Mid-side stereo recording question

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by spark, May 11, 2007.

  1. spark

    spark Guest


    My understanding is that in mid-side stereo recording, if a stereo track gets played in mono, the side elements cancel each other out, leaving just the mid component (this arrangement aids mono-compatablity).

    But presumably this means that the stereo element in question goes down in the mix, level-wise, in relation to the other intruments in the track (unless these are also recorded in mid-side stereo).

    So in my case, if I record just acoustic guitar (in mid-side stereo) and vocal (in mono), if my stereo song is played in mono, the vocal will be louder in the mix in relation to the acoustic guitar than it is in the stereo version. Is that correct? And if so, is there any way of getting round that, so that this level difference does not occur when the stereo
    track is played in mono?

  2. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    You're thinking too much.

    Try this track. Recorded live. MS on Guitar, Mono on Vox. This was an acoustic show so the mics were pulled back a bit (20"-24" maybe). I think you can use it to put your theory to the test.


    What you say may be true, but I suspect that in a mono mix you WANT the vocal to sit up a little higher since you have no stereo information to create space for the vox above the instruments. The phenomena you're trying to avoid might actually be working in your favor.

    (The track is from One Nightstand, Indianapolis, by Trina Hamlin)
  3. spark

    spark Guest

    Thanks very much Zemlin. I wil listen and ponder!

  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    My understanding of MS technique is this:
    M+S = Left
    M-S = Right
    (M being the directional mic, and S the figure 8 mic)
    In mono you would sum the L and R
    So (M+S) + (M-S) = M

    So yes I agree with your first statement.

    If a guitar is recorded in MS and Vocal in mono. Then when you play it back in mono the S portion of the Guitar will canceled out. However the M portion is still there as much as it ever was.

    So if you keep the M signal up in the mix then the conversion to mono will be less dramatic.
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