Has anyone got some experience in Double MS dialogue editing and mixing? I recently finished a short movie in which all the dialogue and sync was recorded in Double MS. I treaded it as if it wasn't there until I came to the mix, only there I connected the Side and Rear recordings to the Mid channel and pushed it trough the Schoeps DMS plugin.

I found out that some parts weren't edited so well when taking all three channels, while they sounded good with only the mid channel active. Even within scenes and dialogues I sometimes had to switch from a DMS dialogue track to a Mono track combined with a wider atmosphere, and back again. It took a long time editing some stuff again, while I was sitting in a mixing stage.

So my question is, does anyone has experiences with Dialogue editing and mixing in DMS and what was your workflow in it?

I think the sound is great, and if the shooting location is true to the story location it gives you a really rich sound image. So I'm trying to learn more about it.



1 Answer 1


I've recorded in double ms several times and used the Schoeps DMS plugin, but only for SFX work. I've never heard of anyone recording dialog in double ms unless it's large crowds. Surround production dialog sounds very problematic to me.

Panning dialog in film mixing is a slippery slope. Some mixers do it, usually to sell off screen dialog, or for channel separation if there are a bunch of characters on screen, but a lot of mixers keep every word of plot driving dialog anchored in the center channel. Dialog in the surrounds is used even less, since it can be distracting and some theaters don't have full range surrounds.

Double ms is so reliant on phase, that I would never edit with it undecoded. If one channel slips, then the entire image is out of whack. I'd take your dialog recordings, and decode them to 5.0 using the schoeps plug, then pan everything to the center channel and treat everything like mono tracks. Mute everything that's off mic, since you're likely to have phase issues. If you want to pan any of the dialog later, do so with mono tracks.

Good luck.

  • I completely agree. I only did sfx with double ms too, but one time I made the mistake of trying to save time by doing spectral editing on the undecoded tracks, editing out pops etc. After decoding, the spatial image shifted very clearly at every edit. I ended up having to re-decode and redo the retouching on the decoded tracks. I also regularly close-mic spot sounds with the double ms rig, but then I only use the front channel afterwards.
    – EMV
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 20:01
  • I see the concerns, but after a lot of work it was really worth it doing almost all the set recordings DMS. In the mix, sometimes I took the mid supercardiod and send it straight center while decoding the rear omni and side to make a stereo/surround image that completely fit with te picture. Some scenes where just mono, only the mid. I think the biggest phaseproblems will get to me this week when I have to make the Dolby LtRt downmixes. I'll try the 5.0 rerecording next time, Thanx! Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 9:30
  • 1
    You must have been lucky. Because usually the rear surround image coming from an actor on set is the sound of a generator, traffic, and the crew moving around :)
    – Justin P
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 17:31

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