Location Recording: Using MS in ur mixing live

I have a job coming up: String quartet/Vivaldi etc and I am using an r88 ribbon in ms mode which has proven to be amazing in the past. I was using RME total mix where you can simply press ms on any channel combinations so as to be able to monitor live (of course essential to strap on a set of closed cans to make sure its all good)
I want to give the ur a turn (have ur824 and ur44c) but the mix inserts do not contain any ms plugs for stereo channels and it needs to be realtime ie no latency as was the case with RME.

How are others able to use the ur series in this type of application?


Im guessing no one knows anything about this…which is surprising because I consider the ur pres one of the best after quite a shootout between clarett, rme…blah blah. MS is a go to for serious recording that needs environmental control. Even allowing simple plugins would help in ur mix.
Not being rude but ur must be more of a bedroom audience, close micing everything… :frowning:
Ah well back to the rme…pro kit at least…ur is not serious about live recording without ms


Sorry, but I don’t understand your problem.
Why are you concerned about latency?
Are you playing in the quartet as you record?
Any MS plugin in your daw should do the trick?
I love MS recording as well, but just don’t get your issue with it… ?? :thinking:
Please give me some more background.

Anyway, if you insist on using the onboard mixer to decode/monitor, you could make a simple MS decoder using the fact that L=M+S and R=M-S.
For example:

  • You can use the ur44c Mix2 line out to send a clean copy of your Side channel to a line-out jack, use a short TRS patch cord to loop it back in another line-in (IN3) and hit the phase-invert button on this channel - this will give you your [minus-S] channel you can then add to the M channel (using Mix1 this time) but pan it full-Right. (you get R=M-S)
  • Then just pan (in Mix1) the original S channel full-Left. (you get L=M+S)
  • You leave the M channel mic panned at Center, so it’s added both to L and R (as in both equations above).

I have not tried it yet, but it should do the job.
Sorry if I got too confusing… you might like this short article for additional background:

Hi @Y-D and thanks for your reply;
I am already using all the 8 inputs (boundary stereo, ms and 4 close mics for gating etc plus the ms)…decided on the ur824 but its the same issue.
Appreciate your solution but I would then be adding the round trip latency making it worse.

I dont use a daw…its location and I am not interested in going into the daw…I use Waves Tracks live…it is bullet proof so far imvho (its never crashed on me). I am using the direct monitoring of whatever hw is being used: Latency is an issue because when setting up, especially positioning to find the sweet spot, ie you use your ears, swap with cans and cycle through this until you find something satisfactory…even with standards like the 770s, hearing the phasing/combing etc is pretty off putting. I need to hear it direct if you know what I mean
Ive been using MS for the last 18 years or so and am pretty familiar with sum/diff etc. I just find it so much better than blumlein for this and have not had issues until I wanted to use the UR.

Hope that explains the issue better. Just a simple ms on the channels of the UR, like the TotalMix software, is simple. UR lets you use yamaha plugs but nothing else…

Mmm… I see.
At recording time, all needed is setting the levels “high-enough-without-clipping”, but it’s nice to be able to make a nice-sounding live mix.
Doing this without a DAW on a crude tool like WTL, and while using MS… you found a trifecta of requirements apparently not envisioned by the UR-C designers.

It’s a corner case, but I will add my vote to yours to ask Steinberg to add a basic M+S decoder within dspMixFx. It would not add a penny of additional HW, but “only” a relatively simple SW effort.

Suggestion if you want " M+S on steroids ", look into ambisonic recording!
Starter:. 7 Reasons to Get Into Ambisonics - Do You Know What It Is And Why It's Useful Even If You Only Ever Work In Stereo? | Production Expert
It’s an ideal setup for string quartets. Quick, non-invasive setup, and you can forget about mic spills and phase/combing issues since you have a single point source.
But you can definitely say goodbye then to live monitoring without a DAW… You record 4 ‘raw’ tracks (4 capsules in 1 mic) and post-process later.

Thanks again for your time.

Intrinsically true but what is heard so much more vital. Without finding a good ‘viewpoint’, the rest of the recording is left unfocused/obscured at the least. I kind of believe, the daw is of no importance and actually gets in the way…a bit like first pass mixing on hires monitors (other than for error checks). Unless the midrange picture is good, the rest is a hard job ie unless the viewpoint is solid etc.

I do UI/UX consult as a job; I realise it prob isnt a popular pathway but even having a simple user pref to show deeper options like MS might be better and only reveal on stereo tracks ie where the MS can show as a cycle choice on the link button (as it would be a mutually exclusive choice)

Couldnt agree more…but the same sweet spot applies. ie focus and balance. ‘Seeing’ what is heard through a good set of cans/device (realtime decode is an issue for A.S. though :slight_smile: I believe realtime monitoring is imperative else its quite blind.
I do love ambisonics but a good ms recording is still I think the best compromise for binaural/speakers for a simple group/drums. Gerzon/Craven were so ahead of their tiime. I do industrial design work for aea and have quite an interest in mics…pity ribbon is too bulky for convenient sf application. So my point is…ms on the ribbon is a preferred choice vs sdc format of most sf mics and post process. On axis ms on large ribbon is sooo good.

I live near Rode mics, known them since they were freedman electronics…great company and the best service support of any company I have used…when they introduced the sf1, wow that is such a nice and reasonably priced solution. (have so many of their mics…excellent)

Essentially Im mainly interested in the single point source. The boundaries are an experiment and the close mics are purely for processing control. Here is a raw session from drums eg single point source ms on r88 (ms decode and normalise for demo)

Starting with a good picture, soundstage just makes the mix so easy and satisfying ie works straight up on binaural, speakers etc and fit for purpose…but the mic has a tight placement tolerance to allow single mic and of course isnt for all genres.

Thanks for your links etc.

Honestly, I don’t think anyone does this without a daw, simply because that particular feature is not available with Steinberg products.
DspMixFx is good at what it does, but Steinberg does not really seem to listen to users (at least not when it comes to input on the functionality of the software), and along the years there has been precious few actual functionality updates, so don’t hold your breath.

If I had the same requirements I would certainly stick to durec with an appropriate rme interface and preamp.

Issue is the daw doesnt sort it. Might give me input decode but then adds the latency…which Id prob rather just blumlein it to get as close as I can…just a bit shocked really when the competition is so much more advanced…and rme had this on total mix back in…hehe 2005 when I first bought mine…still going strong and sounds great.
The ur has better mids and low mids for some reason…more transparent but still…I might have to go back to the rme but where to get a firewire interface for surface :-\

I feel you, but I also think you are comparing interfaces in completely different price brackets, which isn’t fair. I use both Steinberg and RME, and i would never ever expect one to displace the other. Different needs, different interfaces.

Yep sure…
But quality lasts…17 years but thats the hardware mainly. The ur is a great piece of kit tbh and its speaks a lot that I would like to use in place of the rme…just these little features that are so important…not indicative of the price diff if you know what I mean.
In reality the ur824 was about half the price of the rme I think…but I guess that isnt allowing for price index of time
Anyway, point is…just a little sum+diff is so trivial…