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Saturday, August 31, 2013

MID/SIDE PROCESSING (M/S PROCESSING): a guide with free Vst Plugins



Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to talk about a certain type of processing that is usually seen in the Mastering Phase, but that can also be handy in various Instrument group Buss: the Mid-Side processing.
This is a type of processing, as you may have guessed, that involves a Stereo Field: there must be on the same track or buss a soundstage with elements panned to the left, some other in the middle, and others to the right.

Mid/Side is a technique in which we have certain plugins that can split the content that comes from the middle of the wave's soundstage from the one coming from the sides, and these plugins can process just the part of the sound we want or both differently; for example we can Compress just the sounds that comes from the sides, or we can eq differently the part of the sound coming from the centre from the one coming from the sides.

The Mid/Side plugins can therefore do any kind of task: the basic idea is that they translate (as you can see from the image) the signal from left-right to mid-side, and process independently these two parts; it is a kind of processing that is not only sometimes needed in mastering, but that is often crucial when we need to tweak a song that has been provided to us just as a stereo track.

Unlike many other effects, it's not easy to find a mid side processor for free.
Here are two of the few ones available:

- Terry West Mid Side Signal Processor: an interesting channel strip with Gain, Equalization and Saturation both for middle and sides.

- Voxengo Marvel Geq: an equalizer with Mid Side functions


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