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I am new to sound design, still learning.

I have purchased this Zoom H5 that I use to record sound from my cardioid mic and it works fantastically great, specially compared to a crappy M-Audio Firewire Solo unit I had.

Said that, this Zoom H5 has two functions that the manual don't explain. They are named IN 1/2 MS MATRIX and L/R MS-RAW MONITOR on the menu.

When you select IN 1/2 MS MATRIX you see these options:

  • ON/OFF
  • MID LEVEL
  • SIDE LEVEL
  • INPUT SETTING

When you select L/R MS-RAW MONITOR the options are:

  • STEREO
  • RAW

What they are, what they do and what is the purpose of them?

Thanks

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"IN 1/2 MS MATRIX"

This recording mode lets you record with mid-side (m/s) mic signals through inputs 1/2. The sub menu simply lets you adjust the relative levels of mid channel and side channel. Here is a short intro to m/s:

Basically the mid signal represents the sounds that "sound" the same in both left and right side (L + R), and the side signal represent the sounds that are different in each side (L - R).

One way to record the side signal is with a figure-8 mic angled 90 degrees from the mid (omni) mic. The mid signal is simply recorded by positioning the mic as usual towards the source.

Mid-Side recording flow

Source and additional info on M/S: https://www.uaudio.com/blog/mid-side-mic-recording/

"L/R MS-RAW MONITOR"

This area let you choose how to listen to m/s recorded material.

STEREO will combine the mid and side channel into a normal L/R stereo mix, making it suitable for easy monitoring using headphones and conventional setups.

RAW puts the mid channel in left side and the side channel in right side. This is not a very convenient way of monitoring, since most activity will be in the mid channel, and you then get an unbalanced mix. However you may haw an M/S dedicated monitor chain for which this is suitable (which you most likely don't have since you're asking about this stuff :-D)

Source, manual page 85-87: The Manual

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    I feel your answer could be more upfront about the fact that mid-side is a microphone configuration, and that it requires processing to derive LR channels. It could also briefly explain what that processing is (ie. Mid+Side, Mid-Side). Its also not clear the difference between the two functions (the Matrix is for recording, Monitor is for monitoring) Nevertheless, +1 :) – Igid Feb 23 '18 at 15:32
  • @Igid Better? I'm not sure the actual m/s l/r conversion formulas has much value here, so I'm leaving those out. – Michael Hansen Buur Feb 25 '18 at 12:49
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I have the H5 and I looked at the manual for you. The functions relating to MS Raw monitoring assume that you have started with the MS mike capsule. That is not the standard mike capsule that comes in the box. You would have had to buy it separately. If you did not buy that MS mike kit, those functions do not apply to you.

Presumably if you had MS mikes connected to ports 1/2 the Matrix section on page 86 would show you how to convert that signal into normal L/R stereo.

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