As a toolbox with various kinds of useful, er, tools, Xtrim can really save you some time during the mixing process: use its hi and lo pass filters to roll off unwanted frequencies; enhance the side portion of a stereo signal a bit; fix timing issues between left and right channel; and so forth. This time, however, we will use Xtrim in a slightly different, maybe unconventional manner, and more as a creative effect. As a matter of fact, we will use it as a send effect to give a drum loop more stereo width, depth, and make it more exciting. Sounds interesting so far? Well, then let’s get going!

Here’s our track for today – don’t forget to play it back on a stereo system:

Sending an Effect

Since we are going to use Xtrim as a send effect, we need to send our drum loop to a bus first (please consult your DAW’s manual if you’re not sure how to set up a bus in your host software) and place an instance of the plugin on it. Next we set up our filters: by turning the hi pass (HP) all the way up to 500Hz and turning down the lo pass (LP) to about 16kHz we tidy up the sound of our wet signal. After that we turn the width control (WID) to the far right (S), which essentially removes the mid signal and leaves us with the sides only – after all we still have got our main drum track that contains enough mid signal, so to speak.

Now comes the fun part. We flip the toggle switch on the left from L to L+R. This will provide us with control over both left and right channels. Then we turn up the delay (TIME) up quite a bit and also raise the PITCH a bit. Of course the toggle switch between the knobs has to be set to ON. As a last step we flip on the chorus effect on the right (CHO). What we did here is we emphasized the stereo information of the sound and altered it in comparison to the original dry signal. If we now blend those two signals together using the fader of the bus to balance the levels, we get a very nice and wide drum sound.

The interface of the plugin should now look something like this:

Xtrim Drums Interface

The Result

And here’s our final track:

You can download the preset for Xtrim here: Xtrim Drums Preset.FXP