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Old 10-09-2018, 05:05 PM
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Default Mid-Side Recording Demo

We've had mid-side come up a few times lately, and I've been meaning to do a demo of how I approach it, so I finally did. Hope it's not too long winded, there was more to talk about than I expected, and even then, this barely scratches the surface. Hope it helps someone give it a try!

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Old 10-10-2018, 02:14 PM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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Thanks for that! A very simple but informative explanation of recording and processing technique!
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:27 PM
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Very interesting - thanks Doug..
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:36 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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Just one thing Doug LUFS units.

If I was mastering for a streaming service I would be at -14 or -15. But for a CD I might go a little higher to -9 or -10.

How do you work out which target to go for?
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:23 AM
virob virob is offline
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Thanks for this. I will have to try your tip on setting mic levels using two different mics. I have tried mid-side recording using the Goodhertz plugin with GarageBand and really like it. I had some problems with left- right balance until I aimed the mics the way you have shown.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:06 AM
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Nice demo. However it's not my favorite sound so what is the point of MS recording other than for mono compatibility considerations?
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Howell View Post
Just one thing Doug — LUFS units.

If I was mastering for a streaming service I would be at -14 or -15. But for a CD I might go a little higher to -9 or -10.

How do you work out which target to go for?
Why would you do either? Posting your own recordings to youtube or whomever and they will do what they want with volume levels. With 24 bit recording I usually record using (Bob Katz) K14 metering which give about -14 target for about average sound level and dynamic troughs or peaks several decibels above or below that average level. That keeps some stress out of the system (preamps, sensitive to overload plugins, etc.). Many software plugs-ins have their own indicators telling when the signal is too hot for them and you need to watch for that.


At the end of the recording process and post recording tweaking I will then raise the volume to a few decibels under overs - some margin just in case.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 10-13-2018 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Nice demo. However it's not my favorite sound so what is the point of MS recording other than for mono compatibility considerations?

I mentioned a few, but didn't want to drag on and on...

First, it is one of my favorite sounds, there's something about the mix of width and focus that I just like. Obviously subject to personal taste.

You can adjust the stereo width after the fact, so if you are not sure what you want, especially if you plan to add other instruments, it works nicely. (Yes, you can do this by panning any mic setup, but in this case you don't get phase cancelation)

Mono capability is a nice feature.

It's an easy mic setup, easy to just move the mics around to get balance (could do the same with XY on a bar, too)

All in all, it's just another technique, not so much about advantages, it's another choice, worth having in your bag of tricks. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I do XY, sometimes ORTF, sometimes spaced pairs, sometimes multiple mic pairs.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:09 AM
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Doug, did you use that mike setup for any of the recordings on your CDs?
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Howell View Post
Just one thing Doug — LUFS units.

If I was mastering for a streaming service I would be at -14 or -15. But for a CD I might go a little higher to -9 or -10.

How do you work out which target to go for?
This is something fairly new to me, (and I think somewhat a new standard over all). But many of the meters are starting to use it. So I'm still learning, but the TC meter has recommended levels, and they suggest -15 for CDs. It ends up corresponding pretty well for guitar to the way I used to think about it, just in terms of dbs. With a track like this, at -15 LKFS/LUFS, I'm usually in the range of 0 to -1db peaks. So the only way I could imagine getting to -9 would be a lot of compression, which would be fine on a pop track, but not something I'd want on solo guitar (tho some of the newer guitar styles seem to be massively compressed).

What kind of material would you go to -9 for? Would you push a solo guitar thing like this to -9. I should explore various commercial guitar tracks with this in mind, something on the to-do list.

Most of what little I understand about it comes from here:

https://www.tcelectronic.com/brand/t...ness-explained
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Doug, did you use that mike setup for any of the recordings on your CDs?
I used the Schoeps in MS for the CDs that come with my Christmas book and Mel Bay Fiddle book. For my last normal CD, I used an AEA R88 in MS, but combined with the Brauners as spaced pairs, and mixed to taste. A few of my older you tube videos used MS as well - one thing that's interesting with the Schoeps, is that the mid mic doesn't have to be vertical - I did it that way in this video because it's more visually obvious what's happening, but I know I have a few videos up where I used it with both mics in the same holder, aligned with each other. The Figure 8 is still facing the sides, tho.

I find I cycle thru these mic placements. I use one for a while, then try something I haven't done in a while, and like the change...

Oh, I've also been using MS on some of the duet's I've been recording with Teja Gerken lately. My thought there is that MS allows me more flexibility when mixing the two guitars to treat them as mono, panned to each side, or stereo, etc. Lots of games you can do with the MS and how it sits in the stereo field. Verdict's still out on that, we haven't finished recording, so I haven't done final mixes.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
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I used the Schoeps in MS for the CDs that come with my Christmas book and Mel Bay Fiddle book.
What was the figure eight mike?
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
What was the figure eight mike?
Schoeps, just like in this demo. Mixing mics is an interesting option, tho. I haven't tried that too much. But something like a ribbon for the middle, and a condenser for the sides seems like it might be a nice combination.
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Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:31 PM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
This is something fairly new to me, (and I think somewhat a new standard over all). But many of the meters are starting to use it. So I'm still learning, but the TC meter has recommended levels, and they suggest -15 for CDs. It ends up corresponding pretty well for guitar to the way I used to think about it, just in terms of dbs. With a track like this, at -15 LKFS/LUFS, I'm usually in the range of 0 to -1db peaks. So the only way I could imagine getting to -9 would be a lot of compression, which would be fine on a pop track, but not something I'd want on solo guitar (tho some of the newer guitar styles seem to be massively compressed).

What kind of material would you go to -9 for? Would you push a solo guitar thing like this to -9. I should explore various commercial guitar tracks with this in mind, something on the to-do list.

Most of what little I understand about it comes from here:

https://www.tcelectronic.com/brand/t...ness-explained
I'm using a plugin from Mastering the Mix which has presets for various services and 'destinations'. They talk about a -9 target for CDs! I have only burnt one once and it sounds OK male vocal and acoustic guitar but like you I'm happier at -14/15, indeed I traditionally use the K14 scale.

Most of the time my LUFS measurements are in the same ball park as K14 but I'm not sure they are all the time!

I still reckon this mastering thing to be 'dark arts'!
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Howell View Post

Most of the time my LUFS measurements are in the same ball park as K14 but I'm not sure they are all the time!
I'm no expert on this, but I think they are different, but end up getting to similar goals. All Bob Katz's stuff seems to do us move the 0 marker on the scale. So in K14, his "0" is really -14db, it's just sort of lying to you for your own good :-). That lets you "push the meters" into the red, like you would on an analog console. If you do that, and the sound sort of centers around the 0 mark, then you're probably averaging around -14db. The LKFS/LUFS metric is apparently based on RMS values, which is the overall average volume, (a better measure than peaks, it seems to me, especially on acoustic guitar, where a single transient could hit zero on an otherwise quiet track), and also ends up meaning an overall average around -14, if you have -14 LKFS.

I noticed that Adobe Audition recently replaced it's "perceived loudness" tool with LKFS as a target instead.

One thing I like about the TC meter is the history, which makes it really easy to see where the bulk of your volume is, how often you go over and so on.

Anyway, this is definitely something I'm still trying to figure out. Maybe Joe Hanna or
Bob Womack, who probably deal with this stuff professionally can add some light to the topic (probably worth a thread on its own).
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website: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com
Fingerstyle Christmas Tunes: A DADGAD Christmas
Hymns Book: Hymns for Fingerstyle Guitar
CDs: Closing Time, Laurel Mill
Pickup tests: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/
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