Checking phase: How do you all do it?

How do y’all go about checking phase on, say, your drum pieces? I guess it’d be the same with guitars, etc. But I’m messing with the drums for 25 Reasons. Just practicing my mixing.

I’m soloing my OHs, smidge of EQ and stuff, getting them to where I like 'em. Then adding the kick and treating with some EQ, maybe compression, then the snare, etc.

So, when I check the phase of, say, the snare with the OHs, is it enough to just listen to snare and OH in isolation and click the phase on the snare and “see what is sounds like” and go with what sounds better?

When do you do that vs zoom in on the wave forms and visually line them up?

Or do you just use a tool like InPhase (Waves) or Melda’s MAutoAlign? (BTW, check out that Melda plugin. Impressive. Does it automatically. Anyone use this?)

This is “somewhat” new territory for me. I understand the general idea behind what happens when things are out of phase, but haven’t caught on yet on how to assess it.

Switch the phase button, compare, use the best sounding option

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Usually the fullest one in the bottom end is the best choice for drums. You can always roll it off afterwards, so you get the tone without the weirdness.

I have taken to matching distances of overheads to the snare, and then rolling off most of the midrange on the close toms to fix those phase issues between those, as overheads usually give you a better midrange, there anyway.

With pairs of mics, I always get the pair right first, then check the pair against kick and snare and then groups of mics like toms.


On every mix. I let it analyze, then toggle it on/off to hear which I like best. One note, direct from Mr. Melda himself over on the KVR forum:

You are talking about MAutoAlign, correct? …align all microphones, that are close to each other, e.g. multiple snare drum or kick mikes. Overheads together etc. If the mikes are too far away, they become too ambient and the whole aligning won’t make much sense anymore. You can of course experiment, but from my experience it just doesn’t make sense.

The thing is, delaying is single dimentional, there’s just one value - distance, hence time. But the space is 3D, so in fact once you record something using multiple mikes, the result cannot be perfectly aligned no matter what. What MAutoAlign does is just trying to find the best possible solution given the limited possibilities.

BTW, if you want to pick it up, wait for the BF sale, it’ll be 1/2 off. :wink:

I don’t even do that any more Andrew. I mean, with multiple mics, you’re going to get phasing. It’s just a fact of life. It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t really change the sound of the recordings that much (unless there is something sticking out like a sore thumb), so I just go directly to the processing/EQ process and ignore any potential phasing issues.

Some people even say that phasing is necessary to get a good sound. They could be right. Who knows? I just use my ears. If I can hear phasing (very rare) then I fix it. If not, carry on.

Look at the track. Enlarge it to see if they are both the same in direction