Mid/Sides (or M/S) recording techniques are favoured by many engineers for a number of reasons during the recording, mixing and mastering stages, and it’s the last that we’ll look at here.
Mastering is always a hot topic. Most of us love to use the latest technique to make our masters bigger, badder and usually louder. Unfortunately, not all mastering techniques get as much airtime as others, and M/S processing is one of these lesser known subjects.
Looking at the different characters of various compressors and their suitability for particular instruments, different compressor types will suit particular songs and styles of music more than others and this is because of the way that they sound and the way that they respond.
Let’s look at the different types in Logic / Ableton or Outboard gear:
A technique that has been known but almost unused for over 30 years. This is the stereo ‘shuffler’. Although many recording engineers and studios don’t realise it they already have the equipment to produce a marked improvement in the stereo quality of many of their recordings.
What is a shuffler, and how come you didn’t know you had one?
I thought it would be fun to contrast and compare the tubes vs. solid-state debate with the analog vs. digital standoff. I’d readily concede that solid-state/transistor components are, watt for watt, cheaper, more reliable, cooler running, smaller and lighter in weight. But if solid-state is so terrific why haven’t tubes become extinct in the half century since transistors came onto the scene? Maybe, just maybe, because tubes sound better?
There isn’t just one straight path for every musician, engineer, or producer in the music industry. Aside from making records for artists, think of all the other types of music that’s being produced. There are TV and movie scores, and Broadway soundtracks, just to name a few. Whatever your interests are, I think there’s one topic worthy of conversation: your career path. By the time you move to a major music metropolis like London or NYC, your concept of how to make money has to change. It’s possible you’ve been able to wear many hats before, switching your focus to follow the quick money.