Kim Lajoie's blog

3 Mid-Side Processing Tricks

by Kim Lajoie on January 27, 2012

Jon Tidey:

I used a delay plugin to add some filtered echoes just to the middle by disabling the right side input.
In the next insert I used a distortion on just the right side. This brought out a lot more of the reverb than was heard in the original loop.

A good explanation of mid-side processing, and a few off-the-wall suggestions to try. Not just the usual tricks.

I’d just be careful about unlinked m/s compression. Too much movement can make your stereo image expand and shrink in uncomfortable ways. Although, maybe that might be appropriate for your music.

-Kim.

5 thoughts on “3 Mid-Side Processing Tricks

  1. Pingback: Lateral / vertical (considerations when mastering to vinyl) | Kim Lajoie's blog

  2. Kapitano says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong on this, but there seem to be two different types of mid/side processing. The first looks like this:

    <<<<< <<<<< <<<<>>>> >>>>> >>>>>

    The second has these differences:

    <<<<< <<<<< <<<<>>>> >>>>> >>>>>

    So the first variation has one side signal, and the second has two.

    Presumably you’d use the first variation in mixes where the instruments are centered, and the second where they’re spread across the field.

    Is this right? The descriptions on the net are often not too clear.

  3. Kapitano says:

    [Sorry, your commenting system seems to think I was posting html code. I’ll try again.]

    Please correct me if I’m wrong on this, but there seem to be two different types of mid/side processing. The first looks like this:

    —– —– —–
    1) Take a stereo signal
    2) Reduce it by 6dB
    3) Sum left and right to a mono signal – this is the mid signal

    4) Take the original stereo signal
    5) Reduce it by 6dB
    6) Phase invert one side
    7) Sum left and right to a mono signal – this is the side signal

    8) EQ (and optionally compress) the mid and side signals separately.

    9) Mix them into a stereo signal, with the mid centered, and the side split into two, one panned hard left and the other hard right. Phase re-invert the side you inverted in (6)
    —– —– —–

    The second has these differences:

    —– —– —–
    6b) Duplicate the signal.
    7b) For the first duplicate, phase invert the left then sum left and right to get the right side signal. For the second duplicate, phase invert the right and sum left and right to get the left side signal.

    8b) EQ (and optionally compress) the mid signal as mono and the two side signals and left and right of a stereo signal.

    9b) Mix them into a stereo signal, with the mono mid centered, and the two sides panned hard left and right, reinverting their phases.
    —– —– —–

    So the first variation has one side signal, and the second has two.

    Presumably you’d use the first variation in mixes where the instruments are centered, and the second where they’re spread across the field.

    Is this right? The descriptions on the net are often not too clear.

  4. marc asd says:

    Very good advice Kapitano,thanks,but what You mean with “reinverting their phases” in 9b?How to do this in Cubase?

  5. Kim Lajoie says:

    The first one is correct. The second is redundant – you’ll find that step 7b will give you two tracks that are exactly the same, just mirrored polarity.

    Also, phase is not the same as polarity. 😉

    http://blog.kimlajoie.com/phase-vs-polarity/

    -Kim.

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