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Tips & Techniques:Phase as a widening tool

You can get instruments to sound like they are coming from outside the stereo image by using phase relationship. Start with a single track, say guitar. Pan it hard left. Duplicate the track and pan it hard right, but flip the phase 180 degrees. Start with the volume on the duplicate at nothing, and slowly bring up the level on the duplicate/phase flipped track. You will hear the guitar on the left slowly move out wider than it was when panned hard left. This will happen up to a point after which it will start shifting back towards centre.
Be sure to check things in mono, as there will always be some sort of trade off, but used judiciously this can add some interesting textures. Just cutting in on guitars in the chorus, or even used on just one word of a vocal to make it come somewhere else can spice things up. As always handle with care.

Contributors: mw, Led
Created by Led, 11th March 2008 at 05:06 AM
Last edited by mw, 27th March 2012 at 03:05 PM
Last comment by The Peschinator on 29th March 2010 at 12:32 AM
3 Comments, 13,776 Views

(3) Comments for: Phase as a widening tool Page Tools Search this Page
Old 13th March 2008
Gear nut
charliemizza's Avatar

by "flipping the phase 180 degrees" you mean the "INVERT" option in the Audiosuite editingmenu on PT, right? I tried this, and I think I did what you're talking about. Basically it creates depth by putting the negative value of the sonic spectrum at an inverse position to "give the illusion" of depth then?

***Also, a producer told me there is a way to eliminate 90% of room noise (or cooling fan noise) from an audio track. He said to record a verse on a single mono track, then record a track underneath it just recording the room, or "nothing", then "invert" the 'silent' track, trim it to the EXACT length of the verse above, then bounce the audio and reload it and it effectively "phases out" the "noise". Ever heard of this? I have yet to try it, but logicly it makes sense I guess.
Old 26th May 2008
Lives for gear
John Suitcase's Avatar

Delaying the phase inverted track can further add to the effect, just a few milliseconds goes a long way.

As to the fan noise elimination comment, I think it would work with some types of noise, but with something periodic, like a large fan or an oscillating fan, you'd have to mess around with alignment a lot.
Old 29th March 2010
Gear Head
The Peschinator's Avatar

The way you do it is leave them panned down the center and bring up the inverted audio until it cancels the sound completely. THEN you can pan them hard right and hard left.
And to be technical it's not exactly a phase relationship, it's a polarity relationship. You're not flipping the phase 180 degrees, you are inverting the polarity.

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