I almost always take the lead roaring synth in my songs and make them wider in the stereo field using a plug-in called Ozone from Izotope. Ozone is a complete mastering suite plug-in with several modules you can turn on and off. It consists of a Paragraphic EQ, Multiband Harmonic Exciter, Multiband Dynamics, Mastering Reverb, IRC Maximizer, Dither and Multiband Stereo Imaging. When I master full finished songs I use many of these modules. However, during the creation of the song itself I only use the Stereo Widener on one sound. I keep the other modules off. From the Izotope website:
Ozone allows you set widening and imaging for the mix using a multiband stereo imaging module. As with the other multiband modules in Ozone (Dynamics and Harmonic Exciter) the module is split up into four bands determined by the multiband crossover points displayed on the spectrum.
I put the plug-in as an Insert (not a Send Return), click on the Stereo Widener, turn off bypass, slide all the bands to the right until the number reaches 6. That’s it. Done.
If I want a dirtier more aggressive tone sometimes I will use Ohm Force’s excellent Predatohm plug-in. Load the plug-in as an insert and the look in the bottom right corner. See where it says “Super Stereo”? Thats your section. Click the little white square button on and turn the phase up. Done.
There are few other plug-ins that do widening such as DUY Wide and the Waves S1. I’ve never used those so I can’t comment how well they work. I have lots of little rules I like to keep when it comes to panning but thats the subject of another post. Do you use any stereo widener plug-ins?