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Mid Side VST Plugins:
One Stop Processing


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Virtually all plugins can be called Mid side VST plugins. It's become the exception when a plugin comes without a mid side option these days.

The list below highlights some of the tools at my disposal as well as some, while interesting, that are not yet in my collection.

They include my comments on those I use or have demoed.

Free:

These plugins either provide basic mid side operations and processing, or involve mid side techniques as an option.

  • Voxengo MSED
  • Tone Projects' Bass Lane
  • BrainworX' bx_solo
  • Flux' Stereo Tool and Bitter Sweet II

With WaveLab's more streamlined mid-side tool, I don't need to use Voxengo's much as I used to. But Flux' Bitter Sweet tool has often proven itself very useful to bring out vocals in an otherwise washed out, wide mix.

And I devote a whole page to an important mixing and mastering topic that uses the BrainworX bx_solo!

Basic Operations:

These will allow things like basic widening or narrowing, and shifting the panorama of a mix.

  • PSP's Stereo Controller
  • Waves S1
  • BrainworX Control V2

The PSP Controller was one of my first mid side tools. Both PSP's and Waves do what they need in their own way when I need them.

EQ:

Independent adjustment of the mid or side spectrum.

The Neon is fantastic when I need to be surgical and transparent. Voxengo's Curve EQ version 3 is much more simpler and elegant than it's more complex previous version 2 incarnation.

Har-Bal, as always, has superb analysis functions. I'm a bit at odds with the way it handles EQ for the mid portion of a file.

Compression:

The Fairchild is still a favourite around here!

And while this point has nothing to do with compression, the Soniformer has the ability to not only shift the panorama of the side signal, while leaving the mid centered, but to do so with selected frequencies.

Limiting:

I never thought something like mid side limiting would be possible but they've found a way!

Mastering Suites:

These incorporate eq, compression, image adjustments, and more within one streamlined interface.

As I said elsewhere, while T-Racks doesn't get much use (nothing against it), Ozone gets more powerful with each update.

More Specialized And Unique Mid Side VST Plugins:

These plugins use mid side techniques directly and with more proprietary processes.

  • Roger Nichols Detailer (Sadly, no longer available)
  • Waves Center
  • Crysonic: Sindo (Stereo Image Expander)
  • BrainworX: bx_digital V2 and bx_dynEQ
  • Mathew Lane: DrMS

I demoed the Detailer and loved it. But I never go around to claiming it, and I won't use anything that no longer has any support.

Waves Center attempts to deliver separate L, C, R stems. Its success depends on the program material. Simpler and high quality enhancements comes from Flux' free Bitter Sweet plug-in.

There You Have It!

This was meant to be a highlight of the mid side VST plugins I have when I need to focus more precisely on a mix.

It acts as a summary of the theory I've presented in my section on mid side mastering.

And it lists some of the tools I use when I master.


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Mid Side Mastering

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