Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal tracking

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by Zeppelin4Life » Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:14 am

mono mix, pan, flip phase. but it may sound too good to be true in most rooms. put some serious sound absorbtion behind the singer or the mix will jump into the mic from behind ! best of luck
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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by SKEETER » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:27 pm

I would try what everyone else seems to be saying, ecxept I would put small speakers, very small monitors, in front of the singer ( which would be in back of the mic) at ear level, apart about a foot or two, out of phase. Have his back to a wall that he is standing exactly midway in, so that the reflections will also be as out of phase as possible. Put the mic exactly between the speakers, perhaps a few feet in front of it. That way, you won't have to crank the speakers, and they will be off axis to the mic.
S S

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by SKEETER » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:32 pm

ok, that diagram didn't work, lets see if this one does:
>>>>>S......S<<<<<
00000000000000000
<<<<<<<M>>>>>>>
<<<<<<<V>>>>>>>

Speaker
Mic
Vocalist
side wall<<<<<>>>>> side wall
00000nothing0000000

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by bigtoe » Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:17 am

"Or just try a dynamic (SM7, 421, RE20) and have a single speaker off-axis with it. That works just as well IMO."

amen. some singers really work better no headphones...once they try it...they won't come back. i've also used coles with the speaker in the null.

all this talk of "reamping" the drums and stuff...shit here you go...a little extra positioning work and it really can fill up a track...on your lead vocal! some of my favorite drum tracks are in the vocal mic...while tracking or after.

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by Lee Knight » Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:23 am

Mono mix sent to both speakers

One speaker reversed polarity

Mic at a perfect triangle to the speakers

The singer has 2 ears. The mic has 1. If you use a fairly dead room, the mic won't hear that much bleed due to the cancelation. The singer, on the other hand will hear everything just fine due to the sound reaching the singer at 2 different times (2 ears, right?). This works great. The amount of bleed you get into the mic is strictly due to reflections in the room destroying your exactly out of phase signal. So the deader the room, and the more perfect the triangle, the less bleed.

The object isn't about being better at rejecting bleed than phones. The phones will always be better. It IS about making the singer comfortable. It isn't too much trouble if the singer responds to this set up and gives you the take of a lifetime. Whatever works, right?

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by scott anthony » Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:33 am

Just be aware of your volume and make sure the mix you use doesn't contain anything you wouldn't want to hear in the final.

I make sure not to use scratch solos when doing this, and if I do bring in solos or fills, they are super low.. Drums (minimal OH and Hat), bass, and enough rhythm guitars for feel and pitch...

Wearing headphones with one ear off with this kind of monitor mix can help a singer that wants more punch. You can also bring more solos and fills in the can mix.

As mentioned before, pitch comes easier for many singers this way.

Swapping the phase and the mono mix was never worth the effort for me...

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by alarmo » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:24 am

I'm with Slider - sometimes, singing loud in a room with the music cranked just helps everything fit. If it's a quiet, delicate track, you may not have a choice but to use headphones - but I've also found that for a loud-ish vocal on a loud-ish song, just put the mic off-axis to a monitor and go for it.

Come to think of it, that mute-everything-except-the-vocal-mic-bleed-through on Elvis Costello's I Want You totally makes the end of that song. Of course, that's not monitors - the band played that one live in the studio - but it's sorta the same idea. Kinda. Almost.

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by dino » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:41 am

Humble follow up question: If yer using a mono mix, why have two speakers? Wouldn't a single speaker have fewer reflection paths back to the microphone? I need a nap now.. poux
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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by scott anthony » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:48 am

pouxhawk wrote:Humble follow up question: If yer using a mono mix, why have two speakers? Wouldn't a single speaker have fewer reflection paths back to the microphone? I need a nap now.. poux
Two speakers, with polarity reversed and your microphone placed at the sweet spot, theoretically cancel out where your mic is sitting.

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by SKEETER » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:37 am

If you look at the way a wave form appears on an oscilliscope, you see 360 degrees of a waveform cycle, first 180 degrees above the center (+)line, and the second 180 degrees below the line (-) If you take say, a freguency of 440 hz, and cause that frequency to appear at both above the line and below the line at the same time, they cancel (440 hz +) plus (440hz - ) = 0.
When you knock speakers out of phase, what happens is that the speakers do not move exactly together, one is moving out while the other is moving in, which makes the frequencies exactly 180 degrees out of phase, which causes them to cancel each other. Find a cheap speaker ( this is acutally a way of testing speakers) and very quickly touch a 9 Volt battery to the speaker connections, and you will see the speaker either jump in or out, then turn the batter around so the poles are reversed and do it again and you will see the speaker go the opposite direction of what it was the first time.
A way to picture this in your mind is to imagine two tidal waves coming at each other at exactly the same speed and time, and hitting each other exactly as they crest, they will stop each other, and directly cancel each other out.

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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by tomo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:03 pm

WOW Thanks for all the responses! I really though it would be a simple trick (like flipping a wire) but there is WAY more engineering and science to this than I imagined! I'm humbled by my lack of knowledge about how we sometimes take for granted how things get worked out. I'll keep experimenting and hopefully find a workable solution amongst all the knowledge posted here. THANKS MUCH!
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Re: Create out of phase studio monitors for live vocal track

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:12 pm

i think i remember reading about a visconti trick for tracking bowie in the same room as the band which involved using 2 u87s, one in figure 8 that was the main vocal, and an other one in cardiod facing the band, with the phase flipped so that it cancelled what was going into the other side of the figure 8 one when brought to the same level. again, i have no actual proof that this is true, but on paper it seems that it would work pretty well.

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