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Out of phase
Old 24th January 2009
  #1
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Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Out of phase

Now that I know there is a standard of mics having + and - in a
specified way, why do I have a pair of new mics out of phase seeing
from my ( mostly modyfied ) other mics. How do I decide wich ones are to the standard?
I can solder but wich ones...

Matti
Old 24th January 2009
  #2
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GordZilla's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
Now that I know there is a standard of mics having + and - in a
specified way, why do I have a pair of new mics out of phase seeing
from my ( mostly modyfied ) other mics. How do I decide wich ones are to the standard?
I can solder but wich ones...

Matti
Hmmm... that's veerd. What are these mics?

Open up a SM57 and use that as standard heh

Interesting dilemma though.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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🎧 15 years
I know that here in Europe we had different standard to US say to the 60´ies
or so but not now. Maybe I´ll just have to loan some mics to decide

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd test them all and see how many (if any) are "out of phase". I'd start with the newest mic from a major mfg and use it as standard. Any modified mics are suspect.
If you have 20 mics and 2 are different just change those two. Assuming that your mics haven't had someone going in and messing with them they should still be in stock wiring.
From then on check every mic you add to your collection.
I just re-read your post and see that your new mics seem to be different so borrowing a mic or two from a friend may help. When I first checked my collection I only found a couple of older mics out of a total of 30 that were different so it was obvious what to change. Every new mic that I've checked since match my collection. Pin 2 is supposed to present a positive result for a positive input and I believe that is a world standard now.
I'm sure someone wil post a way to determine absolute positive but I just went with the 28+ industry standard mics I had that all agreed. (like sm57, 421s, akg 414, U87, km84s, Schoeps etc)
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Yeah, my mics at hand are modyfied to the better and now these virgins
show up...

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
Yeah, my mics at hand are modyfied to the better and now these virgins
show up...

Matti
Oh well. Swapping the polarity won't hurt them! Sure is better than having unintentional phasing problems during recording. About 40 years ago, before I knew about this polarity thing, I was recording a 3 person background vocal part on a two mic spread. the people on the outside of the 3 person lineup sounded pretty good but the one in the middle went up and down in volume as he sang and moved his head slightly........guess what was wrong!!!!!
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
Quick test I made, wich is in phase to your eyes ?
Cigarette lighter ( Yes I do smoke at 56 ) klick sound

Matti
Attached Thumbnails
Out of phase-phase-test-1.jpg  
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
Quick test I made, wich is in phase to your eyes ?
Cigarette lighter ( Yes I do smoke at 56 ) klick sound

Matti
well, assuming the click presented a positive force at the mic diaphram and nothing is polarity reversed between the mic and the DAW .........the top
one looks to be a positive phase. Lot of assumptions though! I prefer a low freq to check.
Maybe try one in front of a kick drum. That throws a very distinct positive wave.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You know, if you could take any one of your mics to another place (studio, music store with mics etc) and test against some new non modified mics you'd know right away where your mic stood and could modify all your mics accordingly.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
I see it your way also, so why would Alctron make mics out of standard now suddenly?
The top one is my effort to make an Alctron mic to a poor mans dream mic with
M7 capsule etc. etc. and it still is in phase and the other is a generic Alctron fet
mic untouched ( so far that is )

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
Sure I´ll check with other reference but not now as it´s early morning here

I´m the onlyone awake at my home " studio "

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Matti,
Honestly I don't know Alactron from Adam! But I do know that the mfgs I mentioned are pretty darn consistent (at least all I've checked!) when it comes to polarity so I'd look to other examples for "industry standard". Like another poster said an SM57 or two may be more revealing of the standard!
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Matti's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Alctron is the chinese oem manufacturer who makes likes Avant or Apex
or, well you choose
But my russian Oktava is in phase with my effort, how could they both be wrong?

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
Alctron is the chinese oem manufacturer who makes likes Avant or Apex
or, well you choose
But my russian Oktava is in phase with my effort, how could they both be wrong?

Matti
Who knows? But honestly I don't think of either of those mfgs when I think of "industry standard". I would seriously question the quality control of those mfgs. But hey, they could be correct, don't know what you are comparing to. Obviously we are assuming that your cabling/path is correct.

To me "industry standard" is:
AKG
Neumann
Schoeps
Shure
EV
Sennheiser
Royer
Beyer

I know I've left some out but those are the brands I've tested that agree on absolute polarity/phase at least in my studio!
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Europe and US had different wiews of this and Kudelski with his Nagra recorders had his solutions also, though later he changed his approach to more compatible one. I think AES has sorted these since, cannot find the papers though.
These were real issues with tonader powered mics ( Sennheiser, some Shcoeps etc. )wich would not work (powering) if out of phase.

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
Europe and US had different wiews of this and Kudelski with his Nagra recorders had his solutions also, though later he changed his approach to more compatible one. I think AES has sorted these since, cannot find the papers though.
These were real issues with tonader powered mics ( Sennheiser, some Shcoeps etc. )wich would not work (powering) if out of phase.

Matti
Yeah, we were discussing this in another thread. The audio world finally came together in about 1990 (I searched out the exact dates and papers a while back but I'm too lazy to go find it now)
The T Powered mics were definitely the "odd man out" and I don't know if much new mfging is being done on that anymore. I think we are all on pin 2 positive these days, I sure as hell hope so!
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Yep

Thanks for company, now I´ll have to leave net for a beer
its 9.16 am local and my nearby restaurant is open tutt but

Cheers

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Matti,
Just found this on a Pro Rec forum thread where we were discussing the same thing.


"In 1990 the AES14 Standard settled on the use of the pin 2 high convention and ended years of confusion in the marketplace."

cheers
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Nu-tra's Avatar
I learned recently that Oktava is pin 3 hot.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know you want things right and all...but in practice, providing all mics of the same type are in phase with each other, it doesn't matter too much...you should be checking phase on all multi-miked sources anyway! since your snare may be OOP with the overheads even if both mikes are wired "correctly", you still need to check it.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Matti's Avatar
 
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"In 1990 the AES14 Standard settled on the use of the pin 2 high convention and ended years of confusion in the marketplace."
&
I learned recently that Oktava is pin 3 hot

Thanks again;

now I should decide how to proceed, it´s not a problem for me if I just
know and remeber how they are and projects stay within my whatsoever limits.
To be clever -if possible- I just should choose the AES paper and solve missmatch.
How do you meter this with a multimeter, basic one?

(beer was good and several had to be tasted, but no more for some 2 weeks?)

Matti
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTI ➡️
How do you meter this with a multimeter, basic one?
Hey Matti!
As to how to get all your mics in phase with each other you don't even need to use a multimeter.
There are different methods out there but most involve the same principle where you put two mics on the same source and see if they combine or subtract when added together in a mixer.

Here's my test:

Put two mic cables into two channels of a mixer. Send both channels to the same METERED output.

Plug a mic that you KNOW is pin 2 pos into channel 1. I'd borrow a new AKG, Senn etc. Or do your clicker test to determine . (You can plug an unknown mic in first but it makes the test a little random as to how all the mics end up)

Bring the mic up close to your mouth and say AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH and keep saying it while you bring up the channel 1 fader til you get around a reading somewhere in the middle of the meter. On a needle VU meter I push it up to zero. Leave that channel at that setting.

Now plug another mic into channel 2 and hold it and mic 1 together at your mouth (both capsules as close together and the same distance as possible) repeating the AAAAAHHHH. You have become a human tone generator. Bring up channel 2 SLOWLY into the same metered output.

If mic#2 in IN PHASE with mic #1 the meter will rise continually all the way and peg.

If mic#2 is OUT OF PHASE with mic #1 the meter may start to raise but at the point the two channels are close in gain the meter will lower dramatically. It may rise again after you pass the equal gain point but it's the dramatic dip that you look for and it is very obvious.

Keep #1 mic as control and continue to test all the mics on channel two marking each mic as you go so you can rewire the out of phase ones later. If you are testing a collection of mostly new/standard mics you should find that the vast majority/all are in phase. With a collection of modified and custom mics it's anybody's guess.

I can run through an entire colection of mics with this test in about 10 minutes.

You don't have to use your voice as the tone source, many people use a speaker. And a meter isn't entirely necessary as you can use headphones and listen for the dip. The point is to get the mics close to the mouth/speker and at an equal distance from the sound source.

Let us know what you find.
Cheers
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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kojak's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
i learned from my live PA company days it's always handy to have a couple polarity reverse adapters hanging around just in case it's not time efficient to check them in software (or even more so if you're not using a DAW at all)...and yeah, depending on the age and origin of your stuff, it can change...for example, the KlarkTeknik EQs we used were all backwards compared to 95% of our other gear, so we'd have to adapt each channel of it when they got used (all the time). Great EQs though.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hey, how did I notice this at all? Maybe I got confused about my MS side
mic must be out of phase as left and right were reversed?

Best

Matti
Old 8th June 2010
  #25
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Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Not to beat a long dead horse

But I recently bought a used Oktava MK219 and it's out of phase with my other two Oktavas and every other mic I own. I was setting it up in an XY drum overhead, and couldn't figure out why my floor tom sounded so thin. I opened it up and compared it to my MK319 which has a similar circuit and noticed the wires coming out of the FET corresponding to the pins on the XLR are the same, so maybe it got crossed under the shield. Anyway, it sounds good, so I'll just have to rewire the pins on the XLR I suppose. Either that or put a sticker on the mic reminding me to switch the phase on it so I don't waste time with multiple mic placement looking for more bass.
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #26
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deltasigma's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My Octava mk219 also has the polarity wrong. I have another one which I'll test in a min to see. Out of the 90 odd muics we have this is the only one that has the polarity wrong. Great for the bottom snare though.

Interesting little thread.

Cheers

D
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 
deltasigma's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well I've just tried both Octava MK219's and yes they are both wired in negative phase?!!?!

Glad I know now.

D
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a u87 that I have to flip reverse phase just for it to sound correct, somewhere down the road it was wired incorrect.
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone ➡️
I have a u87 that I have to flip reverse phase just for it to sound correct
? Surely you can only hear the difference when using it in conjunction with other mics on one source...
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by timlloyd ➡️
? Surely you can only hear the difference when using it in conjunction with other mics on one source...
No conjunction, only single vocal or spoken voice. A bit thicker with reverse phase so that tells me the mic is wired incorrect. Not one mic I own I have to reverse phase on a single vocal etc.
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