Using M/S EQ in Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X's redesigned EQ plug-in is more than just a pretty interface. Now it enables us to use Mid Side (M/S) processing. Mo Volans will show you how!  

A reasonably recent update to Logic Pro X saw the introduction of a new stock EQ. Apart from a flash new interface there are also important changes to the way the EQ operates ‘under the hood’. One of these is the capability to employ M/S processing. Let’s take a peek at one way you can utilize it.

Step 1 - Using The Stock EQ

Simply put, the new stock EQ rocks! The interface is oversized, colorful and intuitive. There is also a very cool analyzer rolled in. Even in its standard mode, this is now an EQ plug-in that can hold its head high amongst third-party offerings. 

The new Logic EQ in stereo mode

The new Logic EQ in stereo mode.

There is also a linear phase version that can be used for more critical applications such as mastering or buss treatment. This can all happen in the default stereo mode but the real fun starts when we switch to Mid Side.

Step 2 - The M/S Mode

Mid Side routing has a fair few uses, one of which allows you to take a stereo signal and effectively split it into two streams of data, stereo and mono. 

By flipping the switch to Side mode you will hear anything that contains a different signal in each side. Amongst the mix elements you’re likely to isolate are things like high-end stereo percussion, reverbs, backing vocals, double-tracked guitars and wide synths.

Switching to the added M/S mode is very straight forward

Switching to the added M/S mode is very straightforward.

The Mid mode will reveal anything that plays back the same in both sides, essentially the mono material. This will of course include lead vocals, mono guitars, bass and other low frequency elements like kick drums.

Step 3 - Duplicating The EQ

At this point you’ll want to copy the EQ in its default state. This can be done by holding down the Option key and dragging to the next available insert slot. This is so we can process the Mid and Side signals simultaneously on the same channel.

Double EQs

Double EQs.

You can also engage the analyzer on both EQs at this point. This will give you solid visual feedback of both elements as you process them. 

Step 4 - Treating The Stereo Signal  

Jump to the first instance of your two EQs and throw it into Side mode. This allows us to use this EQ to process only the stereo data in our audio. In this case I have filtered off any low end and boosted the highs. This essentially cleans up any unwanted mud and boosts the emphasis of any stereo effects and percussion.

Side only mode being treated

Side only mode being treated.

Step 5 - Tweaking The Mono 

The second EQ is our Mid or Mono processor in the chain. Use this to boost low end and perform a few key cuts. As most of the low end in my mix was mono this was the perfect way to enhance these instruments and leave the stereo data untouched. 

The Mono data being enhanced

The Mono data being enhanced.

This simple setup gives you a fully fledge M/S EQ bank and can be used both in the mix and even in your mastering chain for more critical correction and sweetening. 

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More

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