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Mid/Side: just hit me, is there any reason NOT to encode on location? Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Mid/Side: just hit me, is there any reason NOT to encode on location?

I just got back from my first large-scale field recording job using a Mid/Side rig. I meticulously recorded to raw M/S files.

A few of our recordings were accidentally pre-matrixed in the recorder. So when I came home, I set out to decode them to M/S (for consistency). Then it dawned on me...
...the beauty of M/S is that you can convert it back and forth between M/S and L/R perfectly.

So why not just let the recorder matrix it to an easy-to-monitor (in MacOS or Windows) L/R file, and then just dematrix it later before processing?

Am I missing something here? I ran some numbers through the matrixing formulas, and they came out the same front to back. Is there any discrepancy or signal degradation I should be concerned about in a 24bit raster?

L = (M+S) / Sqrt(2)
R = (M-S) / Sqrt(2)
M = (L+R) / Sqrt(2)
S = (L-R) / Sqrt(2)

From what I'm seeing, matrixing doesn't permanently loose your ability to extract the M/S signals, you can invert the formulas and get them right back! Is there any reason people don't do this?!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Any thing is possible with mid side
That is the simple beauty of it
I like to commit on site.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Any thing is possible with mid side
That is the simple beauty of it
I like to commit on site.
But it's not really committing, isn't it? That's what I mean, you can always dematrix it back to M/S during processing.

Yeah, I like to tweak the levels on site as best I can... but a lot of the stuff we do are raging waterfalls and ocean waves, my cans aren't exactly going to be very honest in the middle of it (lots of bleed from source).
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
jimjazzdad's Avatar
I like to decide on the final MS ratio back at the studio, while listening with my familiar monitors; I can never quite get the stereo image right on cans (generally my only option on location). While its true that one can matrix the stereo mix back to MS in post, adjust the width, and matrix back to the stereo mix, its a couple of more steps I don't need. I tend to decode the MS raw tracks in my DAW the 'old fashioned way', creating a duplicate S track, inverting polarity on it, etc. Since I don't use an MS plug-in (just my personal preference and OCD) the more times I matrix the signal, the greater the chance I will make an error. Monitoring MS on location is easy with both my field recorder or my USB interface/laptop and, as Rolo46 has indicated previously, when you get the "M" mic sounding good by itself, everything else falls into place. So my preference is to decode the raw signals back at the studio. YMMV.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime Mover View Post
But it's not really committing, isn't it? That's what I mean, you can always dematrix it back to M/S during processing.

Yeah, I like to tweak the levels on site as best I can... but a lot of the stuff we do are raging waterfalls and ocean waves, my cans aren't exactly going to be very honest in the middle of it (lots of bleed from source).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
I like to decide on the final MS ratio back at the studio, while listening with my familiar monitors; I can never quite get the stereo image right on cans (generally my only option on location). While its true that one can matrix the stereo mix back to MS in post, adjust the width, and matrix back to the stereo mix, its a couple of more steps I don't need. I tend to decode the MS raw tracks in my DAW the 'old fashioned way', creating a duplicate S track, inverting polarity on it, etc. Since I don't use an MS plug-in (just my personal preference and OCD) the more times I matrix the signal, the greater the chance I will make an error. Monitoring MS on location is easy with both my field recorder or my USB interface/laptop and, as Rolo46 has indicated previously, when you get the "M" mic sounding good by itself, everything else falls into place. So my preference is to decode the raw signals back at the studio. YMMV.
You really should try Voxengo’s MSED plugin. Less likely to make mistakes and working with a single 2 channel track is much easier
than dealing with MID, SIDE and -SIDE tracks.
It’s free and and you can select DECODE, ENCODE or INLINE. As I recall, “INLINE” is the default selection. (You can immediately hear if you pick the wrong one.) Controls for adjusting MID level, SIDE level, MID PAN, SIDE PAN, CHANNEL REVERSE.
Very easy to use.
Mid-Side Encoder-Decoder Plugin [VST, AU, AAX] - MSED | Voxengo
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
You really should try Voxengo’s MSED plugin. Less likely to make mistakes and working with a single 2 channel track is much easier
than dealing with MID, SIDE and -SIDE tracks.
It’s free and and you can select DECODE, ENCODE or INLINE. As I recall, “INLINE” is the default selection. (You can immediately hear if you pick the wrong one.) Controls for adjusting MID level, SIDE level, MID PAN, SIDE PAN, CHANNEL REVERSE.
Very easy to use.
Mid-Side Encoder-Decoder Plugin [VST, AU, AAX] - MSED | Voxengo
Thank you and good advice. I have tried the Voxengo plugin and I agree that its very good. Its just that I am an old fart with very visual mixing gestalt and even mixing ITB I prefer to pretend I'm mixing on a console in the 1970s - as mentioned, my personal OCD. And it has caught me out a couple of times too!
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Everyone has their workflow, totally understandable. I’m sure I have quite a few oddities as well!

As per plugin, I looked at the Voxengo, but settled on Goodhertz Midside Matrix. I love the interface and it really does everything I need.
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