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Phase question
Old 17th December 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Phase question

I'm pre-mixing a song for an artist in England and, I couldn't get my 2 channel stereo strings to sound as wide as I wanted them to. After pressing the phase button on one of the two channels, I noticed a major difference in width.

I understand there's a cancellation of sound if I switch the mix to mono, but does everyone do this to get a wider spread on a particular sound?

Thanks in advance.
Imagine
Old 17th December 2002
  #2
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
How many people are going to listen to this song in mono? And of the ones that do hear it in mono, do they really care about hi-fidelity sound?
Old 17th December 2002
  #3
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Phase question

Quote:
Originally posted by Imagine
I'm pre-mixing a song for an artist in England and, I couldn't get my 2 channel stereo strings to sound as wide as I wanted them to. After pressing the phase button on one of the two channels, I noticed a major difference in width.

I understand there's a cancellation of sound if I switch the mix to mono, but does everyone do this to get a wider spread on a particular sound?

Thanks in advance.
Imagine
Basically you are fliiping your strings out of phase? Yuck. That would make my brain melt.
I usually use my Edison, or the Desper Spatializer plug in for "space". These translate better to mono sources. If you don't have access to a spatializer, put a delay on one channel with 0 feedback, and start at 0 ms, and sweep back to like 20 ms. Basically you'll be going of out phase, but in a much more controlled way. Always check this in MONO unless you want your strings non-existant when your song is played in a mono enviroment.
Old 17th December 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Nathan & e-cue,

When an instrument is out of phase, what's it doing exactly?

Thx
Old 17th December 2002
  #5
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jazzius's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
imagine that you're sitting in front of a pair of speakers...

...you can see the cones moving very slowly...first towards you, then away from you....both speakers at the same time and in sync......you would say the left and right channels are "in phase"..

......now imagine the same situation, but as one speaker cone moves towards you, the other is moving away from you....the left and right channels could now be said to be "out of phase".......

Phase can describe the relationship between 2 different channels, or also between 2 pieces of audio on the same channel (i guess this is where it gets confusing).....
Old 17th December 2002
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Right, and that's leading to a cancellation of frequencies which makes things sound thin and wonky.
Old 18th December 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks jazzius, I appreciate it.

Imagine
Old 18th December 2002
  #8
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If your strings are 2 tracks from a mix of different mics. or from an expander, chances are they don't contain exactly the same information. Total cancellation is improbable. It'll still sound bad in mono
However, for audio purposes, we face 2 forms of out of phase: inverted phase (phase invert switch, 2 mics pointed at one another), which is non time dependent and a time dependent relationship between identical signals (delays, close mic-far mic).
Inverse phase has a discrete value, theoretically the two components are 180Β° from each other, the other has varying degrees of "play". There are a lot of factors involved in phase relationships between signals: EQ and volume being important ones.
The imagining speakers description is very helpful, I also have this one:
draw a sine wave with its positive and negative excursions on a piece of solid paper, take a piece of tracing paper and trace this design onto it.
Inverse phase: flip the piece of tracing paper so the two designs together look like the DNA
Time dependent phase: move the tracing paper design horizontally along the base line of the other design and you will see that you can simulate inverse phase but realize that they're two completely different animals.
this being said, try this:
pan your original tracks @ 10 and 2 O'clock, crossfeed these into two delays (L>R, R>L) set the delays however you want and pan these @ 9 and 3 O'clock, crossfeed these into a real stereo reverb (L&R inputs) pan the reverb Hard. Play with this setup and check it in mono mostly for power differences
Old 18th December 2002
  #9
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by 7rojo7
Inverse phase: flip the piece of tracing paper so the two designs together look like the DNA
Man, great wording. I always have to draw a picture to explain this. "DNA"
Old 19th December 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Geosync's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's interesting that phase should come up as I am writing a little blurb about it and a cool little tool inside the KSP8 that not only checks it but allows you to adjust it digitally in .2 sample increments. It's been hiding inside our FX since the KDFX for our keyboards and it was only recently brought to my attention by our
soundware manager. We used it to debug the upcoming mLAN option.

Now that I can monitor digital phase, I will be able to measure and correct the slop from poorly written plug-ins as well as analog gear. It's the time dependent phase that kills the space and clarity of the stereo field and sends guys rushing for the multi-band compressors when the problem may be subtle phase issues.
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