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Help me visualize the phantom image of mono vs. stereo.
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
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Lrmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Help me visualize the phantom image of mono vs. stereo.

What is it really? (Not the visual representation that appears in an imager, but what the sound really is). Don't have any more specific questions (or accurate terminology), because I have no idea
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
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aof21's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You can understand it by doing this exercise -- I'm assuming you have two speakers, that will be necessary.

Find a tone-generator plug-in (most DAWs will have something like this, sometimes under the utility menu, or something like that)
Play some white noise or a sine wave or something simple.

Place your speakers so they are in an equilateral triangle with your head. If you don't remember what that is from Geometry class, basically it just means that the distance between your speakers should be the same as the distance from either of the speakers to your head (roughly).

You might want to angle the speakers in slightly so that both of the tweeters are facing your ears in a straight line.

This is easier if you can have a friend move the speakers for you while you continue to sit in the same place.

If you have the speakers positioned correctly, the white noise or the tone should sound like it is coming out of the space between the two speakers, not from either speaker directly.

Now, have your friend move the speakers slightly further apart, and keep moving them further apart until the "phantom center" disappears and eventually it will sound like the tone / noise whatever is coming from both speakers individually, rather from the space in the center.

So basically, in much simpler terms, phantom center is the illusion that the sound is coming from the space in the center of the two speakers, rather than both the left and right speaker individually.

If you perform the test above in your studio, you can make sure that you have a proper "phantom center" image and it will help when you are mixing to hear how panning adjustments take effect.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's worth noting that the sound from each speaker must reach you at the same time. If the sound from one speaker arrives even a tiny fraction of a second later, you will 'skew' or destroy the phantom sound...
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Lrmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How would a mono tone differ from a stereo tone?
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK ➡️
It's worth noting that the sound from each speaker must reach you at the same time. If the sound from one speaker arrives even a tiny fraction of a second later, you will 'skew' or destroy the phantom sound...
Not nescessarily DESTROY.... but it will actually pan!

Look up Haas panning... I use it quite often in mixes.

The phantom image is like this:

Pretend you have two lightbulbs spaced 4 feet apart and you are looking at them.

When you turn them both on, and they are the same brightness your brain would only see ONE lightbulb exactly in the center.

If one is brigher than the other... that ONE PHANTOM lightbulb in the "center" will seem closer to the brighter bulb.
Old 15th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 ➡️
Not nescessarily DESTROY.... but it will actually pan!

Look up Haas panning... I use it quite often in mixes.

The phantom image is like this:

Pretend you have two lightbulbs spaced 4 feet apart and you are looking at them.

When you turn them both on, and they are the same brightness your brain would only see ONE lightbulb exactly in the center.

If one is brigher than the other... that ONE PHANTOM lightbulb in the "center" will seem closer to the brighter bulb.
On this vein, lately I've been thinking a surround-sound panner which utilises the Haas effect/doppler for motion whilst panning could be a great tool. Does anybody know if such a thing exists as an AU?
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