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Author Topic: Phase.  (Read 8467 times)

Fibes

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2006, 05:55:40 pm »

Quote:

Muthafuckin 3 to 1 rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It'll save your ass.



Or it'll lull you into thinking what you're doing is right.


Quote:

Solo the tracks in question, say kick and overheads. Flip the phase on the kick. Flip it back.


Polarity is flipped and is absolute.

Phase is a little fuzzier.


You wanna hear phase?

Take two 57s align the capsules, speak into them and then slowly begin to slide one of them back. That's phase. It ain't flipped, it's slipped.

FWIW we talk about phase issues as though they are inherently bad but they are not. Jimmy Page's guitar tones wouldn't be what it was without that play on phase.

In the end it's what sounds best and i'm gonna kick J.s soapbox and say that if it sounds good and doesn't cause major issues it might actually be good.


Oh and i'm slowly braaking my mono compatabilty addiction.

That's another rant altogether.
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craig boychuk

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2006, 01:09:03 am »

Fibes wrote on Thu, 16 February 2006 16:55

Quote:

Muthafuckin 3 to 1 rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It'll save your ass.



Or it'll lull you into thinking what you're doing is right.



Do you mean that some people will think that as long as they're following the rule, they're safe?

Quote:

Quote:

Solo the tracks in question, say kick and overheads. Flip the phase on the kick. Flip it back.


Polarity is flipped and is absolute.

Phase is a little fuzzier.


You wanna hear phase?

Take two 57s align the capsules, speak into them and then slowly begin to slide one of them back. That's phase. It ain't flipped, it's slipped.



This is correct...I guess I wasn't clear enough...the "trick" I described is an easy way for people (specifically those not familiar with how to listen for phase issues) to clearly demonstrate phase relationships. Flipping the polarity will give you a clear indication of which position brings the two signals more in phase. They may not be TOTALLY in phase, but one will be much better than the other!!!

I dunno, maybe this seems somewhat hamfisted, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Obviously there's a lot of grey area in between, but this is a good way to start learning how to listen for phase problems. Once you have a clear idea of what's good and bad, you can start to figure out how to listen for the area beween good and bad. The fine tuning is, of course, done with mic placement.

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Fibes

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2006, 10:18:47 am »

Quote:

Flipping the polarity will give you a clear indication of which position brings the two signals more in phase.


Please understand I'm a stickler about this and i wanted clarity for the lurkers.

That and I enjoy being a bastard.

Anyway flipping the polarity on a signal will yield almost no audible difference if the signal is + or - 90. Sure it'll be different but not like a whacked 180 close to cancelling problem as mentioned by J..

Accurate monitoring and good wiring are the first steps to getting it. Hell, i always enjoy going to some audiophiles house where he/she has their "bangin" system wired 180 degrees out. I enjoy these instances more when i quit pissing on the power amps out of disgust but, i digress.

Anywho, the mic slide thing really shows the filtering effects of phase and how you can use it to your advantage.

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Fibes
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craig boychuk

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2006, 11:03:36 am »

Fibes wrote on Fri, 17 February 2006 09:18



Please understand I'm a stickler about this and i wanted clarity for the lurkers.




Indeed, clarity is paramount.


Quote:


Anywho, the mic slide thing really shows the filtering effects of phase and how you can use it to your advantage.



This is a really good way to illustrate things.



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j.hall

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2006, 04:53:28 pm »

you are a mixing a single that is no question going to radio, mono compatibility is HUGE.  sorry, i'll never back down from that.  it's our responsibility as professionals to ensure the artist's music is broadcast with the lead vocal present and accounted for.  

if the lead vocal is doubled and 180 out of pahse, and i think it's cool to hard pan them, then i failed.......

phase can be cool and i'm not debating that.  but blatant phase issues while tracking are unexceptable.  if i got tracks from you (fibes) that were all jacked i'd honestly assume you did it on purpose and i was to procede.  but i'm getting a lot of tracks from bands that are cutting their own projects and it's taking me a lot of time to get the drums into shape, let alone the rest of the tracks.

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Fibes

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2006, 12:56:03 am »

J.

We all screw the pooch from time to time. I'm being curmudgeonly because the folks you are (hypothetically) addressing need to know what to look for.  Wiring can cause problems. I have a pre that's got one side flipped, i know it and the polarity button stays in when i'm using it. If a freelancer comes in that's one of the first things I mention. When I get the remodel/rewire done it'll get fixed but i'm not going in that rack until then...

If something is 180 out I'm not buying it either but 45 can sometimes yield a cool tone and is in its own right a form of eq.



FWIW the times I've had "big radio mixers" mix my stuff I'm amazed at the phase shit that they use to get wideness. It made me realize that properly used phase tricks can add depth and width my mono obsessive mixes don't offer. That said, 180 degrees out is at the sucking end of the hose.


I heartily encourage the mic slide experiments on guitars and other stuff.

The problem is having enough isolation to properly hear what's going on in real time.


Did i mention I'm on an omni OH kick lately.

Ouch.
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Fibes
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1gibsonMO

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2006, 03:58:30 am »

J.
just a quick question.  Are you hearing things that you suspect are phase issues and confirming on your DAW, or is it that you are hearing it (in mono/ or stereo?) and are identifying it as such?  I was just prodding you to describe what you are hearing better for me and the board.  

Finally, if you are identifying in the DAW, is it an issue of polarity (f'ed wiring) and placement or just mic placement alone??  From the your below statement it could possibly be one or the other???? no???

"i take a look, got two mics on the bass cab, totally out of phase and both are at unity on the mixer"

I for one would like to hear a little better definition of what you are hearing (or seeing) mainly so I can better keep from doing it!

Of course, you always have the right to say f'off, however you will sleep on the floor March 1st!

thanks for any info,
JA

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mcsnare

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2006, 09:40:20 am »

I addition to incorrect wiring( the snake maker's stash was better than usual that week)there are other things to watch out for.
Mics from different companies and different vintages are wired different. Some are pin 2 hot, some pin 3. Sm57's are almost always pin 3 , so that German condenser on the overheads(which are almost always pin 2 hot) is gonna be polarity reversed regardless of anything else. Some outboard gear inverts phase because of an odd number of phase inverting amplification stages. When you insert those old dbx 160's on the overhead mics, bingo. Of course over the years people and the manufactures may have changed which pin is hot, so you just have to use your ears. IMO correct mic/outboard polarity is a bigger issue than placement.
Dave McNair

Adam Miller

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2006, 01:31:27 pm »

mcsnare wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 14:40

Sm57's are almost always pin 3 , so that German condenser on the overheads(which are almost always pin 2 hot) is gonna be polarity reversed regardless of anything else.


Really? So it's not my abysmal mic technique that means I almost always end up flipping the polarity of the overheads in relation to the snare? What's the more conventional wiring scheme in microphones? I never seem to have unexpected phase problems using say, a 57 on top snare and sennheiser dynamic on bottom (that is to say, flipping one of them always sounds better).

Cheers, Adam
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2006, 06:06:46 pm »

mcsnare wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 09:40

I addition to incorrect wiring( the snake maker's stash was better than usual that week)there are other things to watch out for.
Mics from different companies and different vintages are wired different. Some are pin 2 hot, some pin 3. Sm57's are almost always pin 3 , so that German condenser on the overheads(which are almost always pin 2 hot) is gonna be polarity reversed regardless of anything else. Some outboard gear inverts phase because of an odd number of phase inverting amplification stages. When you insert those old dbx 160's on the overhead mics, bingo. Of course over the years people and the manufactures may have changed which pin is hot, so you just have to use your ears. IMO correct mic/outboard polarity is a bigger issue than placement.
Dave McNair



Good points, Dave, but I can't believe any engineer worth his/her salt wouldn't make the effort to align polarity on the overheads and then check whichever snare polarity makes "sense", same with the kick.  I mean, in my experience, it's 10s (or more) of degrees out, and that's by ear.  Flip the polarity switch and . . . where did the meat go?

I don't really care which pin is hot.  I mean, from an anal engineering point of view, I do, but the proof is in the pudding.  I spread (or X/Y) my overheads so the kick & snare are roughly centered, make sure O/H polarity is the same (which is helped by the use of the same preamp), and then adjust other signals for the best "meat".

Surely this is a reasonable way to approach this?
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mcsnare

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2006, 06:51:18 pm »

That's pretty much exactly the way I do it. I was only pointing out that it's normal to have to phase flip some mic or combinations of mics on a drum kit, not because of bad placement but inconsistant polarity at the mics.
Dave McNair

Fibes

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2006, 08:29:03 pm »

mcsnare wrote on Sat, 18 February 2006 18:51

That's pretty much exactly the way I do it. I was only pointing out that it's normal to have to phase flip some mic or combinations of mics on a drum kit, not because of bad placement but inconsistant polarity at the mics.
Dave McNair


Yeah and a lot of consumer gear doesn't allow for it but a simple flip at the bay, although not as immediate as a switch can be a Mithrasend.
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Fibes
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Iain Graham

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2006, 05:40:29 am »

Fibes wrote on Sun, 19 February 2006 01:29



Yeah and a lot of consumer gear doesn't allow for it but a simple flip at the bay, although not as immediate as a switch can be a Mithrasend.



I think that's a huge part of the problem. People record on gear that doesn't have a polarity invert switch,  so they never actually get to check all their mics are in phase. And they never think to check when they get it into their DAW,  if they do get it into a DAW.

I used to do lots of live work, and mixing on boards without a polarity button would kill me. Being able to invert the vocal and hear it suddenly jump out of the speakers cos it's now not cancelling against the stage sound makes mixing in a small club so easy.

So many cheaper boards don't have the switches that you never actually get to try that unless you wire a couple of cables crossing pins 2 and 3 at one end. Of course, then you run into problems if you're using phantom power as well.

This topic is close to my hear. We had a client who re-recorded the drums on his album with a different player. He went to another studio and got a producer/engineer he knows to do the session. I now can't listen to his record cos the phase distortion in the kit kills me.

Sticking an FET47 outside the kick gives a great kick sound, but when the drummer plays a really clanky, washy ride, and really digs into the thing, that 47 picks up lots of ride as well, especially with the top of the mic being open and pretty close to the cymbal.

Never mind the fact that the kick channel clips every time he hits a crash. Add that to the overheads with the suspect phase between themselves and the whole image goes screwy every time he goes onto the ride. There's way too much cymbal wash in the kick channel to gate it out, and every crash sounds odd in the gate as well.

And one of the overheads crapped out during tracking as well.

I love the guys work, and can't listen to the album. It's that bad.

He loves it. He doesn't know the difference between a great capture of the wrong drummer, and a bad capture of the right drummer. All he hears is the drummer. Maybe I'm just too anal???

I offered to mic the kit as well, Not very happy about it still. Can you tell?  Mad  Embarassed
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j.hall

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2006, 06:27:11 pm »

i'm seeing things zoomed into the DAW after i feel i have a problem.

i can flip the phase on my amek channels to start getting a quick handle on where i'm at.

but i think dave nailed it.  mics, gear, cabling.....good engineers are paying attention.

i'm trying to get every one up to that level.  some of my clients are hopeless, some aren't.

overall, i think things like this need to be discussed to raise the overall education level.

that's why we are here right?

PS, sleeping on the floor is expected......you mean i get a bed?

WOOOOT!
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maxim

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Re: Phase.
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2006, 08:19:12 pm »

fwiw, it's no biggie to flip the phase (or time align or whatever) in the mix after the event, as long as you haven't submixed (as dave points out)

like kevin says, sometimes, you might want to put things out phase deliberately

it might matter for the purposes of headphone mix during tracking, though

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