Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

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winky dinglehoffer
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Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:52 pm

So I was recording vox with 2 mics--one going through a preamp to the DAW, the other into a spring reverb. Once recorded, I noticed that panning the reverbed track out of the center caused a radical change in the vocal sound. Closer inspection revealed that the reverb device had flipped the polarity of the signal, resulting in a far less present, somewhat washed out sound.
But for this track, that is what I want. Reversing polarity made everything big and forward and not at all suited to the mood of the track.

So my question is this: are there any hazards to using tracks with flipped polarity for effect? Is there potential for it to sound radically different in certain playback situations or anything like that? My instinctive guess is no, but I thought I'd ask more experienced hands.

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Scodiddly
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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by Scodiddly » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:11 pm

If it sounds good, it is good. With the caveat that you want to check it in mono just to be safe.

And thank you for saying "polarity" instead of "phase". 8)

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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by drumsound » Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:33 pm

Scodiddly wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:11 pm
If it sounds good, it is good. With the caveat that you want to check it in mono just to be safe.
This
Scodiddly wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:11 pm
And thank you for saying "polarity" instead of "phase". 8)
YES!

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:51 am

Yes to both above notes. An extra big yes to checking it in mono.
I’ve been working on an ambient project for the last little while and have been using some stereo widening plugs on some of the effect returns. Most wideners involve some kind of polarity/phase manipulation to create the effect. In stereo it sounds fantastic. In mono some of the widened effects disappear. I’ve had to be very conscious of what happens to the effects in mono and make sure that the character of the mix isn’t greatly affected.

Beyond that, I have been told that on vinyl certain phase/polarity issues can cause the needle to jump. I would expect you’d need a high energy element like bass or kick for that to be an issue. I’m sure some of the mastering experts could chime in with the real goods.

winky dinglehoffer
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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:56 am

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely check in mono. It won't be on vinyl, so no worries there.

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Recycled_Brains
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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:51 am

Tchad Blake is always talking about, and demonstrating in his videos on MWtM how he flips polarity on things all the time, and just decides which setting he thinks sounds best. I've seen Albini do that too.

I think the point is, don't overthink it if it sounds good.
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MoreSpaceEcho
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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:30 am

My fave flipped polarity moment of all time is the synth at the end of this jam. 99.8% gone in mono.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpsvBvwRuf0

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Re: Polarity Flip as Net Positive?

Post by Burnt Ernie » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:13 pm

Fun with Polarity/comb filtering/phase cancellation! Yes! Cool thing I stole from Beinhorn/Chris Shaw. Loud JCM 800 100 watt with a Telecaster. 4 mic's close mic'd and blended (Through a BBE 822?) A 414 between 6-12 feet out,polarity flipped. Had me move the mic closer /farther until the very thin telecaster tone and the very loud Marshall finds a resonant frequency that "Honks". Kinda like the cocked wah-wah Thin Lizzy thing. It sounds stupid,but it roars. Power Station,1992. No lie. Still use this all the time with thin sounding guitars while tracking. Try it . what can you lose?
I am the Walnut

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