3 Mid/Side EQ Techniques

Audiotent Tip 415. 3 Mid/Side EQ Techniques.

Understanding mid/side processing will give you more control and focus on your mix and is considered a secret weapon among mixing engineers.

What is mid/side processing?

Mid/Side processing has been around since the 1930s and is a technique that allows the engineer to affect the mid channel independently to the side channel. The mid channel is the mono center of the stereo image, basically the audio that is equal in both the left and right channels. The side channel is everything else.

A lot of the modern EQ plugins allow us to split this signal into mid and side instead of the traditional left and right. In doing so, it opens up some very interesting techniques that we couldn’t have achieved otherwise.

Here are three Mid/Side EQ techniques to try on your next mix:

1. Cutting the lows from the sides
2. Refocussing a delay on a tech-house stab
3. Adding more width to a melodic techno lead

Cutting the lows from the sides

It is best practice to have the low elements of your mix in mono. There are a few reasons for this, one reason a better translation of your music to club systems. Another being, compatibility when cutting your track to vinyl.

Cleaning up any unwanted stereo information in your mix is very easy with Mid/Side EQ.

To do this, simply load your chosen Mid/Side EQ onto your channel, set the plugin to mid/side mode, create a high pass filter for the side channel and dial in the frequency to taste. Be careful not to go too high with the high pass. Somewhere around 100-200Hz maximum.

3 mid side eq techniques

Here is the before and after example:

Refocussing a delay on a tech-house stab

The next technique is a little more advanced. We will be using Mid/Side Eq on a delay return to boost the mid frequencies of the mid signal which will help re-focus our delay.

First, send your audio to an aux/effect return. In this example we are using the Eyetooth preset from our Chaos Tech-House Serum Presets pack.

Then, apply your favourite delay plugin and set the dry/wet to 100% wet.

3 mid side eq techniques

Next, a Mid/Side EQ, set the plugin to mid/side mode and add a mid-band. Finally, Sweep the frequencies to find the sweet-spot that helps push the focus of your delay more towards the center.

3 mid side eq techniques

This is a great trick to use if your delays are a little too wide for your liking.

Here is the before and after example:

Adding more width to a melodic techno lead

For the final technique, we will be adding more width to our techno lead by boosting the side information. In this example, we will be using a loop from our Techno Melodics pack called Matic.

First, add a mid/side EQ to your channel, set the plugin to mid/side mode and add a side-band.

Next, add a bell curve or high shelf depending on the source material, and boost to taste. The result is more high frequencies on the sides giving the perception of more width.

Adding width to a techno lead

Here is the before and after example:

As always, we hope you gained a lot of information from the techniques. If you have any questions or you would like to request a topic to be covered in a future tip, drop them in the comments below.

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