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Creating a hole in the middle of a stereo recorded instrument.
Old 20th November 2009
  #1
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Creating a hole in the middle of a stereo recorded instrument.

Hey all. I want to leave a nice big space in the middle of my mixes for drums bass and vocals. Easy to do with hard panned single mic'd guitars because there is no "middle" but harder to do with a stereo mic'd hard panned piano or other elements because they have a central component.

Could someone explain to me what I would be doing by:

- Duplicating a stereo piano track
- One stereo track panned hard L and R
- Duplicate panned center phase reversed
- Blend in some of the duplicate to create a "hole" in the center of the piano where the drums can sit.

This is not true M/S is it? Is it causing any problems? It seems to sound nice. Seems like I can create a subtle "hole" and it sounds good. It seems to be affecting the mono somewhat but its a cost benefit thing. Would true M/S be a better approach? Thoughts?

Russell
Old 20th November 2009
  #2
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Ben B's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What you're describing is not true m/s. However, if you were to create a true m/s matrix within your DAW, you would be able to lower the center channel information considerably, giving you the desired "hole in the middle."

Take your stereo piano track and split it to mono twice, so you have the following:

1. Original stereo piano track, with its L-R panners both centered. This is your mono sum.
2. Piano left, normal phase, panned left.
3. Piano right, phase reversed, also panned left.
4. Duplicate piano left, phase reversed, panned right.
5. Duplicate piano right, normal phase, also panned right.

Tracks 2-5 can be grouped, and will represent your "difference" signal. I recommend that you do the necessary phase reversing using Audiosuite processing, to avoid any differing latencies caused by real-time plug-ins in this context. Make sure you have equal latency for all signal paths when doing this type of work, since it depends on certain phase relationships in order to work.

You can make a mix group out of tracks 2-5, and have easy control over the center to sides ratio.

Hope that helps,
-Ben B
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Ben, Thats fair enough, so it is likely that my psudo mid side that i've created will be causing phase issues.

It is easy enough for me to strap the voxengo mid side decoder across the stereo track and mess with the balances that way. Might be harder for me to do it manually and keep all latency the same when i phase flip only one channel. I'm going to try it to see how the result differs. Perhaps the true M/S will mono better. I hope it keeps the strength of the original because what i tried with the mono and flip does seem to sound great in stereo.

Russell
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
waves makes a great MS plugin called Center. Lets you lower/raise the volume of your mid
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Russell's idea will do exactly what he wants, decreasing the information that's common to both channels. I've done exactly this many times.
I think you should try both techniques & see which you prefer.

EDIT:
Oops, I misread that. what I've done is just create a duplicate stereo pair, panning reversed & polarity flipped. as you blend in a little of the flipped pair it will cancel out information that's common to the 2 sides & create a perceived hole in the middle. It's true that they have to line up in time exactly, even a sample or 2 of latency difference will crew the whole thing up.
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer ➑️
Russell's idea will do exactly what he wants, decreasing the information that's common to both channels. I've done exactly this many times.
I think you should try both techniques & see which you prefer.
Sweet thanks Berolzheimer, i'm not on crack then. I will try both!

Russell
Old 20th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer ➑️
Russell's idea will do exactly what he wants, decreasing the information that's common to both channels. I've done exactly this many times.
I think you should try both techniques & see which you prefer.

EDIT:
Oops, I misread that. what I've done is just create a duplicate stereo pair, panning reversed & polarity flipped. as you blend in a little of the flipped pair it will cancel out information that's common to the 2 sides & create a perceived hole in the middle. It's true that they have to line up in time exactly, even a sample or 2 of latency difference will crew the whole thing up.
Read this in another thread too.. makes sense and everything fits now. So i'll just stick with a reversed inverted stereo pair. Don't want my stereo image moving around. its not super strong on the sources I was working with so thats probably why it wasn't obvious.

Russell
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