Contributing to the ongoing debate about M/S Mastering, SPL introduces a new powerful analog tool that can manage M/S signal separation and integrate external processors seamlessly – The M/S Master. World Premiere at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt.
The M/S Master allows a fully adjustable separation of stereo L/R signals (X/Y) into middle/side signals (M/S). M/S separation and positioning, as well as the stereo image, are defined by the Balance and Level knobs, while a switchable frequency filter for the Side signal controls the lower frequencies and the room ambience.
One of the main features of the M/S Master is that it can integrate external processors via switchable inserts. Thus, outboard gear can be easily integrated into the X/Y or M/S mix with a single button and without the need of any cabling. These processing possibilities make the M/S Master an essential tool in mastering environments.
The use of a middle (M) and a side (S) signal instead of the usual L/R (X/Y) signal results in a much more selective and musical processing. High-energy Middle signals (vocals, snare, bass guitars, etc.) can be easily separated from Side signals (guitars, keyboards, cymbals, etc.). Thus, a compressor can be used to process one element instead of the whole mix. The same applies to any kind of processing, making the M/S matrix an indispensable element in the mastering stage.