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Hello all,

I'm very gratefully to have an awesome place that I can post questions and get valid feed back from experienced and talented people. Thanks in advance for your input!

This is a two part question.

1- I'm mixing a short film and I'm new to mixing in 5.1. My question is about mixing backgrounds and ambiences in 5.1. Is it true that you're not supposed to use the surround panner for this because if phasing issues? (Placing the panner in the center, for example) I heard that you're supposed to send the signal to the rear speakers and front speakers separately and adjust the balance from there. Any advice?

2- is M/S ever used in films? I'd imagine you're asking for a few phasing issues if you did. If it is used, then how? And is it sometimes used in any process of the mix, or just foley, sound design, etc?

THANKS AGAIN!!! Sincerely, Jake

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To answer your questions:

1) Yes you can pan BGs with the surround panner. Many mixers for example will pan a stereo ambience slightly into the center channel. Check your mixes in mono if you are concerned about phasing issues. It's also better to cut with well recorded stereo ambiences (without any stereo phasing issues) in the first place.

2) M/S is used a ton in films. But M/S recordings are always decoded before they hit the mix stage. I don't think many mixers would enjoy the extra hassle of fiddling with an M/S decoder on stage...they have so much to worry about as it is. Some folks have reported issues with M/S recordings and certain Dolby matrices; but I've never had any issues. But M/S is a technique that is easy to mess up if not done properly. I recommend this read about M/S.

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