Creative uses for mid/side splitting?

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Wobbleburger
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Post 21 Feb 2019

I've been learning more and more about mid/side specific effects. The Ansani RE is really good. I've also been EQ'ing my things differently with the Fab Filter Pro Q's built in ability to affect only mid or side.

What I would like to know is this: What are some fun, creative effects that you've used with Mid/Side splitting? Creative or practical tricks are welcome and appreciated!

Some ideas I've tinkered with:

Reverb on the sides only
Delay on the sides only
Heavy compression on the sides only.
I like jungle.

Reason 10 - Win10 - i7 9700k - 32gb DDR4 - Novation Launchkey 25 - Korg Nanokontrol 2 - Scarlet 2i2 2nd Gen - Shure SM58 - Currently obsessed with Phase Plant

mangoa
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Post 21 Feb 2019

Keep in mind that M/S does not really affect the sides. It is the difference between L and R, while mid is what is common between L and R. If you really want for instance reverb only on the sides you need to use 2 reverbs and pan them hard left and right, preferably with slightly different settings.


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WarStar
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Post 21 Feb 2019

Maybe filter sweeps on the sides or mids via automation and maybe some other automated effect on the other mid or side thats not sweeped?

RandomSkratch
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Post 21 Feb 2019

Be careful with side only processing as this can be lost when the track is played back in mono. Best to do periodic testing when doing this.

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plaamook
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Post 21 Feb 2019

I just build a M/S rig with...Spider Splitter to...Two Stereo Imagers (one mono one normal or wide) to...Line Mixer. I ran a 'dry' signal from the Spider to a third channel on the line mixer to A/B things.
It's great very flexible and you can drop what FX you like in where ever.

This was the product of looking at things like Vox's MSED or ProQ3, but you can go so much deper into this kind of things in Reason. What a feckin mad house!

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Loque
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Post 22 Feb 2019

Just experiment...

EQ and compression is obvious and useful.

Be careful with complex setups and delay of the fx which can introduce phase offsets.
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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Wobbleburger
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Post 27 Feb 2019

RandomSkratch wrote:
21 Feb 2019
Be careful with side only processing as this can be lost when the track is played back in mono. Best to do periodic testing when doing this.
Good call - I keep the trusty Selig Gain on the master chain to check often. :) So far, all I've done is add heavy distortion to the sides of reeces. I also use a EQ out the sides under 300 to keep the lows mono.
I like jungle.

Reason 10 - Win10 - i7 9700k - 32gb DDR4 - Novation Launchkey 25 - Korg Nanokontrol 2 - Scarlet 2i2 2nd Gen - Shure SM58 - Currently obsessed with Phase Plant

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Wobbleburger wrote:
21 Feb 2019
Reverb on the sides only
Delay on the sides only
Heavy compression on the sides only.
This is problematic. It's a fully out-of-phase signal.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 28 Feb 2019

one of my favorite trick is to use compression and eq as panner. so EQ/compress one of the channels differently. you can pan stuff that way without using a panner. dig into it and you enter this new world :)
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Loque
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
28 Feb 2019
one of my favorite trick is to use compression and eq as panner. so EQ/compress one of the channels differently. you can pan stuff that way without using a panner. dig into it and you enter this new world :)
"Binaural panning" :thumbs_up:
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Loque wrote:
28 Feb 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
28 Feb 2019
one of my favorite trick is to use compression and eq as panner. so EQ/compress one of the channels differently. you can pan stuff that way without using a panner. dig into it and you enter this new world :)
"Binaural panning" :thumbs_up:
yes, I luv
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 28 Feb 2019

btw same when using overdrive. use different types on Left and Right channel. creative sound is possible.

use anything.
Marco Raaphorst

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Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Loque
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Post 28 Feb 2019

IS there any M/S device out there, which allow me to balance the m/s signals if this makes sense? Like the lowest gain signals on a side are are more "mono" and the higher gain signals are more "stereo", and i want to mix the "more mono" parts back into the mid signal in a way, the more the signal is "stereo" the less it will be mixed back to the "mid" signal. Does this make sense?
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Loque wrote:
28 Feb 2019
IS there any M/S device out there, which allow me to balance the m/s signals if this makes sense? Like the lowest gain signals on a side are are more "mono" and the higher gain signals are more "stereo", and i want to mix the "more mono" parts back into the mid signal in a way, the more the signal is "stereo" the less it will be mixed back to the "mid" signal. Does this make sense?
you could create a ducker with a Combinator for example which when the side gets louder would reduce the mid.
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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Wobbleburger
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Guys this leads me to another question. So I'm writing DNB. I have a big, wide reece. I want the mid/hi's wide and then everything under 200 or so mono. I'm using Pro Q to do a side-only hi pass around 200. Is this sufficient to keep the lows mono? I test in Mono with Selig Gain but I'm not 100% sure what to listen for.
I like jungle.

Reason 10 - Win10 - i7 9700k - 32gb DDR4 - Novation Launchkey 25 - Korg Nanokontrol 2 - Scarlet 2i2 2nd Gen - Shure SM58 - Currently obsessed with Phase Plant

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Wobbleburger
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
28 Feb 2019
Wobbleburger wrote:
21 Feb 2019
Reverb on the sides only
Delay on the sides only
Heavy compression on the sides only.
This is problematic. It's a fully out-of-phase signal.
Meaning that it will disappear in mono - because the sides arent included?
I like jungle.

Reason 10 - Win10 - i7 9700k - 32gb DDR4 - Novation Launchkey 25 - Korg Nanokontrol 2 - Scarlet 2i2 2nd Gen - Shure SM58 - Currently obsessed with Phase Plant

RandomSkratch
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Post 28 Feb 2019

Wobbleburger wrote:Guys this leads me to another question. So I'm writing DNB. I have a big, wide reece. I want the mid/hi's wide and then everything under 200 or so mono. I'm using Pro Q to do a side-only hi pass around 200. Is this sufficient to keep the lows mono? I test in Mono with Selig Gain but I'm not 100% sure what to listen for.
I think you're making this harder than it needs to be. All you need to do this is throw an M Class stereo imager after the synth, set the xover freq to 200Hz and dial the stereo image dial for lo band to mono. No need to EQ anything.

When collapsing to mono if there are any super wide things you'll lose them and it'll be pretty noticable. Especially if the low frequencies are really wide. To check this use a goniometer to see stereo field. VPS Scope is a pretty decent one. Anything on Y axis is Mid and X is Side. If your shape is more wide than tall it'll be lost when in mono. I think a good shape is ovalish vertically more or less (from what I've read).

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Wobbleburger
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Post 01 Mar 2019

RandomSkratch wrote:
28 Feb 2019
Wobbleburger wrote:Guys this leads me to another question. So I'm writing DNB. I have a big, wide reece. I want the mid/hi's wide and then everything under 200 or so mono. I'm using Pro Q to do a side-only hi pass around 200. Is this sufficient to keep the lows mono? I test in Mono with Selig Gain but I'm not 100% sure what to listen for.
I think you're making this harder than it needs to be. All you need to do this is throw an M Class stereo imager after the synth, set the xover freq to 200Hz and dial the stereo image dial for lo band to mono. No need to EQ anything.

When collapsing to mono if there are any super wide things you'll lose them and it'll be pretty noticable. Especially if the low frequencies are really wide. To check this use a goniometer to see stereo field. VPS Scope is a pretty decent one. Anything on Y axis is Mid and X is Side. If your shape is more wide than tall it'll be lost when in mono. I think a good shape is ovalish vertically more or less (from what I've read).
Thanks for the info. I'll try the method you mentioned over my complicated pro q method. Cheers!
I like jungle.

Reason 10 - Win10 - i7 9700k - 32gb DDR4 - Novation Launchkey 25 - Korg Nanokontrol 2 - Scarlet 2i2 2nd Gen - Shure SM58 - Currently obsessed with Phase Plant

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selig
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Post 05 Mar 2019

Loque wrote:
28 Feb 2019
Marco Raaphorst wrote:
28 Feb 2019
one of my favorite trick is to use compression and eq as panner. so EQ/compress one of the channels differently. you can pan stuff that way without using a panner. dig into it and you enter this new world :)
"Binaural panning" :thumbs_up:
Just panning, actually. Binaural panning involves making the sound appear to come from above/below/behind you. Changing the level of one channel of a stereo signal is exactly how "regular" panning is done.
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selig
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Post 05 Mar 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
28 Feb 2019
Wobbleburger wrote:
21 Feb 2019
Reverb on the sides only
Delay on the sides only
Heavy compression on the sides only.
This is problematic. It's a fully out-of-phase signal.
It's actually two identical signals with one of them polarity flipped, each panned fully to one side of the stereo field.

The main problem with any heavy processing on just the mid or side signal is the original stereo image will be lost. This is because the only settings where the original stereo signal is retained is when you don't do ANYTHING to either mid or side. Reducing the mid or increasing the side slightly may make the image appear slightly wider, but it soon breaks down.

For example, if you remove the mid signal entirely, you're left with just the side (which is the same signal in both channels with one of them inverted), and thus you will loose all panning. Meaning a signal panned hard left will no longer appear only in the left speaker, and the same for the right.

Likewise, removing the side signal just gives you a mono version of the entire original stereo image, not just the signals panned center. This mono signal will include anything panned hard left/right as well as center panned (and everything in between).

The only reason mid-side works is because BOTH signals are present. Historical note: the idea of using mid/side processing came from the mastering world in an attempt to correct poor mixes. These days you simply open the song file and correct the mix at the source! IMO that leaves subtle creative uses for M/S processing, in addition to the mastering situations where the original mix files are no longer available.
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MarkTarlton
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Post 05 Mar 2019

selig wrote:
05 Mar 2019
Historical note: the idea of using mid/side processing came from the mastering world in an attempt to correct poor mixes. These days you simply open the song file and correct the mix at the source! IMO that leaves subtle creative uses for M/S processing, in addition to the mastering situations where the original mix files are no longer available.
[/quote]

I thought alan blumlein invented it in the 30's for recording techniques and broadcasting?

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MarkTarlton
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Post 05 Mar 2019

MarkTarlton wrote:
05 Mar 2019
selig wrote:
05 Mar 2019
Historical note: the idea of using mid/side processing came from the mastering world in an attempt to correct poor mixes. These days you simply open the song file and correct the mix at the source! IMO that leaves subtle creative uses for M/S processing, in addition to the mastering situations where the original mix files are no longer available.
I thought alan blumlein invented it in the 30's for recording techniques and broadcasting?

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Marco Raaphorst
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Post 05 Mar 2019

MarkTarlton wrote:
05 Mar 2019
selig wrote:
05 Mar 2019
Historical note: the idea of using mid/side processing came from the mastering world in an attempt to correct poor mixes. These days you simply open the song file and correct the mix at the source! IMO that leaves subtle creative uses for M/S processing, in addition to the mastering situations where the original mix files are no longer available.
I thought alan blumlein invented it in the 30's for recording techniques and broadcasting?
[/quote]

Check this remaster:


This is ruined by mid/side changes. A complete deaf mastering engineer must have done this. Michael Jackson production. Not sure who. Big name without a doubt. But still... sucks totally :D
Marco Raaphorst

Music & soundware https://melodiefabriek.com.
Check out my new ReFill Rockmen: https://melodiefabriek.com/blog/rockmen ... available/

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MarkTarlton
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Post 05 Mar 2019

I have never been a fan of remastering records I grew up listening to. this would be an example of one that sounds wrong if you heard the original. I doubt MJ would approve.

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selig
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Post 05 Mar 2019

Marco Raaphorst wrote:
05 Mar 2019
MarkTarlton wrote:
05 Mar 2019

Historical note: the idea of using mid/side processing came from the mastering world in an attempt to correct poor mixes. These days you simply open the song file and correct the mix at the source! IMO that leaves subtle creative uses for M/S processing, in addition to the mastering situations where the original mix files are no longer available.
I thought alan blumlein invented it in the 30's for recording techniques and broadcasting?
Blumlein established the theory of stereo and of the X/Y microphone technique (aka, the Blumlein pair) in the early 1930s, but the mid/side microphone configuration was actually invented by Holger Lauridsen in the 1950s. As far as I'm aware, Blumlein never mentioned "mid/side" in any of his work, nor did he specify a recording technique using that approach (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this).

FM stereo radio, which also uses M/S processing for mono compatibility with existing receivers, didn't happen until the early 1960s.

Although I can't find any data to back this up, I believe it was in this period that M/S processing in mastering was first explored. Obviously, it couldn't have been explored before then because there were no commercial stereo mixes to master, so this would be a logical conclusion (stereo vinyl records didn't exist commercially until 1957/8).

Basically we're talking about the difference between a stereo recording technique and a stereo processing technique.
:)
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