Mother of Pearl

A re-recording of a tune I once posted here
many years ago.

My first attempt at M/S mastering. Let me know
if it’s a shambles…or nothing special.

First use also of a Blackstar overdrive pedal on
the steel. Comments welcome on that too.

Again, EQP-WA and UBK Fatso throughout for
tracking and final mix.

Hi Jet, glad to have another Pearldivers cut to listen to! I listened to it twice before Bandcamp cut me off - buy it or else. Hadn’t seen that before. I definitely want to buy it, but I assume you’re working on an album, which I would like to buy. Anyway, I was trying to listen for m/s, but my own lack of experience prevents me from having any useful input. I know what it is, but I haven’t used it for my own mixes, and so can’t say anything other than I didn’t notice it one way or another. Gorgeous, though! Maybe the voice was a little low…, but I felt the balance, tone, mix, etc, was excellent.

Thanks for sharing.

Leon, thanks for your comments.

Yes, I’ve seen that fairly blunt “ask” at Bandcamp
a few times before. Dunno if it’s effective. :wink:

That vocal was probably affected by the M-S process.
Although it’s easy to boost the sides, you gotta keep
your ears on the middle (where that voice is of course).
Anyway, it was an interesting experiment, never having
tried it before. I did the newbie thing of winding
the side gain back by 80% from where I initially had it :laughing:
as it’s always a pitfall to get sucked into anything that sounds
obviously new and audibly"ooh".

I played around with side EQ and even whacked on side
verbs, each a bit different.

It certainly spread the mix: what were panned at 40 L-R now
sound like they are 80+ :laughing:

I’ll keep fooling around with it and will no doubt revisit
the whole thing sooner than later.

Yes, there is a new album coming. Not sure when.
Maybe later this year.

It was a good song back then and it’s a good song now…found the mix a bit boomy in the right hand channel though…listening on good stuff…
best to keep it simple I reckon but what do I know :frowning:

best, Kevin :slight_smile:

Hi Kevin.

Well, I am about 50% deaf in the right ear, but I think
you were correct. I have to press my cans hard to get a
real stereo balance (in the open air it all sounds rather left-ed)
and a bit of boom was there, on the Rhodes.

I think it was the right-side reverb, even though I had rolled
off a lot of its nethers. Now why did I do that? Hmmm.
Maybe even last night I detected something subterranean. :laughing:

So, tamed mid-side verb there a lot more.

Maybe I need to get my ears checked but I’m still hearing…boom… from the right channel, reckon you should wait for a second opinion from early21…he’s got awesome ears…

best, Kevin :slight_smile:

I strapped analyzers on left and right splits of file and the EQ curves are 99% the same,
with no obvious peaks (beyond the slight boosts at 100Hz and 8kHz on the
EQP-WA, neither of which are extreme). :confused: The low mids seem under control
with nothing looking suspect.

Can’t detect boom here, but can’t guarantee things on the right.

Ah, da mysteries of sound. :slight_smile:

I was able to listen again today. Mysteries of Bandcamp! I want to learn more about m/s processing now! Still sounds great, and I don’t hear an imbalance. I’ve heard many recordings that have mystified me with respect to stereo separation in solo guitar genre; to be specific, the guitar will seem to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time (Examples – Johnny A, Oz Noy, Mike Stern, more). In each case, power trio for much of the track, with guitar, bass, and drums basically centered, yet still a satisfyingly wide stereo field. And, not sounding anything like recordings from 60’s to 80’s. Seems you’ve achieved the same effect on this track - voices are everywhere and nowhere! So this is what you get with mid/side processing? Is it all about eq, or are there other parameters to mess with? And what tool are you using?

Lovely lush track.

Hi Leon,

I’ve come to the M/S party very late. :unamused:

I’m using the (free) Voxengo MSED plugin. It’s amazingly simple.

There are other plugins by Waves and UAD, etc, that are also out there.
The Brainworkx EQ V.3 for UAD looks stunning, but my older Mac won’t run it.

Basically, you can do anything you want to the main parts of
the mix (middle and two sides) including gain changes, adding EQ, FX,
compression. Of course it’s always going to be a matter of what
you want to achieve. Simply adding a bit of gain to the sides
results in a marvelous widening affect, let alone doing anything
else. A little bit seems to go a very long way.

If you were a mastering engineer, I can see why the technique
would be a regular (if not permanent) choice. I think I’m a

Luckily, the M/S party still has some booze left for me! :laughing:

Gonna get my ears checked :frowning: and maybe my gear :frowning:

:confused: :frowning:

i listened a couple of nights back ,the mix didnt seem as warm as your previous mixs but it was good all the same .trouble with m/s stuff where do you draw the line , i was listening to a tame impala song and they sound like they had put a widener on an instrument within the mix just breifly then it was gone ,it made it`s little statement widely then was gone .the blackstar sounds good , i have the ht dual i am a little dissapointed with it for recording direct .i once went to a jam and i played one through a peavey tansistor amp and it sounded mega ,that is what turned me onto them.

Hello p,

thanks for the listen and feedback.

Perhaps it’s the absence of guitars in this one that’s
making you feel it is less warm? Dunno. Same input
and output chain as usual.

I got the Blackstar new from a bargain bin. Impulse buy as it
was cheap. Worth it for just the test run.

Anyway, I had just done a little tweaked remix and was
about to post it, so I drove it a bit harder into the tape this time.


Shame on me for not knowing about the Voxengo MSED VST. I’m guessing the settings can all be automated, which would make the mid/side gain abilities fun to play with for effects during mixing.

I will be downloading this one, as its versatility should prove valuable.

Jet: good tune, as always! I am listening on my laptop speakers so I don’t feel qualified to comment on anything in the mix at this time.

Hi Larry! What a shame no feedback.
I had specifically mixed for laptop! :laughing: :unamused:

Hi Jet,

Still a great song! I like the sound, I’m not sure if it’s the m/s, but to me it sounds good.
Thanks for the info and the tip on the Voxengo MSED. I’ll give it a try! :smiley:


One of those timeless tracks - liked it a lot. I’ll keep out of the mixing/balance discussion except to say I really liked that the vocal harmonies were understated and it fitted the track better for it.


Hi Wim!

Thanks for the feedback. The MSED is easy-peasy. :wink:


thanks for listening. Glad you liked the tune.
If it’s standing the test of time, I’m pleased.

Nice track Jet! I don’t recall listening to your previous version but this sounds great!
Very soothing track, I love it.
Like Early I don’t have experience with MS techniques so I’m not sure if there is something special I’m supposed to hear, but it sounds great all the same so good job :wink:

My only nit would be that I thought the chh chh ohh hihat pattern in the chorus was a bit too lazy, it’s dragging behind a bit much for my taste.

Was just listening again, can’t add suggestions, just enjoying, lots to learn from what you’re doing, nice.