Old 09-14-2021, 11:09 AM   #1
AdrianW
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Default Mid-side to mono

I've been recording audio and video of some acoustic musicians, typically three singer/songwriters in a line in an in the round format. In trying to keep things simple I've found that using a Mid-side mic setup works pretty well for this after manipulating the balance in post, other than the annoying fact that the outside performers are mostly in the left and right channels. The volume of each performer is nicely balanced, however. I'd like to convert this to mono for streaming but of course doing that on MS pretty much kills the sides. Is there a way around this? I'd like to preserve the volume balance between performers after converting to mono. Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:40 PM   #2
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Sounds like the mics are too close...

If you bus the MS track to a track with a MS decoder, then switch to dual-pan, you can send the far right and far left a bit closer to center.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianW View Post
I've been recording audio and video of some acoustic musicians, typically three singer/songwriters in a line in an in the round format. In trying to keep things simple I've found that using a Mid-side mic setup works pretty well for this after manipulating the balance in post, other than the annoying fact that the outside performers are mostly in the left and right channels. The volume of each performer is nicely balanced, however. I'd like to convert this to mono for streaming but of course doing that on MS pretty much kills the sides. Is there a way around this? I'd like to preserve the volume balance between performers after converting to mono. Thanks.
No offense but from what you say I'm not sure if you have fully understood how MS stereo works. If you discard the S channel from an MS stereo signal you will end up with the M channel alone which gives you pure mono and this is what you wanna stream. If you find that the M signal alone doesn't provide a good balance of all performers, your M mic setup is wrong to begin with. MS stereo collapses to M alone when switched to mono. This is by design.

When preparing for an MS recording, you have to reposition the M mic until you are satisfied with the balance it gives on its own. Only then can you add the S mic and it will provide the desired stereo width (as long as you are listening back in stereo) but the entire signal will always collapse to just the M signal when converted to or listened back in mono so the sound and balance of the M mic is essential for a good MS recording. The S mic is only perceived while you listen back in stereo. It doesn't contribute anything to the mono'ed MS signal.

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Old 09-14-2021, 08:36 PM   #4
ashcat_lt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philbo King View Post
...dual pan...send the far right and far left a bit closer to center.
Will accomplish about the same thing as just turning down the sides.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:22 PM   #5
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XY stereo recording is a better candidate for this recording arrangement, so that you aren't spotlighting the centre vocalist. Each mic is aimed roughly at the far left and right players, but the centre is picked up by both so it evens out. This can come at the slight expense of a less stable centre if the middle vocalist moves a lot. To increase focus on the centre if that is desired, just encode to MS and boost the Mid.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:24 AM   #6
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Well, as other said MS technique is not the best choice for groups, but it's not helpful to just point at something that can't be changed.

You can, to some extent, try to inject the "rectified" side into the mid, but you have to do a different mix, because this will screw up things if kept in stereo.

There's a method to make the side "sound mono", but instead of setting up an entire chain to do this you can simply download a free plugin called "Alex Hilton A1StereoControl".

Once you have the plugin duplicate the track containing the entire mix and insert the pluin in all of the two tracks.
Set the first so "Mute Side" is active, this is your MID channel.
Set the other so "Mute Mid" is active and click on the little round button "align phase"...this is a "monofied" side.
Now you can mix the two tracks and obtain a mono mix containing some of the side.

Be careful mixing the two tracks.

Now, if you want some stereo aperture without screwing up the mono channel you obtained, you can duplicate the track a third time and "mute Mid" without "align phase" but use JS Time Adjustment delay and try values from 0.5 to 7 ms.
This is just to separate the new mid from the side and prevent it to be canceled when collapsing in mono.
Some comb filtering could happen in very high frequencies on the side, but it's up to you if sounds good or it's unacceptable.

I actually made a Reaktor Ensemble that does de opposite (creates a fake stereo by injecting the mid into the side and delay it) but the principle is about the same
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
Will accomplish about the same thing as just turning down the sides.
Well yes, but with more control.
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