Show 151 – Mid-Side Effects and more

This week we revisit Mid-Side Processing for mixing and mastering and talk about the very important SOPA and PIPA issues.
Our guest this week is Jordan Reynolds
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11 thoughts on “Show 151 – Mid-Side Effects and more

  1. Just to settle the Windows vs Apple thing once and for all, just kidding.

    Another goodie guys. Instead of sleeping as I should (after waking up at 4:00AM, driving 7 hours to NAMM, tagging along with Ryan for most of the day – yea, he’s as cool/knowledgable and fun as he seems), I listend to the show.

    The mid-side processing, is something I totally need to work on. Really gives some great opportunities to make changes to stereo tracks I haven’t really thought about much yet (I know I have some overheads that could benefit from some MS processing and I will have to try it out).

    As far as the SOPA/PIPA – I am glad you guys are coming out against it. There are a lot of pro audio folks more embedded in the industry that are rabidly in favor of it. As I have posted (and been verbally beaten down for), I totally think that IP/Copyright holders need better protections, but we don’t need to kill and ant with a shotgun. There are much better ways of going about doing this without the collateral damage. The problem (as always in my cynical view)is corrupt politicians taking bills written by lobbyists (many of whom were former Congressmen and Congressional staff, aka Chris Dodd, now head of the MPAA and former Senator of 30 years) and taken to the voting floor in exchange for campaign funds or other promises.

    Lets kill SOPA and PIPA dead, and start working on much more effective and specific options (the OPEN bill is a good start).

    Anyway, I need some sleep. More tradeshow wandering (and drooling) tomorrow, and I am going to regret not having this podcast to listen to on the drive back up to Norcal.

    And for the record. NAMM is the devil. I am going to be dreaming of taking out a second mortgage for a new Neve or SSL console until my wife threatens divorce. Can’t wait to go drool some more tomorrow.

  2. Ryan, totally disagree with you on the cheap mics vs. expensive mics when it comes to hearing differences in preamps. Have you ever heard anyone talk about “sparkle” and “depth” when mentioning a 57? That mic is great, we all use it, but not to get incredible detail and nuance. Condensers and ribbons are much more suited for that role.

    You mentioned preamps can make a 57 sound “different” – true, but different doesn’t equal detail. My point is that if we’re really trying to hear subtle differences it’s better to get a mic that’s made to do that. I still think my racing fuel analogy stands up.

    Jon, thanks for the nice work on the M/S processing – excited to start delving into it. I have a matched pair of Cascade ribbon mics so seems like a great time to put ’em to work.

  3. Hey guys,

    Good idea not getting into the Mac vs PC debate. In terms of audio, debates like this spike up every time anything in the audio world is dismissed or insulted. On forums, you’ll see this allot when someone posts things along the lines of “I wouldn’t use (insert hardware/software here), as a door stop”. People think they are just insulting the product, but are actually insulting anyone who has made the choice to use said product. Something I like about your show, is you never seem to really seem to directly insult an item, instead you say it’s not your taste (with some exceptions heheh).

    Anyway, more on topic, I would like to mention that when it comes to tube gear in the studio, be watchful of the cheap preamps. Most tube preamps (like the Behringer mentioned), use to low of a voltage to get the desired effects on the tube. The MPA Gold and it’s newer versions have a selectable voltage. For me, I ended up getting a two for less than the cost of one deal on an ART Pro Channel. The preamp in it is pretty much the MPA in it’s low voltage mode, but has a cool compressor and EQ in it. Channel strips can be really nice as once you outgrow the preamp (if get something from SCA for example), you can still bypass the preamp and use the other hardware. The trick to “tube” preamps like this, is do not push the tube to hard. When starved, that lovely warmth we enjoy from tubes is replaced with a harsh distortion more often than not.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling, keep up the great work. (formerly one of the multiple Dans).

  4. Great show, I’m looking forward to revisiting the previous show on M/S and really digging into it.

    Also, I wanted to mention something coming up this next month in February. I thought it might be of interest to some listeners if they didn’t know about it, since I know that many home recording enthusiasts are also musicians/artists as well. It is called FAWM, which stands for February Album Writing Month. The idea is to write 14 songs in 28 days, and pushing yourself creatively to come up with something — making yourself do it. The quote used on the site is by Jack London, which states: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Anyway, it is a great exercise for musicians and artists. You may surprise yourself by really pushing yourself to write songs and throw together some quick demos. Much of it may turn out to be crap in the end, but I guarantee you’ll learn something through the process and maybe get some great new ideas to move forward with. Also, it is a cool little community of folks, and like anything, if you do it with others, it not only makes it easier, but a lot of fun too. There is a lot of opportunity to meet people, and even work together, so you can continue to hone your collaboration skills, recording and production techniques.

    Just wanted to throw that out there. Keep up the great show guys.

  5. What crazy timing, this past week I just happened to stumble across all kinds of videos and blog posts talking about mid/side techniques. This was a very informative episode that really complimented everything else that I was checking out. I’m gonna be giving this episode a couple more listens, just to make sure I really take it all in. This helped me discover a whole new world of processing that I never really knew existed, but will definitely prove to be very useful right away.

    In reference to your response to my comment on the last show, I wasn’t purposely only picking out stuff that Jon had mentioned or reviewed on the show. Thanks to you Ryan, I’ve also been spending a lot of time on the DIY Recording Equipment site, taking in all the different builds, especially the smaller projects like the reamp and DI boxes, as well as the impedance mods. Your segment on serial compression was great as well. And, as I mentioned, SCA pre amps have been on my list for a long time, so your shootout was much appreciated. I’ve only recently discovered this show, so please give me some time to make my way back through the older episodes and I’m sure I’ll find myself some Ryan gold.

    So Ryan, please accept my sincerest apologies. I will never fail to praise you efforts and contributions to this show ever again. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.


    PS, But Jon is still cooler. He is Canadian after all, eh? Team Jon ftw.

  6. Hi Guys. I didn’t realize I was a couple of episodes behind. Anyway, I just listened to this episode and found the M/S Processing very intriguing. This is not something I have messed around with much. Just for clarification, the M/S Technique can be accomplished by inserting the M/S Compressor on the Master Bus of your DAW? Also, which of the T-Racks plug-ins is the the Fairchild Emulator?

    On a similar note, with all of the emulation plug-ins available today, it might be interesting to have a discussion about where the so-called classic or vintage compressors were typically used and on what when mixing, tracks, busses, drums, guitar, bass, etc.


  7. Hey guys – great shows. I’m new here and just working backwards through time….!

    In reference to M/S processing, have a look at Voxengo’s free ‘MSED’ plug-in. It’s extremely easy to use. Also, another advantage of MSED processing is being able to isolate mid and sides in commercial mixes to get a better idea of mixing technique – e.g. just listening to sides reveals much of the effects processing.

    I did an introductory piece in April 2012’s Sound on Sound on this. It’s available for free online and has an emphasis on Reaper, but the techniques work the same in any DAW. There are some audio examples to accompany it.

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