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M/S Compression Setup/ ITB
Old 29th January 2009
  #1
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M/S Compression Setup/ ITB

M/S Compression/Mastering/In The Box
Ive done some searching, but no thread Ive seen lays it out clearly.

I am looking for a definite routing scheme to use in a mastering situation.

I have one stereo track with the song loaded onto the track.
This track is output to the Master.

I need to compress the mid and side separately.

I am aware of compressor plugins that have this feature already.
Fabfilters Pro-C for example.

I know Brainworx and Voxengo have plugins to encode and decode M/S.

However, I am interested in the routing.
What needs to be done in order to compress the Mid and Side separately?
If this has been discussed fully somewhere within the forums,
A link would be great.
Thanks a bunches.
Old 29th January 2009
  #2
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Franco's Avatar
 
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Quite possibly the best $40 bucks you'll spend:

Mastering Audio by Bob Katz
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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I haven't done this in awhile but I think this is how you can set an M/S pair ITB:

1. Create the following tracks:
- 1 Stereo Audio Track
- 2 Mono Aux Tracks
- 1 Stereo Aux Track

2. Put the song you're mastering on the Stereo Audio Track

3. The Inputs/Outputs of the tracks should be as follows:
- Stereo Audio: IN - doesn't matter; OUT - Bus 1-2
- Mono Aux 1 : IN - Bus 1; OUT - Bus 3
- Mono Aux 2: IN - Bus 2; OUT - Bus 4
- Stereo Aux: IN - Bus 3-4; OUT - A 1-2 (main outputs)

4. On the Stereo Audio Track, activate either a "S1 Shuffler" or "S1
Imager" plug in, found under the "Sound Field" sub-menu in the plug-
ins menu.

5. Select "L-input-R" for the Input Mode, located at the lower left
corner of the plug-in window, and "M-output-S" for Output, located
above the meters on the upper right. Aux track 1 and 2 are now your
Mid and Side respectively.

6. Process accordingly (turning down Aux 1 will make the image wider,
and vice-versa).

7. On the Stereo Aux track, activate a "S1 MS Matrix" plugin. Now
you're back to regular stereo.

TW
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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DominicWyeth's Avatar
 
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MS

Matrixing
The Mastering process may include a process of matrixing. This is not unlike decoding an MS pair of microphones: the original
stereo mix is blended with a mono sum of the program material, together with a 'left-plus-
right' and 'right-plus-right' differential (explained further below).
In a mastering studio, these matrixed feeds may be diverted to multiple insertion points for
external processors, eg: more definition in the bass component of the mix can be achieved
by the introduction of more of the mono sum element into the mix; this may be treated
separately via compression, band-limiting, etc., however, it is phase relationships in the
matrix are the important factors which create the perceived differences.

A Matrix mix for Audio Mastering Using ProTools
Duplicate the original stereo mix three times, placing these on adjacent tracks (making for a
total of four stereo pairs):





β€’ Stereo Track 1: panned hard left and right and level set as a conventional stereo mix
β€’ Stereo Track 2: both sides panned to centre to provide a mono sum (this track can be
adjusted for level, band passed, compressed, limited etc and then balanced into the mix
to provide better centre, bass definition, sense of power, etc).
β€’ Stereo Track 3: both sides panned to the left, phase inverted on the right side.
β€’ Stereo Track 4: both sides panned to the right, inverted on the left side.
Stereo Tracks 3 & 4 must be grouped to maintain phase relationship, and then
may be balanced into the mix for width, stereo imaging, etc; may be band-processed
accordingly.
β€’ Master Stereo Track: Monitor overall new levels and balance. Apply master bus
processing as required, eg Dithering, Limiting etc.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
β€’ Stereo Track 1: panned hard left and right and level set as a conventional stereo mix
β€’ Stereo Track 2: both sides panned to centre to provide a mono sum
I am using Sonar 7 Producer edition.
I don't think it has capabilities to pan "Each side" of a stereo track.
For instance, how do you pan Stereo Track 1 "Hard Left and Hard Right"?

I was a prior Cubase user. They had Daul Panning. But I dont think Sonar does. Didn't see it in the manual or anywhere.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_soldier ➑️
I am using Sonar 7 Producer edition.
I don't think it has capabilities to pan "Each side" of a stereo track.
For instance, how do you pan Stereo Track 1 "Hard Left and Hard Right"?

I was a prior Cubase user. They had Daul Panning. But I dont think Sonar does. Didn't see it in the manual or anywhere.
A stereo track is 2 mono tracks...so link 2 mono tracks and away you go...
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
• Stereo Track 1: panned hard left and right and level set as a conventional stereo mix
• Stereo Track 2: both sides panned to centre to provide a mono sum
I am using Sonar 7 Producer edition.
I don't think it has capabilities to pan "Each side" of a stereo track.
For instance, how do you pan Stereo Track 1 "Hard Left and Hard Right"?

I was a prior Cubase user. They had Daul Panning. But I dont think Sonar does. Didn't see it in the manual or anywhere.

I know how to create a Mid and Side track.
Insert as a plugin on the Stereo Track, the M/S decoding plugin.
Voxengo MSED set to encode.

Select the stereo track.
Menu Bar at the top of Sonar, select.
Edit>Bounce to Track(s)

Choose from popup dialog:
Source Category: Entire Mix
Channel Format: Split Mono

Sonar will now mix down 2 stereo tracks.
Track 2 will possess the Mid signal. It will be automatically panned hard left.
Track 3 will possess the Side Signal. It will be automatically panned hard right.

To convert back to Stereo(Decode), all I have to do is route both newly created tracks (Mid and Side Tracks) output to a bus.
That bus must contain the Voxengo MSED set to decode.
I now have the original Stereo information.

Lets say I want to compress the Mid signal. I could put a compressor on the Mid track that was created. (Its panned automatically
during creation, to the hard left.)
However, when I do put a compressor on this track, any bit of compression seems to "throw stuff off" while listening.

If I start to manually bring down the volume of the Mid Track,
the fact that the Side track is panned hard right, brings forth the fact that the Side track is panned hard right.
In other words: If I mute the Mid track, of course since the Side track is panned hard right, the sound comes from the right speaker or headphone.

Is the Panning wrong, or maybe a volume issue?
Where do I go from here?
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Every track needs to maintain accurate phase with the others. If your not compensating for the delay caused by inserting plug ins it won't work.

TW
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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DozerMayne's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Every track needs to maintain accurate phase with the others. If your not compensating for the delay caused by inserting plug ins it won't work.

TW
Most DAW's have Automatic Delay Compensation

1.)Create 2 Stereo Tracks
Track 1 and Track 2
2.)Pan Track 1 hard left.
3.)Pan Track 2 hard right.
4.)Insert on Track 1: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Encode".
5.)Insert on Track 2: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Encode".

6.)Copy the Song/Mix to both of those Stereo Tracks.
Note: Ensure they are both alligned.
I know in Sonar 7 you just hold Ctrl./Shift, then click and drag a copy
of Track 1 to Track 2.
Ctrl. is the Copy function, but also holding Shift keeps the sound clip
locked in time while copying to another track.

7.)Insert on Master Bus: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Decode".
This instance of the Voxengo MSED that is set to Decode, is decoding the M/S.
Basically giving you back your stereo track.

Play audio. You should basically hear your song/mix as usual.
Now disable/bypass the Voxengo MSED plugin that is on the Master Bus
You will hear the "Mid" programme material on the left.
You will hear the "Side" programme material on the right.
This is because you have bypassed the Master Busses ability to "Decode" the
M/S Matrix, by bypassing the Voxengo MSED inserted on the Master Bus.

Want to do some Compression or Eq to the "Mid"?
Insert a Compressor or Eq onto Track 1. Adjust to taste.

Want to do some Compression or Eq to the "Side"?
Insert a Compressor or Eq onto Track 2. Adjust to taste.

Im sure that is the way. Please correct me if Im wrong.
Could someone confirm what Im saying?
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DozerMayne ➑️
Most DAW's have Automatic Delay Compensation

1.)Create 2 Stereo Tracks
Track 1 and Track 2
2.)Pan Track 1 hard left.
3.)Pan Track 2 hard right.
4.)Insert on Track 1: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Encode".
5.)Insert on Track 2: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Encode".
6.)Copy the Song/Mix to both of those Stereo Tracks.
Note: Ensure they are both alligned.
I know in Sonar 7 you just hold Ctrl./Shift, then click and drag a copy
of Track 1 to Track 2.
Ctrl. is the Copy function, but also holding Shift keeps the sound clip
locked in time while copying to another track.

7.)Insert on Master Bus: Voxengo MSED plugin. Set to "Decode".
This instance of the Voxengo MSED that is set to Decode, is decoding the M/S.
Basically giving you back your stereo track.

<snip>

Im sure that is the way. Please correct me if Im wrong.
Could someone confirm what Im saying?
That should work!

Instead of using two audio tracks hard panned I would use 1 stereo track with encoder inserted > send that out to two mono buses, L (now M) to one bus, R (now S) to another > process on the mono buses > send that to a stereo bus where I decode.

In the mixer that would be four faders:
Stereo track/encode - M bus - S Bus - Stereo bus/decode.

Same thing, for me just clearer than having two sources.

Have fun!
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Instead of using two audio tracks hard panned I would use 1 stereo track with encoder inserted > send that out to two mono buses, L (now M) to one bus, R (now S) to another > process on the mono buses > send that to a stereo bus where I decode.
I get what your saying....
But...
How can you send a stereo track to 2 mono busses?
You can only send a Tracks output to one Bus at a time, via the output selection.
You can't select 2 outputs for a track.
But I do know how to make a bus mono, via the stereo interleave button on each bus.(Sonar 7)
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
kjg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_soldier ➑️
I get what your saying....
But...
How can you send a stereo track to 2 mono busses?
You can only send a Tracks output to one Bus at a time, via the output selection.
You can't select 2 outputs for a track.
But I do know how to make a bus mono, via the stereo interleave button on each bus.(Sonar 7)
Hmmm, good question. I forgot how exactly, I just do it. O, wait. I guess I would do it with sends. Does that makes sense?
I wasn't talking about any particular DAW btw. Should be possible in Cubase/Logic/PT/Sonar/Reaper/Samplitude etc etc

Track output is muted. Two pre-fader sends to the mono buses. Done. You control the level of the track with the decode bus (or with the M/S buses, of course)
But you already had it working anyway, right?
Old 1st February 2009
  #13
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masteringhouse's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_soldier ➑️
What needs to be done in order to compress the Mid and Side separately?
If this has been discussed fully somewhere within the forums,
A link would be great.
Thanks a bunches.
This link explains the technique using Pro Tools but should apply to any DAW:

M/S Processing.
Old 25th March 2011
  #14
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RobertRyda's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
oh man oh man!
i was trying to achieve the MS technique in LOGIC PRO for so long...
today i was experimenting with a new template for myself and fingured it out half way. seems like i was overdoing everything, making it too complicated to understand..

now the simple solution for APPLE LOGIC PRO:

1.make sure you have the "universal track mode" on in audio configuration;
2.create a stereo track(put the "master" stereo audio file here), hard pan it to the left, use an M/S plugin such as Waves S1 MS plugin;
3.create another stereo track with exact same parameters, put the copy of the used audio here;
4.now one of the created tracks will work as a MID component, and another one will handle the SIDE part;
5.both will simply sum up on the master bus and will sound accordingly - left will behave as MID, right will behave as SIDE;
6.to sum these up you would need another MS decoder plugin inserted on the master bus;

there were a few other ways i did to achieve this, but this is the easiest and the coolest
Old 25th March 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 
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Of course you can do the routing in PT, but for simplicity sake I would use the free massey studio tools encode/decode plugs. Waves has a set too, but I like the massey versions better.
Just insert dual mono plugs in between the encode and decode.

Thats what I do, for free
smassey.com
Old 25th March 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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A really nice solution for making M/S routing in the box way way easier for Windows VST capable hosts is the DDMF Metaplugin - DDMF: VST plugins, AU plugins, audio software

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 25th March 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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insert 1: Waves MS matrix (makes your left channel the mid, and the right channel the sides)

then insert whatever plugs you need, in multi-mono, and unlink them.

then insert another MS matrix, and you're back to stereo
Old 25th March 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 
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Technically you should put an s1 after the waves ms plug. That will give unity through. If you put the ms matrix plug you will lose 3db on decode.
Old 6th August 2014
  #19
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Precision Studio's Avatar
 
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the easiest way with voxengo msed

1-make 2 stereo tracks with your song on each one, rename track1>M track2>S

2-put MSED on each track; on track1 (M) press "SIDE MUTE" on MSED;
on track2 (S) press "MID MUTE" on MSED. Now you have 2 tracks with MID and SIDE signals splited.

3-optionaly, route M and S tracks to a stereo bus you can name Stereo (for ex.) to apply a limiter plugin (for ex.), if your masterbus on your DAW doesn't have plugin insert slots

now you can open your plugins in stereo on each track to process them and you'll get the sum on your master (or your optional stereo bus if you did step3).

ther you go
Old 10th August 2014
  #20
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You could always use an inline routing environment (Image-Line Minihost Modular, BlueCat patchwork) to do the decode and re-encode in place, inserting plugins in the routing environment.
Old 12th August 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_soldier ➑️
I need to compress the mid and side separately
Why do you "need" to compress the sum and width information independently? They tightly belong together, at least for every natural sound in the universe.

I mean what's the point in compressing the stereo width? The result will be a strangely moving and "pumping" stereo width. It sounds horrible on good monitoring systems, as it literally damages all that fine stereo positioning.

I recommend you to use dedicated stereo compressors instead. IMHO, running compressors in M/S is not a good idea (you know M/S really is a microphone technique, do you?). Straight forward stereo processing is clearly superior, use it as default!
Old 12th August 2014 | Show parent
  #22
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engmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR ➑️
Why do you "need" to compress the sum and width information independently? They tightly belong together, at least for every natural sound in the universe.

I mean what's the point in compressing the stereo width? The result will be a strangely moving and "pumping" stereo width. It sounds horrible on good monitoring systems, as it literally damages all that fine stereo positioning.

I recommend you to use dedicated stereo compressors instead. IMHO, running compressors in M/S is not a good idea (you know M/S really is a microphone technique, do you?). Straight forward stereo processing is clearly superior, use it as default!
I firmly agree with your sentiments, but, there was one time I had a mix with Toms that were paned very wide and were super loud. I was able to tame them with m/s "limiting" with minimal damage to the stereo field. I might have even automated the limiter to disengage when not in use. Granted I've never had to do this again. Otherwise yes, m/s compression can get super odd sounding.
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