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Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

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Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby alexis » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:01 am

I'm wanting to learn about M/S in practice, rather than just know about it from reading ... I have the UAD-1 Fairchild already and see it has M/S options. Is that a reasonable plug-in to use for this purpose? I'm already reasonably familiar with the Fairchild, but not extremely, so I'd get to learn one of the tools in my box a little better as a bonus.

Or is there something not suitable about it as a learning tool, maybe too complicated or "hard to tame", etc.?

Thanks for any thoughts and suggestions!
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:40 am

I would think a M/S equaliser would be an easier tool to fool around with at first, but there's really not much to it - apply an HF lift in the sides and you'll hear an HF lift in the sides, apply an HF lift in the mid and you'll hear an HF lift in the mid!
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:59 am

I'd recommend the Soundhack Delay Trio/ Freesound bundle. There's a very simple MS encoder/ decoder plugin there as well as a most excellent delay and other cool stuff... for free.

It's also fun to listen to just the sides signal on your favourite recordings, just to hear the ambience and panning decisions.

Elf is being facetious IME the most common thing (in mastering) is a HPF on the sides, that can help to make it sound more expensive .
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:04 am

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:It's also fun to listen to just the sides signal on your favourite recordings, just to hear the ambience and panning decisions.


Absolutely... and then do the same to an MP3 version of it and hear the damage that's been done!


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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:17 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Absolutely... and then do the same to an MP3 version of it and hear the damage that's been done!
O gawd, yes... usually a combination of stupidly low bit rate and not using Joint Stereo.
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:41 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Tomás Mulcahy wrote:It's also fun to listen to just the sides signal on your favourite recordings, just to hear the ambience and panning decisions.

Absolutely... and then do the same to an MP3 version of it and hear the damage that's been done!


hugh

You mean you don't enjoy the sound of warbling audio? Like digital birds mating.
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby alexis » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:19 pm

Thank you for your kind replies.

I am reading Hugh's Processing Stereo Audio Files from SOS 11/10 (as an aside for any fellow newbies that may come this way - an excellent review!).

I am having a hard time with one of the basic concepts, hoping maybe someone here can help out a bit please ... re: the M/S matrix ... When I read, "L+R = Mid", I can't stop thinking ...
"Well, of course the mid signal on each channel will be increased when they are summed ... but on my system, when I play the left and the right channel simultaneously I obviously get the full stereo signal ... so doesn't summing L+R also include the side signals?".

Which I know is the wrong way to think of it, but I can't figure out why!

Thanks for any help -
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:00 pm

Just checked the UAD site and yes you can! http://www.uaudio.com/store/compressors-limiters/fairchild-670.html
A M/S demo using the Fairchild, in lat/vert mode.

The Brainworx bx_digital V2 EQ supports M/S processing if you're looking for a UAD EQ solution.

Most of the processors in T-RackS also support M/S for an inexpensive native solution.

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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:09 pm

alexis wrote:When I read, "L+R = Mid", I can't stop thinking ...
"Well, of course the mid signal on each channel will be increased when they are summed ... but on my system, when I play the left and the right channel simultaneously I obviously get the full stereo signal ... so doesn't summing L+R also include the side signals?".


There are two ways of looking at a stereo sound stage.

The conventional way is to consider everything to the left of centre -- the left channel -- and everything to the right of centre -- the right channel. This is normal stereo.

The other way is to look at what dominates the centre (the Mid signal), and what dominates the outer edges (Side signal).

The two are transposable without loss, and are related by simple maths:

Mid = Left + Right and Side = Left - Right

and conversely:

Left = Mid + Side and Right = Mid - Side

Note, the same sum and difference maths apply regardless of the direction of transposition.
The important thing -- in answer to your question -- is that the Mid signal, being the sum of left and right, must contain the entire sound stage, but is dominated by anything in the centre which will inherently end up 6dB louder than anything exclusively in one channel only (ie panned hard over).

Also, the Side signal can not contain anything from the centre of the sound stage (becuase the subtraction will cancel it out), but does contain anything that is different between the left and right channels -- which means anything and everything panned towards one side or the other -- no matter how slightly it is panned.

H
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:26 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Elf is being facetious
Partially!

But it would be easier to fool around and 'hear' mid and side in action by mucking around with EQ than with compression IMO.

Voxengo MSED is a free encoder/decoder that will let you split up the signal and fiddle around to hear what's going on. I use it to send M/S signals out to my hardware for buss EQ/compression - something I used to do before I had a stereo-linked equaliser. I like the results so much this way that I never bother stereo linking my EQ now anyway!
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Re: Can I use my UAD-1 Stereo Fairchild 670 as a tool to help me learn M/S?

Postby alexis » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:31 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
alexis wrote:When I read, "L+R = Mid", I can't stop thinking ...
"Well, of course the mid signal on each channel will be increased when they are summed ... but on my system, when I play the left and the right channel simultaneously I obviously get the full stereo signal ... so doesn't summing L+R also include the side signals?".

There are two ways of looking at a stereo sound stage.

The conventional way is to consider everything to the left of centre -- the left channel -- and everything to the right of centre -- the right channel. This is normal stereo.

The other way is to look at what dominates the centre (the Mid signal), and what dominates the outer edges (Side signal).

The two are transposable without loss, and are related by simple maths:

Mid = Left + Right and Side = Left - Right

and conversely:

Left = Mid + Side and Right = Mid - Side

Note, the same sum and difference maths apply regardless of the direction of transposition.
The important thing -- in answer to your question -- is that the Mid signal, being the sum of left and right, must contain the entire sound stage, but is dominated by anything in the centre which will inherently end up 6dB louder than anything exclusively in one channel only (ie panned hard over).

Also, the Side signal can not contain anything from the centre of the sound stage (becuase the subtraction will cancel it out), but does contain anything that is different between the left and right channels -- which means anything and everything panned towards one side or the other -- no matter how slightly it is panned.

H

Thank you again, everyone.

@GUU - yes, thank you!, I knew I could use the 670 for M/S, and as I am familiar with it from it's L/R compression capability I'd like to do the majority of my M/S learning from it ... but I wasn't sure if it was too quirky to serve as a learning platform. I'm at work now (don't tell the boss!), but I'll check out your link later tonight - cheers!

@Hugh - OK, that is VERY reassuring, thank you. If I understand you correctly, the term "Mid" doesn't/can't mean "Mid - ONLY" since it is the whole stereo field as I noted ("Signed, alexis, a.k.a., Captain Obvious")... and that it might be more accurately called for the benefit of the concrete-headed, "The-Mid-emphasized-by-6dB-but-obviously-with-some-side-information channel".

Thanks again, and for the great article in 11/10!

BTW - that (-)3dB correction you reference in the article - I'd never have thought of that, I'd probably just go nuts trying to figure out why my tracks kept getting louder and louder!
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