M/S processing is also referred to as Mid/Side processing. In order to not confuse people and also to not embarrass myself, I’ll be giving a pretty basic explanation. Another reason is because I don’t like to complicate my mixing with too many complicated terms and jargon. It makes the process of mixing less enjoyable, at least from my experience. M/S Processing gives us the ability to manipulate the side information (Left and Right) and the middle information (Center) separately, within a stereo track. Now before I continue I must admit that I don’t use this technique a lot, but I’d say it maybe pops up once every mix and I use it more as an effect than anything else.
Let’s say you have a stereo track where the middle information sounds perfect the way it is, but maybe you wish that you could turn up the sides, compress the sides, or even EQ the sides. Well good news because you can. But I must repeat, I would rather do all this in the mix and not leave it to a point of needing this type of technique.
It works great when you’re given stems or loops inside the mix and you don’t have access to the individual parts. It might not be ideal but at least its better than not having it at all.
Another benefit to this, leaning more towards the side of effects, is that it gives you better control over the stereo spectrum of a particular sound in your mix. In a nutshell it gives you the ability to make something wider, or something more mono. I personally tend to use it more on sounds that are not quite as important that lean toward the background in a song. I would make them wider and try to get them away from the most important information in the song (usually the vocals).
How can this be applied?
I can give you the three common ways that I would use M/S processing and then from there, you can explore this on your own and see how it might work in your mix…
Continue reading to get into the technical examples in the full article here.