MS Processing with the Schwerkraftmaschine — Stereo Transformer
- Michael Krusch
Part 4 of our review of the different compression modes in the Schwerkraftmaschine
MS processing has been a buzzword for some time now.
Separate processing of the middle and side signals is hardly new.
It was historically used to reduce the width of the base of low-frequency signals so that the needle wouldn't fly out of the groove when the song was pressed onto vinyl.
It has its origins in MS stereophony, where recording was captured via an omnidirectional microphone as the M signal, while the S signal comes from a bi-directional microphone turned toward the null position for its sound source.
Depending on how loud the two signals are parameterized in relation to one another, the technique lets the engineer choose the amount of room ambiance — even when the final result is a mono signal.
How the Schwerkraftmaschine achieves this
Naturally you can control the Schwerkraftmaschine using either our Konnektor or another MS/LR matrix in MS mode.
But you can also go without.
Stereo Transformer mode harnesses this option to react differently to the M and S signals.
The left and right channels of the audio signal are added into the side-chain in an M signal, but are subtracted from one another in the S signal.
The two signals are then run through their own separate side chains.
At the end, the control signal from the S channel is subtracted from the control signal on the M channel.
The M channel thus provides the compression, while the S channel is used for attenuation.
How does it sound
Because a mix represents a constant sequence of diverse stereo events, this mode constantly changes the compression to reflect the placement of the signals within the stereo panorama.
A drum loop within the stereo space will be compressed differently than when run solo.
Once again, there's no substitute for trying it out on your own, as the effect on the stereo image is difficult to describe in words.
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