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.
Great video as usual … enormous help! … Thank You again
I’m a little confused. If you set your stereo track to Dual Mono, are you then able to set each mono track to Mid and Side? Which would effectively give you 4 tracks from your stereo track? (Mid/side Left and Mid/Side Right?) Or, are you only able to adjust either Mid/Side or Left/Right? Hope you can clarify, and thanks for the great demo!
Hey Ernie, great question. With Dual Mono Mode you’re able to process either set of 2 signals. By default Dual Mono allows you to process the left and right sides to independently. Or you can switch Dual Mono to Mid-Side. Which allows you to process your Stereo tracks as a set of 2 different signals. Mid or Side.
So in the case of your question, it’s an “either-or” sort of thing.
Fortunately though you can string Plugins in all sorts of arrangements together on a single Channel Strip in Logic. So for example, you could open 1 instance of the Compressor in Dual Mono mode as a Mid-Side instance. And then right after you could open another Compressor in Dual Mono mode, but in a Left/Right configuration.
I hope this helps!
Gerrit Verbeek says
I’m a 70 year old singer songwriter without a technical background but with a little knowledge of Cooledit. Since a use a Mac for text and music and Logic I try to keep up with all the ins and outs of the program. Yur video’s help a lot. I do’n’t use all the possibilities of Logic but with your helping video’s my songs sound pretty good. Thanks.
Very interesting information. I have an old tape recording circa 1980 of one of my favorite groups performing live. I took a line out from their mixer into my stereo tape recorder. I would love to be able to enhance the original recording. Perhaps this is the way?