out of phase room mics - thoughts?

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out of phase room mics - thoughts?

Post by permanent hearing damage » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:46 pm

i tracked a drumset last week with plenty of close mics and my usual pair of room mics about 6' away and pretty low to the ground. typically, i delay the room mics a bit to kinda open up the room but i liked what they did to the kick so much that i didn't do that and have been building up the drum sound around them.

i have a pretty large and live room to begin with, but delaying those mics almost always helps me out. just in case, i printed another room mic, maybe 10' away - a fig 8 ribbon with the drums in the null side, to get more reflected sound. this mic, delayed in the mix, does help open it up a little, but not as much as i had hoped. so i decided to copy the track and flip the phase and pan them hard - and that was just what i was looking for.

in mono, the room goes away almost entirely, though. this is gonna come out on cd and possibly lp. i realize this isn't ideal, but should i even give using the out of phase room mic a second thought if it's sounding how i like it?

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Post by Theo_Karon » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:41 pm

I'm not entirely sure I understand what you're saying here, but as long as you still have present, good sounding drums in mono- just with less room- that should be fine. Might be a good idea to hi pass the out of phase stuff that's hard panned since it's coming out on vinyl, as out-of-phase low end can cause the groove to essentially close up for a moment, which doesn't sound pretty, but otherwise this is not all that different functionally from a mid/side room mic pair. (OK, I mean, it is really, really different, but with both you have out of phase stuff hard-panned that will disappear in mono and also does not cause problems if done right. With mid-side the low end phase stuff is not an issue unless the side mic is WAY up in the mix compared to the mid mic,and I see no reason why it would be any different here.)

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Post by drumsound » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:18 pm

If you copied the mono figure 8, and flipped the polarity on the copy, it will completely disappear when in mono. Unless you did some sort of nudging on one of the 2 tracks.

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Post by daysleeper » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:39 pm

It's ok to have the ambience of your mix change a bit when it's collapsed to mono. I've done what you described with room mics in the mix before and it turned out great. Just make sure that you like the mix in mono too and you'll be good.

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Post by eeldip » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:21 pm

in addition to messing with time and polarity, you can also use phase alignment tools. free and not free plugins do it. if you can do vst and windows... phase bug should work.

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Post by joel hamilton » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:39 pm

A phase flipped copy of a track will cancel. that should be obvious, right?

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Post by permanent hearing damage » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:36 pm

yes, i do realize that it will cancel in mono, but taking into account it will be released in a stereo format and listened to in stereo format, i'm wondering if i should actually worry about it.

also, wouldn't nudging the other one just create a comb filter in mono?

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:16 am

yes.

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Post by Fletcher » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:38 am

permanent hearing damage wrote:yes, i do realize that it will cancel in mono, but taking into account it will be released in a stereo format and listened to in stereo format, i'm wondering if i should actually worry about it.

also, wouldn't nudging the other one just create a comb filter in mono?
Nudging will definitely cause all kinds of goofy phase shit in mono... and YES!!! you absolutely need to worry about mono!! TV is still an important medium for the promotion of music, and even though the little "stereo" light comes on my TV -- the local cable company sends a mono signal down the pipe [bunch of incompetent assholes... but they're certainly not alone in that industry].

Mono compatibility is still very much important!! ...especially in the 250Hz and below area where many [most] vinyl cutters I know mono that information to keep the grooves from getting too large [or closing up, or being a general nightmare].

Hope this is of some assistance, best of luck with the project.

Peace.

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Post by joel hamilton » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:12 am

It is not even about the mono compatibility issue here, it is about the fact that the center image is probably really screwy, and if the flipped copy is not making you crazy to hear it, unless it is a deliberate head-twister-of-an-effect in an avant way, it should be looked at as a liability.

A "liability" in the sense that it simply does not help deliver the content in any kind of artistic way, barring the one avant freak out where you dont care about the playback format or the listener or the element in question.

I just cant see how that one contingency could be applicable here because it is a drum ROOM mic. I guess the question back at you would be this:

What are hoping to achieve here that doesnt happen without an out of phase copy of your room mic? Width? there are a zillion other ways to get it that will not only collapse to mono more elegantly (meaning, "at all") and hold some sort of center image, but will also most likely be welcome assets to the tone or motion in the song... the overall timbre meeting the sentiment...
Like is it an aggressive noise rock thing like UNSANE or is it like WILCO or like nothing we have ever heard before (sleepytime gorilla museum? Cheer Accident?)
You have to answer that for yourself and determine what the best way to present the drums would be based on the original gesture, and rarely would an out of phase copy of a room mic seem to be a part of the answer in any scenario imaginable.

Just blabbing too early in the morning. ;)

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Post by suppositron » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:15 am

I agree with J.H. I would abandon the polarity reversed copy.

Why not pipe the drums through a loud speaker and re-record your room ambiance that way?

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