Review: MeldaProduction MCenter Enhances Your Stereo Soundscapes

If you need a straightforward, simple, and yet powerful tool for mid/side audio processing, check out MeldaProduction MCenter. The plugin provides audio engineers and self-producing musicians the ability to enhance the stereo soundscape of their mixes. An intuitive user interface with an animated spectrum analyzer enhances its ease of use.

MeldaProduction MCenter Features

  • Precise Processing of Mono and Stereo Audio Content
  • Simple, Intuitive Interface Belies the Tool’s Power
  • Offers Both Single-Knob and More Advanced Control Options
  • Provides Option for Drawing Frequency Response
  • Combines Spectral and Mid/Side Processing
  • Also Supports Surround Audio Formats
  • Perfect for Mastering and More Creative Use-Cases
  • Supports Most Popular Desktop Plugin Formats
  • Available from MeldaProduction for $52

The simplicity of this utility plugin belies the true power lurking within its more advanced controls. Still, MCenter ultimately makes it easy to enhance the stereo field of your next mix, while also supporting various surround audio formats. The tool also boasts a whole host of more creative uses. Check out our review for more details and insights.

MCenter Benefits from an Intuitive User Interface

MCenter sports an easy to grasp user interface with a design similar to other MeldaProduction plugins. Operating the tool is entirely possible using the CENTER/SIDES and MIDSIDE/SPECTRAL controls located below the preset management toolbar. However, more advanced UI functionality supports a more detailed or creative approach to mid/side processing.

MCenter User Interface
MeldaProduction MCenter in action. Image courtesy of MeldaProduction.

In addition to the two controls mentioned above, the DRY/WET and OUTPUT knobs manage MCenter’s overall effect on the mix. Advanced parameters allow tweaking of the spectrum and time smoothing settings, along with something called “EXTREMIZE.” That latter knob enhances the center of a stereo mix. The detailed MeldaProduction manual for MCenter offers helpful insights on the various applications for the plugin on a music project.

A toolbar at the right side of MCenter provides additional controls. If desired, MCenter processes either the left, right, middle, or side channels separately. Interesting use-cases for this approach abound, like widening the overall stereo image of the track or even phase correction. The Surround and Ambisonics modes also support 5.1, Atmos, and 3D audio projects. This toolbar also provides control for MCenter’s AGC (automatic gain control) functionality, fast switching between 8 presets, morphing between those presets, Undo/Redo, and more.

A frequency spectrum graph lies at the bottom of the plugin’s interface. As noted earlier, drawing frequency response curves provides the opportunity to fine tune MCenter’s frequency spectrum if necessary. Needless to say, sonically creative options beyond traditional mid/size processing abound when diving into this functionality.

MCenter’s ability to vary the amount of mid/size processing by frequency is also helpful. You have the option for modulating this effect based on the audio signal or other modulation sources, providing a useful example of the advanced functionality lurking underneath the covers of this plugin.

Putting MCenter to Work

As noted earlier, MCenter provides users with a simple and straightforward approach for mid/side processing using the CENTER/SIDES and MIDSIDE/SPECTRAL controls (along with the DRY/WET and OUTPUT). This pairs with the more detailed control using the frequency spectrum graph and related parameters. However, my first use-case for the plugin only required basic M/S processing functionality.

For the upcoming Church of Hed album, The Fifth Hour, I produced and mastered two of the tracks completely on an iPad Pro. Planning on adding overdubs in Reaper on the desktop, I cared little about their stereo processing (or lack thereof). After realizing these pieces ultimately needed no overdubs, enhancing the stereo field for both became necessary. Enter MCenter.

In this scenario, using those four simple knobs allowed the widening and enhancement of the stereo image for both tracks. When combined with the other plugins used in my master buss effects chain (EQ, compression, saturation), these two tracks now squarely fit with the other pieces fully produced on the desktop. MCenter provided the audio processing functionality I needed in an intuitive and easy to use manner.

To paraphrase rock legends, Midnight Oil, MeldaProduction MCenter provides audio engineers the best of both worlds. You have a simplified, yet powerful approach, not too dissimilar to other mastering plugins providing a knob or two for mid/size processing. Additionally, users have a more advanced option with detailed control of the frequency spectrum influencing the subsequent stereo image.

The support for Atmos and other surround formats makes MCenter the right choice for engineers working on more immersive projects. Once again, MeldaProduction gives sound engineers and self-producing musicians a mid-side processing plugin worthy of their interest. Check it out today!

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