Saturday, August 6, 2016

MID / SIDE EQUALIZATION on MASTERING, done the right way.

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
This time we will talk about that which is probably the only reasonable way to eq during the mastering phase (click here for a dedicated article on the basic mastering chain, or HERE for another one dedicated to the MINIMAL mastering chain).

I know, I have said in the past that in theory the mix should be perfect and arrive to the mastering phase with such a perfect balance to the point that there will not be need to eq during mastering, because at that point one should correct the mix problems, rather than actually enhancing the sound.
If the balance needs to be enhanced, it's better to go back to the mixing phase and make the corrections in the single tracks.

What I meant was that an eq in the mastering buss affects the whole track, therefore we cannot for example tweak the mids out of the guitar without affecting the body of the snare or the vocals, and so on.
It is really a castle of cards.
A solution in these cases comes with the mid side equalization (click here for an in depth article, with a list of free plugins): an equalizer that lets you choose what part of the sound process, the center of the sides.
This way you can work on the bass frequences, like bass or kick drum, tweaking the bass as you normally would, and filter the bass freq out of the sides (for example from 100hz down), where guitars and drum overhead lays, and here we can also add some sparkle in the high end (obviously, since we are talking about mastering eq these correction must be subtle, not more than a couple of db): this way the bass will sound more focused in the mix, while the sides will sound more bright and open, all without touching the precious balance in the mids and upper mids of the center of the mix (vocals and snare).

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