Just thought I'd create a page for the goodhertz line of audio plug in products, especially CanOpener and Mid-Side. I mostly mean the desktop plug-ins, but we can also discuss the mobile aps as well. The products I've purchased so far are: CanOpener for mac and iOS and Mid-Side (the full version, although I have used mid-side matrix, which is the free, stripped down version). To me, CanOpener was a game-changer product. Before CanOpener, I only really looked for amps or DACs that had crossfeed built in, as to me, crossfeed is a necessity for long listening sessions. All the other crossfeed DSP programs I had tried were complete crap. So, I developed a prejudice for only using analog, amp/dac built in solutions. I liked the crossfeed solutions built into the Grace m9XX and the upper tier Chord products. However, I saw a few recommendations for CanOpener, and decided to try it out on their free trial. I was almost immediately blown away with both the quality of the crossfeed (which makes sense because the product is marketed to be used for recording studios) and also the flexibility. That was one thing that somewhat annoyed me with built in analog crossfeed, is that it was either on or it was off, there was no tailoring, despite that the crosfeed I'd want for different songs and different headphones and even different DACs and amps could differ. So, this not only improved the sound I was getting, but also meant I didn't have to worry about limiting my amp/DAC searches to units with crossfeed built in. CanOpener mostly fixed what is, to me, the fundamental problem of headphone soundstage. That is, music is mastered with speakers in mind, and thus when you put headphones on, you have three distinct blobs of sound, a central blob, a left blob and a right blob. With speakers the physical placement of the speakers in space allows your brain to turn these blobs into a coherent plane of sound, thus a realistic soundstage. CanOpener doesn't get you ALL the way to Speaker soundstage, though, as I experienced it, it was still a bit "wrapped" around your head, as opposed to the mostly flat plane a good speaker setup presents. And the soundstage was still a bit more narrow than a speaker setup could ideally produce. That's where mid-side came in. Mid-side allowed me to take that connected, realistic soundstage and then shape it, without disconnecting it. I guess it's time for some pictures. Here is a rough idea of how I experienced soundstage with the HD800 and m9XX: In the first image, labeled "No Crossfeed" you see the "traditional" headphone soundstage as I experienced it, and this is with a very good soundstage headphone, the HD800. With the HD800 I at least could experience the "blobs" outside of my head. Like with a Grado SR series headphone you'd actually see those three blobs inside my head. But it still wasn't really impressive to me, because even if it got outside of my head, it was disconnected an unnatural sounding. This is why, for a long time I didn't really care about stoundstage. Like I didn't care if the blobs were in my head or outside, if they were just going to be disconnected blobs of sound anyway. Binaurally recorded music fixed this, but there's so little music I want to listen to recorded binaurally, that it mostly just served as a tease. Then came the m9XX and its crossfeed unit. The blobs were no longer distinctly disconnected. You can see it didn't really completely come together, as there was a small gap in perceived soundstage, but it came really close. And depth marginally improved as well. This, to me, drastically reduced listening fatigue, and it also made me care about soundstage in headphones again. With the m9XX crossfeed, there was a much more realistic sense of space and soundstage with a good soundstage headphone like the HD800, compared to, say, the SR80e, which even with crossfeed, all the blobs are still in your head. Then came canopener. A night and day difference between the perceived soundstage would be underselling the difference I experienced. First of all, everything was connected now, completely. While it felt like I had the band sitting around me, instead of fully in front of me, and the soundstage was a tiny bit narrow, compared to ideal, I much more quickly could get the "close your eyes and think you're there" feeling. Then I pushed it a little further with the mid-side program. The mid-side program allows you to individually control levels of the middle and sides of the mix, and also even give them different EQ settings. The free mid-side matrix is good, but only allows you to control levels, not EQ. And it also seems to have a rougher way of creating width. It's a good starting point for free, but if you want to go fully next level with soundstage, mid-side is the key. You can see that with this, I come startlingly close to experiencing a real quality speaker like soundstage with the HD800. I can close my eyes, picture a band on-stage and within seconds feel like I'm there. To give you an idea of the settings I use, I'll include some pictures: CanOpener If I didn't use mid-side, I wouldn't max out crossfeed percentage like I do here, I'd probably just go 100%. At 150% it starts to make the soundstage wrap around your head a bit too much and become a bit too narrow. You get the benefit of much more accurate imaging, and much better perceived depth, and much greater coherency. 100% is a nice compromise. I use most realistic processing. It take a bit more processing power, but is definitely worth it if you have the power available, because it's a much more realistic sounding effect then. So why did I use 150% if I said that 100% is the best compromise? Because the issues that 150% creates can be fully undone with mid-side, without undoing the benefits of coherency and depth 150% gives you. So if you are gonna use mid-side, in addition to CanOpener, go with 150%, if not go with 100%. One other thing, the stereo spectrum vizualizer is new, and so great. It's fun in and of itself, but also useful to see what frequencies are where in the music. The "ideal" soundstage is something like a flower, where the bass, ie stem of the flower, is dense in the middle. This gives the music a very solid sounding foundation. Then the midrange is a bit wider, this keeps things focused, but gives a bit greater sense of space. Then the highest frequencies are much more spread out, to give a sense of air. Luckily most modern recordings follow this pattern, but some older music especially deviates from this (especially 60s era british recordings, when they really didn't understand what the point of stereo even was, since they were culturally mono, but had to make stereo recordings for america). But if you're noticing some music deviates from this, it will probably 1) irritate you and 2) you can use canopener to fix it. Some recordings have the kick drum panned hard one way or the other, which I find extremely irksome. But with canopener, just slide that mono-below control, and now your bass is centered again, and much more pleasant (yes, I'm looking at you early beatles recordings). If you like The Beatles and listen to headphones, canopener is basically a must own app for just them alone. Mid-Side With mid-side the first thing I do is set the width at 115%. While this may not seem like much, for the purposes of listening to music, rather than studio music creation, it's enough. I am usually between 110% and 140% depending on the music and the headphone. With the HD800 I almost never need more than 120% width. I use the natural setting. So, this adjustment alone gets us really close, except the sides are a bit too close, which gives the "curved" soundstage effect that headphones produce. With CanOpener on 150% crossfeed, it sounds like the band is playing AROUND you (which can admittedly be cool on its own, but doesn't sound realistic). With CanOpener on 150% and mid-side on 115%, it sounds like you're listening to a gently curved stage, such that the left, right and center are equally distant. I then use the Mid and Side specific EQs to pull and boost some presence frequencies, which has the effect of "straightening" the stage, such that the far left sounds farther away, as it should. Basically I have a slope EQ adjustment from 8kHz-20kHz that is bumped by 1dB in the middle, and pulled by 2dB on the sides. Those numbers are very subtle, but when it comes to soundstage, subtlety makes all the difference. From headphone to headphone you can adjust those settings a bit, and even album to album if you want (in my experience live recordings can do with a bit less). Anyway, if anybody else has any testaments to these or any other GoodHertz products, fire away. Or feel free to ask any questions!