If there’s something I learned during last years is that mastering is a complex process, it can determine heavily your final results. Maybe you can think it’s just a matter of perceived “volume”, but it’s not like that. As well as being a tricky process, it need some particular skills that can be obtained only with lots of practice, and above all, finding the right informations! Some time ago I found a weird kind of processing, I didn’t quite catch it: Mid/Side processing. I used to see the word “Mid/Side” on several plugins, but every time I didn’t understand the real meaning, I thought it was related to some frequencies to be processed (probably because of the word “mid”).
Of course, I didn’t understand anything. Mid/Side processing is a technique to process the signal dividing it into its “mono” part and its “stereo” part. We can imagine that one track is the sum of this two part (mono + stereo) as well as it’s the sum of the Left + Right channels. So, when we see the “Mid/Side” button on a plugin and the button is enabled, it means that we can choose to apply the FX just to the mono part or to the stereo part. What is the pro of this technique? Well, there are hundreds of plugins with that kind of feature, it would be too long to explain all the advantage now, but for sure, one of the most important is for stereo widening using an EQ.
When I use it, I like to get very consistent bass on the mono part of the track, to mantain it “all over the place”. To reach this result I apply a bass boost to the “Mid” side. In addition, to have the feel of a wider the stereo image, sometimes I boost the highs on the “side” part. I’m applying different boost on different frequencies to the same signal using the same FX, splitting mono from stereo.
I found some really useful links on audiotuts+, that can help you better understand and go deepet with this matter. You can find a great post on Mid/Side by clicking here.
Now it’s time to practice! It’s a great technique, isn’t it?!?
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