M/S *editing* vs. *decoding*

I finally (!) discovered just now to my chagrin that setting WaveLab 11 Pro to edit in M/S stereo mode apparently doesn’t actually decode the M/S signal. There’s no difference in sound when switching between the modes, even if channels are unlinked in the Master Section and the sliders are different. This is a major source of confusion for me. I’m guessing actually decoding and working with the M/S signal must be somewhere in the track routing.

Could anyone be kind enough to show a newcomer to M/S recording the settings to select to actually decode an M/S signal? I’d need to do so both in a multichannel montage and in a multichannel wave file. Thanks so much in advance.

How is the source recorded in M/S ?

often 2 channel with

  1. center channel cardioid or omni
  2. figur 8
    in mixer now
  3. center channel as is
  4. L-R mono, L+R mono and pan to taste
    nice old recording trick from Blumlein in 1930…

regards S-EH

Yes, the source was properly encoded in M/S mode (using a Sound Devices recorder). The left channel uses a cardioid mic and the right channel figure-8. Now it just needs to be decoded properly so we can hear what it actually sounds like. Is there an actual M/S decoder in WaveLab, or are we supposed to route the outputs and pan to decode the signal manually? Thanks in advance.


Check in Master Section Plugin > Steinberg> Tool
there is 2 kind of M/S plugins
but no fader in Master Section Plugins
I think it’s possible to use Clips and Tracks in a Montage
and set gain and pan there…

hopefully someone else chime in here …

regards S-EH


setting the channel edit mode just defines how the signal is routed through the plugin itself. Setting it to M/S encodes the L/R signal as M/S for processing by the plugin (instead of L/R) and decodes it into L/R after the processing. That is used e.g. to apply Mid-Side processing in plugins, which do not support that intrinsically (a couple of plugins support that directly).

If you have actual M/S audio material, you will want to decode it to L/R for further processing usually. Wavelab provides 2 plugins for both encoding directions (Steinberg/Tools) “LR → M/S” and “M/S → LR”. In an audio montage you could just put the “M/S → LR” on each clip in order to decode them to LR.


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There is at least 2 free M/S plugin to try out
MSED from Voxengo
Zoom MS Decoder included with Zoom recorders
find on
scroll down on site

regards S-EH

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