Many of us are working with tracks that were conceived or released as a single stereo file. Think samples, loops, audio tracked to tape, or the bounce of an entire mix.
Stereo recording and mixing allows you tons of freedom to craft an engaging song. But having a single stereo file with all the effects and tracks “baked in” can sometimes feel limiting.
For example, let’s say you have some old recordings you’re trying to remix. You may find that the engineer of yesteryears had to bounce tracks together to make room to record other tracks.
Or let’s say you download a loop from Splice. And though it sounds banging, you find yourself wishing you could adjust the levels of certain elements within the loop.
Or let’s say the mix session for one of your songs has long since disappeared. All you’re left with is a single stereo file. And you’d like to try and improve its sound while doing the least amount of damage.
You can certainly EQ, compress or limit these Stereo files as they are. But you may find Stereo files leave you with your hands tied behind your back.
In our example of remastering an entire mix, you may feel the vocals are way too muddy. So you try to brighten them with an EQ to help them cut through.
However, that high-shelf boost ends up boosting the cymbals and guitars too. And ultimately, the mix now sounds too bright.
So you’re forced to decide if you prefer a mix with a vocal that’s lacking presence, or a mix that’s lacking bass :/
But what if I told you there was another way to approach your stereo files? A form of processing that allows you to “decode” and open these tracks up for more refined corrective and creative mixing?
That’s exactly what Mid-Side Processing is all about 🙂
Every stereo track you come across comes in the form of 2 signals – left and right. But you can also process your tracks as 2 other signals:
- Mid – which includes everything in the middle of your mix
- Sides – which includes everything on the hard left and right sides
Mid-Side recording sounds super abstract when you’re not familiar with it. But this form of mix processing can solve some of your toughest problems with stereo tracks.
And thanks to Logic Pro’s Dual Mono Mode, you can use Mid-Side processing with just about any plugin.
Check out today’s video above for your own personal walkthrough of Mid-Side processing in Logic Pro.