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Methods for align phase

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hemophagus, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Hemophagus

    Hemophagus Member

    Hi, what methods do you use to align phase to avoid phase problems?

    I tried some plugins, but I prefer always to spend more time placing the mics correctly to avoid phase problems, but sometimes they're very difficult to remove...

    If you use plugins, What kind of plugins do you use?
  2. bhuvan

    bhuvan Active Member

    well phase problems as you are talking of seems to be of the combined output from different mics.

    there will almost always be a phase difference between mic outputs -- especially with multiple mics on a kit. you place them according to how they sound together and if the constructive or destructive interference is providing the sound you want for the song.

    i usually wear cans when placing the mics and move them around while listening to them together and also in solo.

    i don't know what are the plug-ins you are talking about.
  3. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    For drums what I tend to do is solo the overheads and solo one mic at a time and move the waveforms into phase with the overheads. So I'll listen first for the snare in the overheads and I'll nudge it over until the snare lines up and then I'll solo the kick and now-aligned snare and listen for the snare leakage in the kick mic. I'll nudge the kick in phase with the snare and thus in phase with the overheads...etc etc repeat the process with each miked element of the drumkit. One huge reason why not to use gates on the way in. Use them after...Don't rely on plug-ins. I have yet to find a plug-in that does a good enough job.
  4. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    You will always be a little out of phase when recroding drums. Use recorderman's overhead technique to at least get the oh completly in phase...then, if your snare is a little off, align the snare hits while zooming in very close, to the hits on the oh tracks. Next, do the same with toms; aline the hits with the tom hits on the overhead tracks. It will always beef up your sound, but in some cases, you'll get weird results. it's always worth the try though!
    I've never heard of plugins for phase problems???!!! But like you said, always use your ears to place the mics and then small adjustments can be made while editing.
  5. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i don't know if i'm right with what i'm saying but... if you put all the mics and center them to get a mono signal you can notice phase issues right?
    you could select two mics at each and get a mono signal to look for phase... then try the overall sound!
    if you get a good mono sound of the drums then when you balance then stereo they'll be just fine!
    am i right experts out there? a friend of mine told me this the other day...
  6. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    I'm no expert but you are defnitely right. Phase is not as big an issue in stereo as it is in mono. The purpose of making sure everything is in phase in a mix is for the guy that's going to listen to your song in mono. You lose the elements that are out of phase with the others. Otherwise, phase can sometimes sound good in stereo.
  7. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Aligning phase with mic's is the best way......

    it's better to get it aligned as soon in the chain as possible..

    If it get's to the DAW..I just slide the tracks...or while tracking I'll open up the digi 1 band eq and hit the phase button..
  8. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    To answer the question regarding plugs:

    You can use the Waves S1 to play with phase a bit but I found the Sonitus Phase plug that came with Sonar to have a lot more control than the Waves S1. The Sonitus lets you toy with varying degrees of L/R, C/S, S/C, M/S phase relationships as well as width.

    Having said that, getting it right in the first place is always best. Moving the phase around is always a give and take. Often when one part is sounding good and "in," something else was moved "out" to make that happen.

    As far as phase/comb filtering on a mono source, not much I know of can been done there aside from re-recording.

  9. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to physically slide the wave files into place like explained, but I'm unsure as to what I'm looking for. I'm running Cubase SX and looking at all of my tracks. I solo'ed the OHs and listened for the snare hit in the OHs. I then unmuted my snare track and it sounds like the snares are hitting together. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or what. I thought I'd hear a difference and move the snare according to how it sounded. Someone help me here....explain slowly in detail what I'm looking for and how to do this is Cubase SX.
  10. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Voxengo's PHA 979 is a cool little plug that is very similar to the Little Labs IBP. Both can perform continuous phase adjustments from 0 to 180 degrees. I never record drums, but for a person who does, one of these things would probably be very useful.
  11. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    Here is an idea as to give you an example of what to listen for:

    Take just the snare track and put a delay plug on it. Set it to mono with about a 50/50 wet/dry balance with no feedback. Try then listening to very small delay times (ex: .1 ms up to about 7 ms). This should somewhat simulate what you hear when there are multiple mics on a single source.

    Obviously, the above is not a solution to your problem, but I hope that it will give you an idea of what to listen for when you slide your tracks back and forth.

    Also, when you have more than one mic on a single source, you aren't likely to have perfect phase. You pretty much need to find what amount of inevidable phase sounds best.

  12. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Thanks...I zoomed in really close and started aligning visually. It made a noticeable difference.
  13. bhuvan

    bhuvan Active Member

    a good procedure to follow is that before the drummer plays the song, take samples in the same track of:

    - each individual drum
    - kick and snare groove
    - groove with added element(s)

    so if in the song, the drummer is playing soft shuffles etc, you already have you transients to track. aligning phase, processing in solo etc becomes easier.
  14. FIMseth

    FIMseth Guest

    I heard that if your recording 2 mics at the same time, you can align the phase by switching to mono and moving the mic around until the signal almost disappears. Then invert the phase 180 degrees (if you have the option) and you'll be almost perfectly in-phase.
  15. Hemophagus

    Hemophagus Member


    Wow! Many helpful techniques are explained here. Thanks.

    It's true that phase problems in stereo are not as audible as if we listen to it in mono, but the fact is that many material I work with will be played in TV or Radio, and the phase align becomes a SERIOUS problem... Imagine that you've done a recording of a band that will make a videoclip. If it shows on TV, many people has small TV's on their houses and generally they've a mono speaker. In this case you should check the recording you've done in mono because it can happen that the bass disappeared, or the guitars are sounding far, or the drumkit sounds awful! In most cases phase-align resolves the problem...

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