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M/S recording

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by pala, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. pala

    pala New Member

    (Admin Note: I moved this question to "Studio Techniques"
    because it has very little to do with Logic.)


    I need someone to explain the setting up of Logic's mixer to record a Mid /Side recording of acoustic guitar..
    In clear & easy steps.
    I've been confused because there seems to be two methods...the cloning of the side track /phase - inversion method...then Logic's own using the direction mixer.
    Are the 2 mics on individual mono channels initially ?
    I would like to hear the M/S sound in real time as I experiment with the mic placement.So I think I need to use the Direction Mixer plug-in.But which channel does it reside on ? Do I still have to invert the phase or is that done by the mixer ?
    Oh I just want to play !
    Thanks in advance.This would be a great help.
    Sorry if it sounds dumb but it's new ground for me.
  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Both methods are valid, using Logic's Direction Mixer is simpler.

    You can record the two mics to mono channels, in which case, you would pan the omni left, the eight right, route these to an aux object and insert the direction mixer on it. Alternatively, record them as a stereo file and insert the direction mixer on the audio channel strip they play through. I often prefer to record an M/S pair to two discrete mono tracks, just in case I would want to access the mid signal on its own. I find this to be a slightly more flexible way of working

    Using software monitoring, the method I described will allow you to hear the signal encoded in M/S. Use the Direction mixers spread control to adjust the balance between middle and side.

    kind regards

  4. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    First, you need a reasonable room for MS because you are going to record the sound of the room, not only the sound of the guitar. Then you need two mics. One figure eight, one omni (or cardioid if you want). I think you know the setup, right? Capsules as close together as possible.

    Originally yes. You have a couple of options to encode them as MS:

    • At an early stage, right after the Mics, if you have the gear for MS. This could be a special preamp or a mixer.
    • In the audio interface if it supports encoding (like TotalMix in RME interfaces)
    • In any DAW with the classic phase reverse technique.
    • In Logic with the Direction Mixer.
    It is actually the same method because there is only one way to do it. The Direction Mixer does it internally. It just expects the mid signal in the left channel and the side in the right.

    There is not much to experiment with MS. You take the best place in the room because you are going to record the room. If you don't know the best place, seek for it with the figure eight alone. Then the omni(or cardioid) has to go there too. And the guitar too. You don't need to hear the processed signal right away. Btw, keep a good distance between the guitar and the mics, MS does not work well for close miking unless you have a special technique in mind (which is then not called "MS" anyway).

    The easiest way for you is to record the mid-signal on the left and the side-signal on the right side of a stereo track. Then you can put the Direction mixer into this track. However, this is no rule. You might also record on two mono tracks and route them to a stereo channelstrip. This is easier if you also want to try the traditional method with the three signal paths. I do always two monos, regardless how I make the MS.

    Not for the Direction mixer.

    Yeah, and MS is exactly for that, even if you did not mean it this way ;)
    It has a fixed setup and a fixed processing. Find the right place, make a precise setup and play - it will sound good.

    MS is not flexible but the only way to achieve true mono compatibility. Some people say that it is the only true stereo recording technique. MS is not a usual choice for sounds that finally go into a tight mix of many instruments.
  5. pala

    pala New Member

    Thank you so much to you both.Your responses combine to form all I had asked for and more.Being comparatively new to this ( I used to play as a session musician and had very little knowledge of the engineering side ), I can tell you that the knowledge you impart is totally appreciated.
    I would not have found such clarity and depth elsewhere.And such a swift response !
    I will use the mono tracks as you both recommend.I like the way you find the best spot in the room too.
    Many thanks.
    I am tripping on Logic 8.I love it.


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