Phase correction on a stereo mix
Old 7th May 2009
  #1
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Phase correction on a stereo mix

Hi guys! I'm working on a stereo track that seems to colapse when tested in mono! I' m pretty shure the problem is due to the guitars totally panned left and right and playing the same things... unfortunately I don't have the session but only the final mix

the question is:
is there a way (plugins or other tricks) to correct this phase problem and make the track mono-compatible?

can this helps making the track sound more solid when listened in stereo?

thank you!

pat
Old 7th May 2009
  #2
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post
Hi guys! I'm working on a stereo track that seems to colapse when tested in mono! I' m pretty shure the problem is due to the guitars totally panned left and right and playing the same things... unfortunately I don't have the session but only the final mix

the question is:
is there a way (plugins or other tricks) to correct this phase problem and make the track mono-compatible?

can this helps making the track sound more solid when listened in stereo?

thank you!

pat
Do all of the instruments tend to cancel out or just the guitars? If it's just a certain subset of instruments you're up the creek. If it's all the information, try inverting the polarity of one channel and sum and see if it gets better.

Yes, there are processors that can correct phase and timing between channels, the Cedar is really the only one worth considering, but I'm not convinced that is the cause of your problem and mostly what the Cedar can do is subtle timing correction while your problem looks like a wholesale polarity reversal in one or more cables or connections during the mixdown. What does your phase meter say?

Pointing out the importance of checking the recording in mono when you mix! And YES, this can help make the recording sound more solid when listened to in stereo. In fact, if the problem only became obvious to you in mono, I suggest that you should check the quality of your stereo monitoring. On a good stereo system the problems of out-of-polarity instruments will be painfully obvious, even in stereo.
Old 7th May 2009
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
On a good stereo system the problems of out-of-polarity instruments will be painfully obvious, even in stereo.
One of the first things I learned in a mastering studio was to interpret the phase scope, in one ocasion i used it to confirm what sounded like a weird bass guitar sound. the scope did, almost all the bass information was completely out of phase, but not the bass drum.

The guy who sent that mix didn't even know that he had some polarity reversal when he tracked the bass guitar. It was an impossible fix from the mastering stand point......
Old 7th May 2009
  #4
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Our Masterpiece II has saved us in a couple of instances. It has Vari-phase 0-180 degrees on each channel with input filters and such. Works like a charm when needed!


Regards,
Old 7th May 2009
  #5
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hi bob,
only the guitars are cancelled in mono while the other instruments maintains their volume...

I do know the polarity problem that occurs with wrong assembled cables, but this project is digital based and I' m sure all the instruments were recorded properly and the mix has been done in the DAW directly to the HD!

is there something I can do to solve the problem?
Old 7th May 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post
is there something I can do to solve the problem?
of course there is, fix it in the mix! you said it was mixed in a daw so i guess it would be easy to check in the session what went wrong there.
call the mixer to fix this or was the session deleted?
Old 7th May 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post

the question is:
is there a way (plugins or other tricks) to correct this phase problem and make the track mono-compatible?

can this helps making the track sound more solid when listened in stereo?

thank you!

pat
Hi Pat, have you tried this plug?
Voxengo - PHA-979 - Track phase alignment audio plugin

Cheers!
Old 7th May 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Pointing out the importance of checking the recording in mono when you mix!
You know, I can check my mixes in mono at the push of a button on my console. But for DAWs, there's really no good way to do it. So I created a simple box that goes between the DAC of a DAW and the monitors with a switch on it to toggle between stereo & mono. I got like 10 people wanting them, so I built 10. They ALL backed out of it. It amazes me how people refuse to believe they can mix without being able to hear what's happening in the mix.




Quote:
only the guitars are cancelled in mono while the other instruments maintains their volume
Do they cancel completely? If so, the mixer made a copy of a guitar and inverted it to get a "big stereo sound". I had to master a mix like that a few years ago and I couldn't get a remix. A remix is the BEST solution, but if that's not possible, you can tame the problem a little in mastering. I got a mix recently where all the instruments were bussed through a stereo enhancer that works by manipulating polarity. The vocals were untreated so they stayed strong. In that case, there was nothing I could do. The mix was ruined so the client ultimately decided to drop the project because he was unwilling to do a remix. Again, if he had taken the time to set up a proper monitoring system and check the mixes in mono......
Old 8th May 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
You know, I can check my mixes in mono at the push of a button on my console. But for DAWs, there's really no good way to do it.
Isn't it sufficient to pan both the left and right outputs to the center?

John Link
Old 8th May 2009
  #10
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post
hi bob,
only the guitars are cancelled in mono while the other instruments maintains their volume...

I do know the polarity problem that occurs with wrong assembled cables, but this project is digital based and I' m sure all the instruments were recorded properly and the mix has been done in the DAW directly to the HD!

is there something I can do to solve the problem?
Nope! (I'm sorry). Only by remixing the guitars. Probably some plugin that was used only on the guitars was either misset or buggy.

BK
Old 8th May 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Isn't it sufficient to pan both the left and right outputs to the center?
It would be, but most DAWs don't do that unless you pan each individual track center, then put them back. I wouldn't doubt there's plugins out there that'll do it also, but if you just have a box that sits on your desk, just hit the switch and you're golden.
Old 8th May 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
It would be, but most DAWs don't do that unless you pan each individual track center, then put them back. I wouldn't doubt there's plugins out there that'll do it also, but if you just have a box that sits on your desk, just hit the switch and you're golden.
If you rewrite what you wrote as follows I think you'll see why you haven't sold the ten boxes:

Quote:
It is. All you have to do is pan those two tracks to the center, then put them back and you're golden.
How much were you asking for each box?
Old 8th May 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post
the question is:
is there a way (plugins or other tricks) to correct this phase problem and make the track mono-compatible?

pat
Try This trick... as this worked with a similar situation except it was a snare drum (yes snare stereoized with no center)

1.Copy track & line them up to the exact bit. Flip the polarity of one track so the two files Null.

2. Boost an eq in one of the tracks in the guitars fq range to isolate the guitar the best you can.

3. Render/bounce to make a new mono track of the Guitar.

4. Load this new file under the original & move by 2/3 samples off

5. Adjust level & sample offset to taste.

This worked like a charm for the snare problem. Let us know how this works for you.
Ed
Old 8th May 2009
  #14
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great little boxes wado! I'm surprised that nobody from the great software house had integrated a mono function in a DAW!

anywway... I think the voxengo is a usefull plugin but mainly in the mixing stage, infact if I try to correct the guitars, I have to put the phase of one channel at least at 90 degrees, and so I' m altering the stereo listening of the track that is the most important thing in the end.

I'm going to try ed's trick (thanks!) as soon as I can... but at this point probably it s better to leave the mix well sounding in stereo!

the only thing that still wondering me is if making the mix mono compatible helps to reach a more solid sound when listened in stereo...
Old 8th May 2009
  #15
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[QUOTE=wado1942;4165478]You know, I can check my mixes in mono at the push of a button on my console. But for DAWs, there's really no good way to do it.

http://www.kellyindustries.com/free_...vst_plugin.zip .......

its free..it does the job..

I agree it's ridiculous that DAW's don't have this built in as it is such an elementary part of mixing. perhaps the latest ones do?

BetabugsAudio :::plug-in development turned inside out::: is phase bug, its also free and a great tool for makeing tracks more phase coherent..

I would also recommend Brainworx Control plugin as a phase coherency meter. it also monofies the signal all the way up to 22khz and there is a stereo widener which I guess is just a M/S volume which you can turn up and down.

I'm sure there are freeware plugins that you could combine to do the same job....
Old 8th May 2009
  #16
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Quote:
If you rewrite what you wrote as follows I think you'll see why you haven't sold the ten boxes:


It is. All you have to do is pan those two tracks to the center, then put them back and you're golden.
Why would I write that? Why would somebody want to pan 8-24 tracks center to give a quick listen and then pan them back? The pan law used by the DAW could easily change the mix when you mess with it. My boxes don't change the levels of anything, just make it mono.


Quote:
How much were you asking for each box?
I think I was wanting $20 for the boxes. I've gutted a few of them and turned them into other things but I still have a few left. They're not pretty and that may have something to do with it. But I hand picked all my componants and matched them within a +-.1% tolerance, that's .1%, not 1%, to ensure they change the sound as little as possible.
Old 8th May 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Why would I write that? Why would somebody want to pan 8-24 tracks center to give a quick listen and then pan them back? The pan law used by the DAW could easily change the mix when you mess with it. My boxes don't change the levels of anything, just make it mono.
I wouldn't change the pan on all the tracks, just on the master output.

Quote:
I think I was wanting $20 for the boxes. I've gutted a few of them and turned them into other things but I still have a few left. They're not pretty and that may have something to do with it. But I hand picked all my componants and matched them within a +-.1% tolerance, that's .1%, not 1%, to ensure they change the sound as little as possible.
That's a good price and a great tolerance, but looks matter, too. Would you post a picture?

John Link
Old 8th May 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlink View Post

That's a good price and a great tolerance, but looks matter, too. Would you post a picture?

John Link
If looks mattered most of the guys around here would be out of business

Ed
Old 8th May 2009
  #19
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What boxes?? am I missing something on this thread?? Can't find it on the previous page yet...wait...there is no "previous page"
Old 8th May 2009
  #20
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hi,

any software has a Mono button beside the master faders of their mixer ??

At least Samplitude / sequoia have it.

Best
Phil
Old 8th May 2009
  #21
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Here's my prototype.



Quote:
I wouldn't change the pan on all the tracks, just on the master output.
I've used 5 different DAWs over the years and not a one of them had master pans. I don't really care about it myself anyways because like I said, I can check anything in mono with the push of a button on my console.
Old 8th May 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post


Here's my prototype.
It looks cool and practical....can we see what's under the hood??

Edit; yo have inspired me to do one too but mine will be all XLR ins & outs
Old 8th May 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
I've used 5 different DAWs over the years and not a one of them had master pans.
You could route all tracks to an auxiliary track and do the master panning there.
Old 8th May 2009
  #24
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There's really nothing worth seeing under the hood. Just some resistors, wire and a switch.


Quote:
You could route all tracks to an auxiliary track and do the master panning there.
Yes, but what schmoe will do all that when they hardly even know how to use their DAW? I'm talking beginner/intermidiate users here. Also, the pan law used by the DAW can make or break the "mono check".
Old 8th May 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
There's really nothing worth seeing under the hood. Just some resistors, wire and a switch.
Resistors, wires and one switch...Got it! thanks (really, no pun intended).
Old 8th May 2009
  #26
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Now that you've stolen my invention, will you share the profits?
Old 8th May 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Now that you've stolen my invention, will you share the profits?
As I am smoking a cigar and sipping on a glass of old Scotch Whiskey on the rocks (12 years, old enough anyway) I decided that you do deserve 15% of the profits for the next 50 years...Now my conscious feels clean...
Old 8th May 2009
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
Yes, but what schmoe will do all that when they hardly even know how to use their DAW? I'm talking beginner/intermidiate users here.
Would such a person be interested in doing a mono check?

Quote:
Also, the pan law used by the DAW can make or break the "mono check".
Really? Do you mean to suggest that there is a DAW for which my suggestion would not produce a valid mono check?
Old 8th May 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripz View Post
Hi guys! I'm working on a stereo track that seems to colapse when tested in mono! I' m pretty shure the problem is due to the guitars totally panned left and right and playing the same things... unfortunately I don't have the session but only the final mix

the question is:
is there a way (plugins or other tricks) to correct this phase problem and make the track mono-compatible?

can this helps making the track sound more solid when listened in stereo?

How do the guitars sound in stereo? Do they sound like they're out of phase?

They do not necessarily have to collapse to mono in tack. There are plenty of big guitar sounds that do not.

Chances are if you try to put the guitars in phase, you will end up putting other things out of phase...
Old 8th May 2009
  #30
Gear maniac
 

The tritone digital Phase Tone can shift frequencies within a certain range. It could perhaps work but it's only limited to 90-180 degree shift , not variable.

Are there any other multiband phase shifter plugins ?
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