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Side Image Flangy When Soloed?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Side Image Flangy When Soloed?

I was using a Zac Brown Band as a reference mix, and was curious as to exactly what the sides of the mix sounded like by themselves. I placed an EQ on the master bus, selected mid/side and soloed the sides. What I heard was mostly a phasey sound, with only a few, obviously purposely panned, elements that were clearly heard. When I listen to my mix the same way, the sides sounds perfectly clear, just much lower in volume and energy.

Is this weird phase, garbled type sound (on the sides only) I'm hearing done in mastering? Is this a mix technique I'm unaware of? Or maybe I was going about soloing the side image incorrectly? Is this "phase cancelation sound" part of how pro mixes achieve perfectly clear panned elements?

Someone please enlighten me.

Marc

Last edited by LSP; 1 week ago at 09:32 PM..
Old 1 week ago
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This is a common artefact of lossy encoding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
This is a common artefact of lossy encoding.
IDK why but this gave me good laughter the moment I read it
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
This is a common artefact of lossy encoding.
Indeed And this is actually quite interesting. Any thoughts on why we hear those artefacts on the side information ? Trying to get my head around this..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Pand Sound Mastering ➡️
Indeed And this is actually quite interesting. Any thoughts on why we hear those artefacts on the side information ? Trying to get my head around this..
We hear this in side channel because joint stereo lossy codec using mid/side coding all these years. And sides always compressed more then mids.

Last edited by artech909; 1 week ago at 09:25 PM..
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  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artech909 ➡️
We hear this in side channel because joint stereo lossy codec using mid/side coding all these years. And sides always compressed mode then mids.
Very interesting. So in theory, I should be able to render my mix to a stereo file, listen to the sides and hear a similar thing?

That said, I was continuing to go down the rabbit hole this morning, listening to various songs via YouTube Music, routing them back to my interface, and monitoring via Cubase. Oddly enough, not all of them exhibited the same artifacts in the "sides". Some sounded very similar to my mix when the sides are soloed, just lower in volume, but not "phasey". What would explain that?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSP ➡️
Very interesting. So in theory, I should be able to render my mix to a stereo file, listen to the sides and hear a similar thing?

That said, I was continuing to go down the rabbit hole this morning, listening to various songs via YouTube Music, routing them back to my interface, and monitoring via Cubase. Oddly enough, not all of them exhibited the same artifacts in the "sides". Some sounded very similar to my mix when the sides are soloed, just lower in volume, but not "phasey". What would explain that?
When you render your mix to a lossy stereo file, and that too in a very low bit rate

I.e. a 192kbps MP3 or similar
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  #8
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i recall that tc electronic demonstrated this in multiple videos when introducing their broadcast limiter db6 - quite revealing...
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  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkalex ➡️
When you render your mix to a lossy stereo file, and that too in a very low bit rate

I.e. a 192kbps MP3 or similar
So the songs that didn't exhibit the same artifacts were rendered to perhaps a more lossless file, thus more accurate side information while in mid/side (side soloed)?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSP ➡️
So the songs that didn't exhibit the same artifacts were rendered to perhaps a more lossless file, thus more accurate side information while in mid/side (side soloed)?
Seems exactly that to me, when you use a good encoder to prepare lossy files and use a reasonable bitrate, you definitely would get a great result along with a negligible difference between the source and the lossy file

LAME encoder for MP3's at 320KBPS Joint Stereo mode is one such example, awesome conversion

So is Apple's CoreAudio AAC conversion, which to me is honestly the best sounding lossy codec out there, at 256kbps AAC, it simply beats out anything out there including those 600kbps OGG Vorbis files, IMO and findings of my listening tests.

fwiw just do not pay any heed to that wobbly stuff or the artifacts you're hearing, just simply ignore them, you definitely do not wanna alter your mix for some artifact which you are not even sure would exist in different places or not, imvho.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkalex ➡️
Seems exactly that to me, when you use a good encoder to prepare lossy files and use a reasonable bitrate, you definitely would get a great result along with a negligible difference between the source and the lossy file

LAME encoder for MP3's at 320KBPS Joint Stereo mode is one such example, awesome conversion

So is Apple's CoreAudio AAC conversion, which to me is honestly the best sounding lossy codec out there, at 256kbps AAC, it simply beats out anything out there including those 600kbps OGG Vorbis files, IMO and findings of my listening tests.

fwiw just do not pay any heed to that wobbly stuff or the artifacts you're hearing, just simply ignore them, you definitely do not wanna alter your mix for some artifact which you are not even sure would exist in different places or not, imvho.
Good advice. I'm just glad there wasn't some voodoo mix technique going on I wasn't aware of. I still have hopes of getting my mixes to compare to the big boys! LOL
Old 1 week ago
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Didn't knew about the mid side processing when encoding. Very interesting indeed, we learn everyday
Old 1 week ago
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Bitrate is definitely a factor, where lower bitrates will tend to have more artefacts.

But the other variable is the music itself. Lossy codecs use psychoacoustic models that aim to filter out sounds that are deemed to be masked by other sounds.

This is why they tend affect the sides more, because in the context of the full stereo sound, the out of phase material is perceptually masked by the louder stuff in the centre.

And the audability of the artefacts vary because every mix is different with more or less masking between mid/sides and at different frequencies.

It's amazing technology really created by some very clever people.
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  #14
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Yes quite amazing when you think about it

If clients ask me for "compressed" files I always deliver in MP3 320kbps (44.1khz after conversion, constant bit rate, Lame encoder, stereo enterlaced).
It's really close to the original HD file and let say "close enough" for general use. 1/3 the size of the original file in the end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
Bitrate is definitely a factor, where lower bitrates will tend to have more artefacts.

But the other variable is the music itself. Lossy codecs use psychoacoustic models that aim to filter out sounds that are deemed to be masked by other sounds.

This is why they tend affect the sides more, because in the context of the full stereo sound, the out of phase material is perceptually masked by the louder stuff in the centre.

And the audability of the artefacts vary because every mix is different with more or less masking between mid/sides and at different frequencies.

It's amazing technology really created by some very clever people.
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