The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
mid/side phase probs: what should musicians know to make your life easier?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 

mid/side phase probs: what should musicians know to make your life easier?

there's more gear with mid/side capabilities all the time. I'm currently finishing assembling gear to mix my own tracks, and will eventually send it to get mastered. But like many in my situation, I'm guessing, I heard mid/side stuff is great, but can totally screw up tracks when comes time to master.

I don't want to mess it up for mastering engineer later by using mid/side eq or comp and then giving rise to phase issues.

I know ITB to use linear phase eq when doing anything mid/side, but is the new mid/side hardware (ie: clariphonic, tk audio, igs tube comp, dare I say drawmer?) phase coherent enough to not really have to worry about these issues? I hear also 'use with caution' but, not sure what I'm listening for to try to avoid. I know phase correlations meters, but what would I look for in these? I'm guessing having a mono monitor or switching my monitoring chain to mono after such interventions can help make sure there aren't strange drop-outs or amplifications. What do you listen for when using the mid/side equip to avoid that?

what's the best practices for people in my situation so that with all this new mid/side gear we don't make mastering engineer's lives (and indirectly our own!) difficult later by screwing up our mixes in the process?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Just don't overdo it.

And don't do anything just because you can: make sure it serves the music and the vision you have for the mix. You want any effects to enhance the music, not distract from it. This is mostly what I'm listening for in mastering.

Sure, correlation meters can tell you if things are getting funky. But with good monitoring, your ears will tell you if things are sounding unnatural. Headphones can exaggerate stereo image/correlation issues, so check in those.

And, as you said, just make sure everything translates to mono.

Other than that, be creative and have fun!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
Just don't overdo it.

And don't do anything just because you can: make sure it serves the music and the vision you have for the mix. You want any effects to enhance the music, not distract from it. This is mostly what I'm listening for in mastering.

Sure, correlation meters can tell you if things are getting funky. But with good monitoring, your ears will tell you if things are sounding unnatural. Headphones can exaggerate stereo image/correlation issues, so check in those.

And, as you said, just make sure everything translates to mono.

Other than that, be creative and have fun!
Ok, this is super helpful.

Though I'm not sure I'd know at this point what 'overdoing it' sounds like! What am I listening for? Large changes in mix balance when switching from stereo to mono monitoring? What would 'unnatural' sound like in headphones, or would I know it when I hear it?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
What am I listening for?
Overhyped sides can sound uncomfortable. You also want to listen out for a loss in centre strength.

Quote:
Large changes in mix balance when switching from stereo to mono monitoring?
Yep.

Quote:
What would 'unnatural' sound like in headphones, or would I know it when I hear it?
You can experiment with overdoing it to get a sense of what it sounds like. Grab an EQ or other processor that allows MS manipulation and push the sides to the point where you hear it sounding unnatural, uncomfortable, or losing the cohesion across the stereo image.

You can also grab a bunch of reference tracks, particularly ones that sound extra wide, and spend some time listening to them.

Both of the above can help start to define the boundaries within which you can play.

You can also develop a relationship with an ME earlier in the mixing process if you want some feedback about whether you are pushing the boundaries into problematic territory.

There's a lot of room to move, though, which is why the ultimate yardstick should be how it works musically.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
bicarbone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
+1000 on the mono check ! If the vibe, energy and clarity of your mix disappear when listening to mono then you've been too far (or your mix had already phase issues in the first place)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

great advice! many thanks, great stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Solo the "side" signal. Does it sound really, really weird and possibly make you feel a bit sick? If it doesn't be very, very careful with your use of M/S processing - you might need more experience to understand the negative effect it can have on the audio, or your room might be masking those effects. If it does sound bad to you and does make you a little nauseous (maybe the nausea is a personal thing but it certainly makes me feel icky), then you are probably equipped with the tools to detect when you've gone too far.

One important thing to remember is contrast: if everything is wide all the time then nothing is really wide.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Oh, and I'd also add: don't do anything just because you have a vague idea you "should" do it. Things such as:

Cutting all the low end from the "sides".

Widening by default, whether broadband or at high frequencies.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Thanks Tom, this is also super helpful. Damn, I guess asking MEs what not to do as someone mixing really turns up good advice. I bet when MEs get together it's like teachers gossiping in the teacher's lounge at school about what all the students do in their work that drives them nuts (I'm a teacher for my day job, I know!). To a fly on that wall, would prob learn a lot!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Too much FX on sources will get you in trouble if overdone. And when there's a lot of tracks flanging, panning, delays, reverbs... and when you finally decide to go with M/S (which is more than often done as from hype rather than from real necessity) there can be all sorts of issues.

OTOH, if M/S is done in a proper way to separate really what and when needed then you actually have better "picture" than plain L/R.

From my point of view L/R only (meaning stereo recording) done well is more than enough for a professional end product.

Coming from an amateur but I did test this on many different sources and tracks and complete stereo mixes.

I am in no way neither pro nor contra for either of them. Just using plain common sense before making a decission is 90% done.

Oh well, there's a pletora of far more experienced Slutz here who can, I am sure, give a better insight and advices than this one but hey, why not share thoughts and experiences when it can be done.

Bye you Slutz!

Krešo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fromthepuggle View Post
Thanks Tom, this is also super helpful. Damn, I guess asking MEs what not to do as someone mixing really turns up good advice. I bet when MEs get together it's like teachers gossiping in the teacher's lounge at school about what all the students do in their work that drives them nuts (I'm a teacher for my day job, I know!). To a fly on that wall, would prob learn a lot!
MEs get together?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
MEs get together?
Sometimes
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Conundra's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
We all get together and see who can talk the loudest.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

. . .while bashing our heads up against the ceiling.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
uhhhhh....

not to get the bass & kick out of phase in the mix.

especially if it’s going to vinyl!

jt
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump