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Help Understanding the Lat/Vert controls on Fairchild

lavot

Member
I have been using the Waves S1 imager which incorporates an MS (Mid/Side) feature and I thought the Lat/Vert on the Fairchild would behave the same way.

This is how the S1 works:

If you have three mono tracks with one panned hard left, one panned hard right, and one centered and you process those tracks through the S1 on a stereo bus the resulting stereo track would look (sound) like this:

The left speaker would combine and playback all three tracks (L,C,R) as a mono track, but the right speaker would combine and playback only the tracks that were originally panned hard left and hard right. The middle or centered track would not be heard through the right speaker.

Is this not what the Lat/Vert feature on the Fairchild should also do?

If someone could enlighten me, I would appreciate it. Just trying to understand my tools so that I can use them better. Thanks!
 

Akis

Sadly, left this world before his time.
Moderator
What changes in Fairchild's Lat/Vert mode is that you can control the M (middle) signal with the left channel controls and the S (sides) with the right side controls, effectively compressing M/S instead of L/R. However, the output is still L/R.
 

lavot

Member
AKIS,

Thanks for the explanation.

Just to make sure I understand, are you saying the signals after processing by Lat/Vert (but before actual compression) actually ends up like this?

Left channel = (L, C, R) and,
Right channel = (L, C, R).

However, the compression for the left channel affects primarily the L&R (side) signals. And, the compression for the right channel primarily affects the center (mid) signal.

Finally, if I got the above right, then this is a little different than the MS feature in the waves plug-in since after processing the results are:

Left channel = (L,C, R) and,
Right channel = (L, R). The center or mid signal is eliminated.

Again, sorry to be a pain but just curious as to how this actually works.
 

Akis

Sadly, left this world before his time.
Moderator
First, I suggest reading p.121 of the UAD-1 manual, if you haven't already done so. :)

When you use Fairchild in Lat/Vert mode, what happens is this:

- You feed it stereo material (left and right channels).

- Fairchild encodes the material so that the Middle (L+R) goes to the left channel and the Sides (L-R) go to the right channel.

- Before sending the audio signal to the outputs, Fairchild decodes the M/S material so you get the left channel signal in your left channel output and the right channel signal in your right channel output.


So, what you get in the controls section is:

Left channel = Middle

Right channel = Sides


What you get in the output section is:

Left channel = L

Right channel = R


Hope this helps. :)
 

lavot

Member
Akis,

Thanks again.

As you suggested, I re-read the manual and found the source of my confusion. What I missed was, and as stated in the manual is the fact that \"after compression, The L and R signals are recovered once again by sum and difference.\"

I believe this clears the matter up for me.

Thanks again for the help!
 

Horse

Established Member
I hate to ask, but what are the practical applications for this kind of compression.

Does it just help widen the stereo field?
 
Horse said:
I hate to ask, but what are the practical applications for this kind of compression.

Does it just help widen the stereo field?
if, for instance, your vocals are dead center you can use the 670 in mastering to raise or lower the vocals. same with snare, etc

you can also compress the side info more or less than the center. it's something you might do if you were unhappy with the stereo imaging of your mix but were otherwise happy with it.

sometimes, it just sounds cool! :D ive used it a lot, although i wasnt always so sure what was going on! all i knew was that i could use it to get my stereo image REALLY happening, without resorting to too much phase trickery
 

lavot

Member
I don’t profess to be an expert with the Fairchild (not even close) but I thought I would put the following here for other newbies like me who may not know where to start. If anyone wants to add to or correct any glaring errors that I may have made, please do so without fear of offending me. After all I am here to learn!

To get an appreciation of what is going on with the Lat/vert control on the Fairchild, I recommend this simple experiment:

Set up three mono tracks. Each track should have a unique sound that occurs at the same time. For example, on the first beat of the measure place a cowbell on track 1, a kick on track 2, and a snare or any other unique sound on track 3. You can use any sounds you want but just make sure you use sounds that are easily distinguishable and preferably keep your lower frequency sounds on the middle track. The beats should occur on the first beat of the measure and rest on the second through 4 beats. Now set up a loop so that these synchronized tracks repeat over and over.

Now pan track 1 hard left, track 2 centered, and track 3 pan hard right.

Once you have the loop and pans set up, put a stereo Fairchild on the master bus.

Now it is time to experiment. Make sure you have set the Fairchild to Lat/Vert position and either start by setting it to sidechain linked or unlinked. Linked and unlinked produce different results so don’t forget to try them both out.

Turn the threshold for the right and left channels all the way down. Now slowly ease up one of the threshold controls listening for the affect it is having on the dynamics and the stereo image. Some observations might be:

Does the stereo image narrow or widen?
Does the sound in one channel seem to move closer to the middle or all the way to the other channel?
Does the middle track seem to completed collapse as the left and right sounds get louder or vice versa?

If you are playing the mix through a mixer, try alternating turning off one or the other speakers now and then to see what is happening to the individual channels. At some point you might want to adjust the time constraints for the individual channels. And don’t forget to try your experiments with both the sidechain linked and unlinked switches. I would also suggest that you test the behavior of the Fairchild initially with the “controls” switch unlinked. Of course later on you will also want to see what happens with the “controls” switch linked.

You should get a good idea of what’s really happening when you reach for certain controls when in lat/vert position. I believe that you will find that interaction between the controls is very complex and until you exactly experience it, it is hard to articulate with words. You might even find that moving a control does something different or opposite to what you expected.

The manual explains how to set the controls on the Fairchild but I have found that only after I experimented with simple material like that above did the manual become clear. The knowledge that I have acquired from this experiment will now make it easier to work on full mixes.

I intentionally did not use terms like Mid/Sides or Lat/Vert because I wanted interested individuals to experience what happens as opposed to presenting a lot of theory which is really beyond the scope of my knowledge.

Finally, and as they say, a picture is work a thousand words, well in this case, a sound is worth a thousand words. And, although I read the manual many times, it wasn’t until I set up this simple test that the light came on. I would recommend that you have the manual open while you experiment especially if you have read it before and it wasn’t clear. So, experiment, experiment and the light will go on and although you may not be able to explain it in technical terms, you will know what will happen if you turn that button as oppose to that one. If you understand your equipment, you will be in a better position to apply it when the need arise.
 
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