Phase issue

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timmyg
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Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:13 pm

Hi all,

My mastering engineer has come back to me saying that a mix I sent him has phase issues, he says on guitar tracks.

I've not had this problem before and don't know how to fix it. There are 3 guitar tracks panned left, right & centred all playing similar parts but with different amp effects.

I really need a quick answer guys as my deadline for first draft of masters is Sunday!!!
Appreciate it.

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martygras
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Re: Phase issue

Post by martygras » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:19 pm

First off, this should have been caught during the mixdown stage. (Okay now you've been reprimanded)

Did he give any specific info regarding the "phase issues"? Can you give us a little more info about how you mixed/recorded the guitar tracks?

The issues could be as simple as the reverbs on the guitar tracks.
If the issue is with the mic positioning you could try switching the polarity (phase) on any one of the guitar tracks or even the guitar bus.

If worse comes to worse you can try moving the audio for one of the guitars ahead or back a few milliseconds to see if that fixes it.
Marty Schulte [I'm a drummer. So, there's that.]
iPad AIR(128), Akai EIE, Akai EWI USB, illudium q-36 explosive space modulator
Head First Audio (live sound for Southern Oregon, USA)

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:33 pm

Thanks for the speedy reply. Hindsight is a great thing...wish I hadn't missed it.

I just checked the guitar tracks and they were recorded via the Orange guitar amp app.
All 3 are Audiopaste files. I tried moving them a few milliseconds & turning off Aux reverb that they are all using and still they can't be heard in the Mono mix.

They all look like Stereo tracks as they have a left & right channel in the waveform.
Is there anything else I could try?

Edit: Also tried the polarity switch on the guitar channel & that didn't change it either!
Last edited by timmyg on Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pitzipado
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Re: Phase issue

Post by pitzipado » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:32 pm

What do you hear when you solo the tracks? If they are stereo tracks I would try
soloing each track pan center and mix to new mono track then see what those sounded
like with the proper pans. I am pretty new to digital recording and my ears failed the
sound engineer physicals but I love to experiment. I hope you solve it soon. Do let us
know if you figure it out :idea:
best jp

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:46 pm

pitzipado wrote:What do you hear when you solo the tracks? If they are stereo tracks I would try
soloing each track pan center and mix to new mono track then see what those sounded
like with the proper pans. I am pretty new to digital recording and my ears failed the
sound engineer physicals but I love to experiment. I hope you solve it soon. Do let us
know if you figure it out :idea:
best jp
I just noticed when I pan any (or all) of the 3 guitar tracks centre, there is no sound AT ALL in mono.
I can only hear them centred when not switched to Mono. Seriously baffled now

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martygras
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Re: Phase issue

Post by martygras » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:59 pm

Are these three unique takes or the same track copied with different amp settings?
Marty Schulte [I'm a drummer. So, there's that.]
iPad AIR(128), Akai EIE, Akai EWI USB, illudium q-36 explosive space modulator
Head First Audio (live sound for Southern Oregon, USA)

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:12 pm

martygras wrote:Are these three unique takes or the same track copied with different amp settings?
They are 3 unique takes. I tried the suggestion of mixing one of them down panned centred to a new mono track.
This didn't work either; I was getting no audio at all in the bounced mono track.

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martygras
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Re: Phase issue

Post by martygras » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:46 pm

This is messed up. I'm running out of ideas.

Uh, let's see, some cheap reverbs and chorus use phase to achieve their sound widening. Those aren't mono-compatible usually.

I don't give much of a f*** if something isn't mono compatible these days, but I can understand that you are trying to get an album released and it is important to you to have a good mix.

Did you try flipping the polarity button on the PSP channelstrip for any of the tracks?

Okay, try this:
1. Mute the center track.
2. flip polarity of either the left or the right guitar track, but not both.
3. Now do the mono test. Is anything different?
Marty Schulte [I'm a drummer. So, there's that.]
iPad AIR(128), Akai EIE, Akai EWI USB, illudium q-36 explosive space modulator
Head First Audio (live sound for Southern Oregon, USA)

pitzipado
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Re: Phase issue

Post by pitzipado » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:42 pm

timmyg wrote:
martygras wrote:Are these three unique takes or the same track copied with different amp settings?
They are 3 unique takes. I tried the suggestion of mixing one of them down panned centred to a new mono track.
This didn't work either; I was getting no audio at all in the bounced mono track.
I'm just throwin stuff out there- you could try mixdown to split stereo panned left right or middle
and see what you get- seems like there should be mono sound in there somewhere. I hope you're not
in trouble with the pan law

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:31 am

I tried both methods martygras & pitzipado.

Flipping the Polarity of one guitar didn't work.

Also doing the split stereo mixdown gave me no audio when I tried both faders panned centred & also hard panned left & right. I solo'd the 3 guitar tracks centred and tried the mixdown for this...is this what you meant or should i have done the stereo split mixdown for each of the 3 guitar tracks centred?

Interestingly, I'm getting some sound in Mono mode when i hard pan the left & right guitars...it's probably not enough but I might get away with it, though this will affect the original stereo sound as it's not what I wanted. They were originally panned to 65 each. There is nothing coming from the centred gutiar.

MrNezumi
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Re: Phase issue

Post by MrNezumi » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:48 am

The Final Touch app has a stereo imaging module with panning, flipping, phase control and some other stuff. There are likely a few other apps that do this kind of stuff.

Edit: Stereo Designer is another app you might want to check out. It pans, delays and such to mess with the stereo field.

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:10 am

MrNezumi wrote:The Final Touch app has a stereo imaging module with panning, flipping, phase control and some other stuff. There are likely a few other apps that do this kind of stuff.

Edit: Stereo Designer is another app you might want to check out. It pans, delays and such to mess with the stereo field.
Sounds like it could be worth a try. How would you suggest I try this though? Should I mix down each individual guitar track as stereo, import them into those apps, try the things you suggested and re-import into Auria?

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Anthony Alves
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Re: Phase issue

Post by Anthony Alves » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:06 am

it may be best to go back to the start in a new project just for the guitars providing you didn't do a ton of editing on the guitar wave form. In your project save any plugin that you used on the guitars and name them so that you can reload them back into another project. Start a new project and import the original guitar parts, i.e. the raw tracks that have not been mixed down. Now after importing the raw original tracks into the new project try to pan the guitars the way you want them without any plugins added yet. Your guitars should be recorded in mono as that would be the input source during the recording unless you actually used two inputs on your audio device for the recording and a stereo effect process otherwise your guitars are in mono so make your guitars mono. Now see if you hear any phase issues with just the raw tracks with no effects or plugins at all. If you don't then the phase was created by the stereo guitars and their effects as they crossed the stereo field. If there is phase issues on the dry tracks then the guitars were recorded too closely together like same guitar. same tone. same strings .same amp .same level ect. This will create a duplicate tone and if some of the notes are in the same range or identical than this makes the phase worse. Hope this is enough to get you troubleshooting. It is important now for you to find the source of the problem so that you avoid this from happening again. A very good learning lesson for you on this one. You'll figure it out just don't give up and just send in something that is almost ok. If your mastering guy is a good guy or gal they will wait till you have the project ready, Cheers

Just a learning note here. If you record guitar from a mono input into a stereo track without using a stereo effects processor that has different information on the left and right side than these two sides are identical and in a sense just like having two mono guitars that are the same. This starts to create phase as you shift the left side over to the right side as the two same signals are now moving closer together and you may encounter phase issues due to poor time alignment. A general rule is you pan mono channels and you leave stereo channels alone since the stereo field has already been created by the original stereo source. Ie when you record stereo dums with just two microphones the toms and cymbals and kick and snare are where they are supposed to be within the stereo field without any panning and the drum stereo waveform will visually show that the two sides of the stereo field are indeed different in amplitude and tone . The two microphones used to record the stereo drums were what created the stereo field and the sound instrument placement within the stereo field.
Last edited by Anthony Alves on Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

timmyg
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Re: Phase issue

Post by timmyg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:45 am

Hi Anthony, thanks for the detailed response, I appreciate it.

The only problem I have is time and I have in fact done loads of editing on all 3 guitar tracks. I have an attended session booked next Saturday with the engineer to do tweaks, compiling the album etc and his schedule is booked up for ages so i can't rearrange it. If it was one track I could maybe do it buts even that would be too tight.

I have access to Logic Pro too so could I try anything using that?
Any other suggestions to try?

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Anthony Alves
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Re: Phase issue

Post by Anthony Alves » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:02 am

You may be able to use a phase plugin and I am researching that now for you. Will get back with some info. Do you clearly hear the phase that the mastering tech mentioned to you? is it obvious? Is it in the raw wave or does it go away if you turn off all the plugins to the guitars and no panning? You could also send me the project and I will see what I can do as I have plenty of top gear that may help but right now nothing comes to mind for use in LogicPro other than a purchased plugin that deals with phase issues. Cheers and hopefully you meet your deadline. Don't stress unless its Sony knocking.

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