The Mid-Side Technique

What is the Mid-Side Technique ?

Mid-Side is a stereo miking technique that enhances the stereo width of the recorded sound source. In this technique, two microphones with different polar patterns(Cardioid and Figure-8) are used. This technique also requires some post-recording process to decode the MS Matrix.

This is one of the most under-used technique as it sounds complicated. Let us make it as simple it can be.


Why Mid-Side ? :

  • Mid-side technique improves Mono compatibility.
  • The direct sound and ambient sound can be adjusted individually, which means, we have total control over Stereo Field Width.
  • Can be used for various instruments like Acoustic Guitars, Over-Heads, Room mics, Ukelele. We have also had a chance to use this technique on a Violin, Viola and small ensembles in a live recording setup.


Miking Technique :

  • Here, we need two microphones, one Cardioid and one Figure-8.
  • Place the Cardioid microphone pointing directly at the source. This microphone catches the direct sound.
  • Place the Figure-8 microphone with its diaphragm at a 90-degree angle to the diaphragm of the cardioid mic (See figure below)
  • The Figure-8 microphone catches the ambient sound.


Post-Recording Process:

  • Lets assume the Mid Mic (Cardioid) is recorded on the ‘Mid‘ track and the Figure-8 mic is recorded on the ‘Side‘ track.
  • Now, duplicate the ‘Side‘ track and name it as ‘Side 2′.
  • Pan the ‘Side‘ track to left and ‘Side 2′ track to the right.
  • Flip the phase on the ‘Side 2′ track and there you go.

The levels of the tracks ‘Mid’, ‘Side’ and ‘Side 2’ can be individually adjusted to get a wide stereo image.


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