Understanding Mid/Side Stereo in Synthesis (Pure Data, Reaktor, and Eurorack)

Mid/Side is a different way of working with stereo, where, rather than one channel for the left, and one for the right, you have one channel for the “mid” information, and one channel for the “side”. This format allows for different approaches to stereo processing, playing with the stereo image in new and interesting ways.

I’ve seen a lot of videos about mid/side for mixing or mastering but I thought I’d talk a bit about the potential for this approach in sound design, and how it can help us think about 3D audio and ambisonics too.

Modules in the Eurorack modular demonstration:
-Winterbloom Castor&Pollux dual oscillator
-Shakmat SumDif precision adder
-Hikari Instruments Ping Filter
-Instruo Tanh saturator

Reaktor 6 Primary “Krell Music” Generator (Sci-Fi Ambient Music)

Using Reaktor 6 Primary to create some generative Sci Fi music inspired by Todd Barton’s “Krell Music” patch on the Buchla Synthesizer.

As I mentioned last week, in my regular journeys across the internet, I came across the concept of a “Krell Music” patch–a self-generating patch created by Todd Barton, inspired by Bebe and Louis Barron‘s soundtrack to the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet.” The Barrons’ soundtrack to the film is amazing, and a bit beyond what I can get into here (see links below). Barton’s Buchla patch tries to capture some of the dynamic timbres of that score.

My oversimplification of the idea is this: a note has an amplitude envelope–attack and release–and when that amplitude envelope ends it triggers the next envelope. At the same time, that trigger selects a new (likely different) attack and decay time, as well as a new pitch and timbre for the next note. So we create a continuous series of musical tones, each distinct from the one before it. So let’s make that in Reaktor 6 Primary.