. One of the main reasons you might want to do that is because you have so many things competing for space in the mid-area. You might have individual reverbs working alongside an overall reverb, and it doesn’t take much for things to become muddy.
There are other solutions that don’t include separating channels, like adding filters to reduce muddiness or adjusting reverb times in specific frequencies. But that can be tedious and doesn’t always produce the cleanest fix.
Applying different reverbs to the mid and sides is typically a cleaner option.
Channel Mixer has just four knobs, each of which positively or negatively increases the waveform’s amplitude. The controls have icons that indicate which part of the signal they adjust and what they do with it. You’ll also see text explanations when you hover over a specific control.
The preset list will give you a good idea of what you can do with Channel Mixer, whether you want to collapse to mono or phase invert one side (or both).
One of the cool things about phase inverting with this plugin, rather than something with a simple phase invert button, is bringing automation into the mix. You can automate each control to gradually bring things in and out of phase or do something completely random and wild. Either way, you can get some pretty cool effects.
If you like to walk on the wild side, check out Uzumaki from Slowslicing, a dark and slightly creepy phase distortion plugin (Free).
Channel Mixer is available in 64-bit AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS (M1 supported) or Windows.
Download: Kilohearts Channel Mixer