Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I currently have a DIY M-S decoder, which is very noisy and the stereo image is wrong. The mid is much lower than it should and the sides are overbearing. Basically, it is impossible for me to monitor properly.

I don't want to decode before going into the recorder, this is just to monitor accurately. Do you know of a good option for me?

Thanks.

share|improve this question
    
How's your DIY setup work? –  ragamesound May 9 '11 at 21:19
    
@ragamesound It's a bit of electronics that do the decoding. I plug in the stereo out from my headphones into the box and then my headphones into the box. It's horrible though. In any case I now have myself the Sound Devices, which have onboard decoding. –  Andrew Spitz May 10 '11 at 8:00
add comment

7 Answers 7

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I know AEA used to make one, but Wes pretty much dropped all projects other than strictly Ribbon mics, but you can probably find one used somewhere for fairly not expensive...

Millennia and Dangerous make expensive ones, but obviously those won't work...

Most field mixers have m/s decoding built in. I know the Wendt X5, Sound Devices 302, and PSC ProMix 6 all have it. There may be a less expensive mixer that has it built in, you might be able to find one, or something used (on Coffey Sound or Trew Audio maybe?)

I haven't seen a stand alone decoder under a grand though.

Alternatively, you could use a y-split XLR cable to go into 2 channels (on your side channel) and use 3 channels and decode manually. You could either phase reverse the splitter manually or phase reverse on your inputs if your mixer supports it.

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
    
I'm actually considering getting the Sound Devices 302, it seems like a lovely machine. No ways I'll pay a grand for a standalone decoder :-) Thanks for the advice. –  Andrew Spitz Mar 7 '10 at 14:36
add comment

There was a diagram at Jensen-Transformers of a "Passive Stereo Matrix for M-S Mic Technique" that might work.

I decided to test it, but then I bought a Wendt X3 which, although it is not a Mid-Side decoder, has 3 mic inputs, so I use an adapter cable to connect Side (figure of eight) mic to inputs 2 and 3 with inverted phase, if necessary.

Wendt x3

share|improve this answer
add comment

I second the "decode manually" suggestion. It's not complicated, and you'll have full control over the image.

If you don't know how to do that, there's a little article about it here: http://www.wikirecording.org/Mid-Side_Microphone_Technique

share|improve this answer
    
So you mean decoding before going into the recorder? I would rather decode only for monitoring purposes, and save the proper decoding for the studio and monitors. Thanks for the link you sent! –  Andrew Spitz Mar 8 '10 at 19:37
add comment

I love the sound of the AEA decoders, but I'm often just doing it in software these days.

share|improve this answer
    
Yeah, the decoding I want to do in software. It's for monitoring purposes that I'm looking for one. I think I might get rid of my FR-2 (or keep it as a second recorder) and get a 7 series Sound Devices, that will solve my problem (and others). –  Andrew Spitz Mar 13 '10 at 21:37
    
you also might want to search ebay for a sounddevices mp-2 pre-amp. It is the same as the mix-pre but it came with a decoder. It has been discontinued, but I bet you can find one used. –  sepulchra Mar 14 '10 at 21:26
add comment

Peter Engh makes the SonicOrbit a dedicated MS decoder.

share|improve this answer
    
peterengh.com/sonicorbit.php here's a link to that - but it looks to me like it's not for monitoring M/S, and there's no price listed. –  ragamesound May 9 '11 at 21:21
    
I just called Peter Engh up, here's what he says: Cost = $388 + shipping. Line level device - won't pass phantom. Designed to be between the mixer and the recorder. Cannot monitor directly from the device. "Most people use it" as part of the recording chain, not as a monitoring tool, but it could be used as a monitoring tool if you flipped the chain around. I.E. take a feed from your recorder, into this, into a mixer, and monitor from the mixer. Probably not the best solution for monitoring. –  ragamesound May 9 '11 at 21:29
add comment

I'm building a Passive Mid-Side encoder that might do the trick for you. It has multiple ins and outs, you can monitor each channel with dedicated direct outs, uses quality Jensen transformers, and for now it comes in an attractive box hand made from reclaimed redwood. I'm going to sell a couple of these soon for something less than a grand ($US).

There's more info at http://www.glenglenn.com

Glen Glenn Audio.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The Shure FP-33 field mixer has mid-side monitor decoding built in. You might be able to pick used one pretty reasonably. Sound quality is good.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.