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audio Need a listen..

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Chris Perra, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Of these 2 which do you think sounds better?..

    It's a mono overhead.. with a top snare mic.. One that lines up visually wave form polarity wise and one that doesn't.


    Attached Files:

  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    IMO The first sample sounds brighter and thinner, the second sample has a more fuller sound than the first.

    Going off that alone, I would prefer the second.
    kmetal likes this.
  3. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    What Sean said - but I wouldn't go so far to say which one is better. The first one sounded like the kind of drum sound you get on old Meter's records -- Sissy Strut style. The second sounded more rock - a little more Jamie's Crying.
  4. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Whats weird is the 2nd one has the reversed polarity.. and to me it sounds better... Which makes we wonder what to do with the bottom snare mic.. I need to do some tests... I don't understand why when the top snare mic is reversed it sounds fatter.. I must be having some kid of phasing issue with my ceiling.. even though it's completely treated.

    For anybody out there with a drum setup.. What does your snare look like wave form wise.. does it do a small down before a large up?. or small up before a large down...

    If so.. do your overheads look the same?
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Going down before up may due to the fact that the head is pulling air down when you hit the skin. You should put the higher peak of the wave up, regarless of how it starts.
    Also, your Mono Overhead is out of phase too.. this may be tricking you out.
    A thing to do is try something like this : https://www.soundradix.com/products/auto-align/
  6. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    By out of phase you mean off timing wise or polarity wise? If you look at the photos my largest wave peak us up for my mono oh.

    Also the snare skin moving down first an then up is the same for both overhead and top snare Mic as the are both facing the top skin.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I might be wrong but the way I see it, no such recording is out of phase by itself. Phase relationships needs a second source to make it a relation..
    What I ment is that on the pictures the OverHead is delayed from the close mic. Such delays are often good to have, specially when you have a large room and get to grab some ambience reverb. But in your case the recording seems very dry and therefor any misalignement out of phase or half way or anywhere not on time may create phasing issues. Because the content is very close sounding (in frequencies)...
    So I'd be curious to hear a mix of the 3 tracks, perfectly aligned without any polarity reversed. You aligned by moving the tracks in time.

    That's what Soundradix tends to do but we can do it manually too...
  8. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    It's interesting as the overhead is pretty close .. The tough part is if you phase align stuff.. What do you phase align it to? And to what degree?.

    I have 3 overheads all equidistant from the snare and kick. Now if the intention is to make everything phase aligned and I line up everything.. to something.. like say a left overhead.. And I use a snare to line up the phase.. when I hit my kick it will be out of phase a bit with the left overhead.. as it will get there a bit later.. Or say a floor tom will be later than the snare mic..

    Do you pick an overhead to line everything up to or do you pick a dominant source to line everything up to like a snare.. or kick?

    No matter what you do something will be out of phase to a degree. Unless you do some serious mute editing or gating..

    I'm curious to the work flow of everyone who does this kind of stuff..
  9. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Here is a track I have been working with recently

    Snare with OH L + R  Snip.JPG

    Top track is the snare, red and bottom blue tracks are the overheads...zoomed in to about 99%

    Personally, I like to use the snare as my marker then work the other tracks into alignment from there. I use the snare as this is in most cases the source that is the closest to any mic.

    IMO you are never really going to get everything lining up exactly, but for me I try to align things as much as possible then listen to how it sounds and go from there.
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  10. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Thanks Sean ..

    Now that's interesting as your dominant/loudest peak as opposed the the first peak is facing down.. I suppose it doesn't matter as long as they have the same polarity and phase alignment..

    What it sounds like is the most important..
  11. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    As long as they are all in phase with each other and it sounds good to the ear both in solo and combined with the other drum tracks, that's all that matters to me.

    I think that like anything in this game, you can over-think it, especially with drum tracks and phase issues which can get you bogged down.

    For me the simplest approach is always best...are they aligned?...tick, are they in phase with each other?...tick, does the mix to the drum buss sound good?...tick.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Exactly !
  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    @Sean G : Thanks for the good explanations ;)
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Late to the party here but...The second one sounds better.

    I believe your pictures are labeled backwards. The first pic is the mics out of phase.

    The second pic is the mics in phase. The two close mics are peaking up at the same point, the the overhead is also, just w the inherent time delay. So the second picture depicts the mics proplery in phase, and also sounds as such.

    I disagree with trying to line everything up on the time line. Some guys do some guys don't. As long as the meat of the hit is pushing in the same direction (i.e. The main transient hitting then mic) everything is all good. Some engineers would move the overhead back in time so it peaks initially w the others. This is not the way I do it, and feel it's unesessary, and takes away from the expanse of the kit.

    Realistically your set your polarity off of the kick drum. Kik then overhead. When those two are in phase, that's 80% of a drum sound. Then your spot mics are set to that.

    A 'natural' drum kit it going to have some cancelizations, which are normal and can be just fine. Sounds don't all arrive at your ear equally in frequency or amplitude, and don't arrive at the mics that way either.
  15. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    I was just looking at the mono overhead and the top snare.. Basing the polarity on the up down relationship to the the wave.. To me the out of phase visually photo when you look at just the overhead and top snare.. they are opposite of each other.. in the in phase photo they are the same.. they aren't time aligned though.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good thread guys. (y)
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I've labeled the pics to try to illustrate what I'm seeing/saying. I still think there's A diescrepency between what we are considering in and out of phase.

    You've got this one labeled as out of phase, but if you look at the positive excursion of the waveform(s) for snare top and overhead they are both happening at the same point in the timeline / waveform. The innitial transient I. The close mic isn't picked up by the overhead, and is a positive excursion which indicates the mic diaphragm (mic placement) is in proper phase / polarity with the drum head.

    The first part of the hit the overhead picks up is a negative excursion and it lines up in time w the negative excursion of the close mic.

    This picture is the mics being in phase with each other. And is also the one that sounded in phase.


    This picture which is labeled 'in phase' depicts the waveforms out of phase. This is becuase at the point in the waveform/timeline where the close mic is at a negative excursion, the overhead is at a positive excursion.

    When I signal like this is sent to the speaker when the snare hit occurs it's going to try and push the speaker both out and in at the same time. This causes a cancelization based of the frequencies concerned and the time differential between the two waveforms. So it wouldn't completely cancel out but it would partially. Resulting in the thinner sound we heard.

    pcrecord likes this.
  18. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    This is interesting.. I think I've made things confusing to a degree by using the term "Phase" incorrectly... By "Phase" I meant polarity.

    I'm just using that term because that's the name of the button on every console.. To me from my audio examples.. the second file sounded fatter..
    What is confusing is that it had the polarity reversed.. ..

    Technically both examples were out of "phase" ....using the proper use of the word.. as they were not time aligned..

    I did find that after time aligning them the same polarity sounded better.. I'll post and example of that..

    I also find it interesting how when looking at wave files what one person uses as a reference to line things up is different than someone elses..

    I was using the very start of the wave form in each case..... it appears as you have a different method..
  19. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Ok.. so hopefully this will make more sense.. Both are phase aligned the only difference is the polarity.. Or "Phase" switch on the console.. Now since they are phase aligned the same polarity version sound better to me..

    Phase aligned   reversed polarity.jpg Phase aligned  same polarity.jpg


    Attached Files:

    kmetal likes this.
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Time aligning is not necessary for a proper phase relationship. All phase is referencing is if the waveforms are going up and down in tandem, or if they are going in opposite directions. If one waveform is ahead or behind that's 'natural' due to the mics being spaced apart. Sound moves about a ms per foot. So if the OH mic is 3 feet above they'll be about a 3ms difference between close mic and oH. So the oh will be 3 ms behind the close mic in time, and be depicted to the right hand side of the close mic on the time line. So even when they're not exactly lined up in time as long as they are moving in the same direction they are in phase.

    It gets confusing lol because it's behind in time yet looks 'ahead or in front of' the other on the waveform window becuase we read left to right. Lol I'm laughing becuase this constantly confuses clients and we have to reach and agreement as to what we mean by ahead or behind.

    Right polarity is electrical, phase is audio. Polarity reverse would be swapping the positive and negative wires w each other on a mic or speaker. If you had two speakers wired 'backwards' or reverse polarity, they would still be in phase with each other. If only one was wired with reverse polarity then they would be out of phase with each other.

    Phase is the relationship between two things. Polarity is the positive and negative of an individual thing. Generally

    That's what I do as well. In the case of the OH and close mic however, they're start points are different since the Oh didn't pickup the first tiny part of the transient that the close mic did.

    When I'm in doubt I always line up / look for the 'meat' of the transient or the loudest / highest looking part since that would be the most audible.

    If you notice the top and bottom have nearly identical looking starting transients so using the beginning or absolute first part of the waveform works just fine. In general those mics are spaced about the same from the drum or exactly the same so the time difference is negligeable.

    in both examples you posted time aligned, and 'natural' they sample that's in phase sounds better.

    I don't time align becuase that's not how the mics are hearing it. I feel the time difference can add size and space. The time aligned may be a bit more punchy but that's what samples are for ;) lol also it creates a compromise when your talking about room mics and cymbals. If you time align everything you can create cancelizations based on the fact that the mics are getting different frequencies / amplitudes of those frequencies due to time and distance and various reflections. It can create some ghastly cymbal artifacts. My philosophy in general is leave the time alignment how it exists and use other things like sample or reverb or close mics to fill in the blanks. I just find it simpler and less tedious.

    This is however preference and some others swear by time aligning.

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