Orchestral samples and stereo width


In using some orchestral samples, with a view to writing cinematic trailer music, some samples have a stereo width feature. Often, these seem to default to quite wide or the widest. Should they be left wide or narrowed?

I’ve found that ifI narrow the width, it can then be panned and it’s position pin-pointed by the ear - and I’m assuming I’m trying to put the orchestra instruments in their rightful stage place.

But is this the ‘right’ way to do it? Is there a standard way or a better way? Should I be leaving them wider?

Its pretty subjective… If you want true orchestral realism, then positioning in the traditional sense would be the way to go. Now, listen to 5 or 6 moden film sountracks and see if you hear that … I doubt you will.

Yeah, if anything, the various sections of a software-based orchestra are not hard panned left or right, but are somewhere in the middle, meaning that you get bleed into the other side of the stereo field. So you don’t get a mono downmix, but it’s harder to distinguish on what side the first violins are versus the second violins, etc.

Check it in mono. Overly wide samples/spatial efx can cancel in mono. A lot of people watch trailers on their phones which are mono. I would set the width in mono then move along to the other components of the soundtrack/narration.