Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

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Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:04 pm

I have been recording a singer-songwriter project in the studio. The premise of the project is to track completely live no overdubs.

I decided to use two ribbon microphones, and exploit their figure 8 patterns.

By placing the null points of the microphones towards the guitar and vocals respectively, I was I was able to obtain fantastic isolation in each of the tracks.

I needed to apply some EQ to the tracks in particular the acoustic guitar, because of the bottom end that was present. I spent a great deal of time positioning both microphones as to minimise the effects of phase cancellation in each of the tracks.

As soon as I would insert an EQ on the acoustic guitar track, for instance, and adjusted it i would notice phasing become present in the vocal.

After much mucking about with this, I ended up overcoming the problem by applying the EQ on the stereo bus.

My theory was that I was able to eliminate phase issues because EQ is being applied equally to the vocal and guitar at the same time.

How do you guys handle the singer-songwriter approach regards to phase when using using two microphones and needing EQ?

( on a side note this message is being posted by me dictating into Siri on my iPad, What a brave new world we live in)

:-)
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Chinagraf » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:28 pm

Are you using an analog eq and maybe not have delay compensation set right..?
Does you daw have delay compensation? What system/version are you using?
All systems induce a processing delay with hardware and with plugins but some compensate for it automatically.. If your system doesn't you would never notice it except in situations like this, where you are using a plugin or hardware on one of two mics that recorded the same signal.
When you put it on the bus you are inducing the same delay/processing latency on both mics.
Again, it depends on what system you are using.
Put the eq on the guitar and eq it, then put another instance of the same eq on the vocal mic, but with no boost or cut, just engaged, but doing nothing, does the phase issue go away?
It is hard to say exactly without hearing the individual tracks and the phase shift in question.
I typed this reply manually. Old school.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby stosostu » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:50 pm

I read this using a pair of Mk I eyeballs, enhanced with custom spectacles. :)
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Drumstruck » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:25 am

stosostu wrote:I read this using a pair of Mk I eyeballs, enhanced with custom spectacles.


=))

Do you still need to speak with an American accent? That was a trick with the 90s attempts at voice recognition - Oz accents were very hard for it to interpret back then.

re phase - what Andy said + ...

Do you still have much vocals present in the guitar mic track? Perhaps try it in mono and adjust the delay on one track to see if the phasing reduces?
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby gigpiglet » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:54 am

a great way to record a singer/ songwriter.. and agree with the above.
need to know if its in the box or analogue, or a combination.

if you are mixing on a console, with 2 channels up, and EQ one of those channels i cant see why you would get a phasing problem.

BUT

there is already likely some phasing things happening (simply because you recorded the same source with two mics, no matter how nulled in the blind spot one was) so say, for instance the bottom end might be cancelling (or boosting) to in some area, if you then EQ that area, i guess you will "perceive" a change, or it could "sound phasey" because you are accenting that area, even though not actually changing the phase relationship.

we on the same page?
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:26 pm

Are you using an analog eq and maybe not have delay compensation set right..?
Does you daw have delay compensation? What system/version are you using?
All systems induce a processing delay with hardware and with plugins but some compensate for it automatically.. If your system doesn't you would never notice it except in situations like this, where you are using a plugin or hardware on one of two mics that recorded the same signal.
When you put it on the bus you are inducing the same delay/processing latency on both mics.
Again, it depends on what system you are using.
Put the eq on the guitar and eq it, then put another instance of the same eq on the vocal mic, but with no boost or cut, just engaged, but doing nothing, does the phase issue go away?
It is hard to say exactly without hearing the individual tracks and the phase shift in question.
I typed this reply manually. Old school.



I tried both, analog and ITB EQs.

You may have a point about delay compensation. I use Logic, and its always been really good... but, I ... err... it would be a really long story, suffice to say, I have now upgraded to Mountain Lion, and done a clean instal of Logic, and I will try again to see if it was something weird going on with my old instal.

re phase - what Andy said + ...

Do you still have much vocals present in the guitar mic track? Perhaps try it in mono and adjust the delay on one track to see if the phasing reduces?


No, not much bleed, some, but not enough that I would have thought it would have been an issue.

will try all suggestions.

a great way to record a singer/ songwriter.. and agree with the above.
need to know if its in the box or analogue, or a combination.

if you are mixing on a console, with 2 channels up, and EQ one of those channels i cant see why you would get a phasing problem.

BUT

there is already likely some phasing things happening (simply because you recorded the same source with two mics, no matter how nulled in the blind spot one was) so say, for instance the bottom end might be cancelling (or boosting) to in some area, if you then EQ that area, i guess you will "perceive" a change, or it could "sound phasey" because you are accenting that area, even though not actually changing the phase relationship.

we on the same page?



Yep, page one 8)

I am ITB, but can run OTB EQ's and COMPS if I want.


I got the OK from the artist to post this here.

The project is going to be a 6 song Live in my studio thing, think live at Abbey Road.

I have a cheap digital camera, and a iPad 4 , and he had a DSLR and a iPhone 5 and we shot this using these 4 cameras. This was a test of lighting, camera angles, audio etc. So dont look at it as a finished product. I would have to ken burns and crop some stuff.

You can see the mic position, and hear the finished mix, using all ITB EQ and just buss compression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrh5EaADDDw&feature=youtu.be



my computer managed to eat this video, part of the reason I have been reinstalling stuff all day... so this is a you tube upload of a itunes movie.... so not as good quality as it could be.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby The Tasmanian » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:58 pm

The 2 mics must be out of phase, but really hard to pick it with no EQ.
Cant be anything else.
You could try a phase alignment box to save the takes - little labs > the hardware version.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:07 pm

The Tasmanian wrote:The 2 mics must be out of phase, but really hard to pick it with no EQ.
Cant be anything else.
You could try a phase alignment box to save the takes - little labs > the hardware version.

could you hear that in the video???
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby The Tasmanian » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:57 pm

No - I did not listen, but technically that can be the only reason if you don't have any weird plug in playback delay.

From my experience of this problem arising may times in the past - its just the weird way that out of phase presents itself sometimes, remember its a time difference at the end of the day.
EQ exposes the phase problems
And different frequencies behave differently.
No one can predict what will happen as there are probably millions of outcomes when we start to eq different frequencies.
Phase is not predictable sonically, with added complex harmonics involved on a guitar, and the voice can also resonate through the body of the guitar.
Irrespective of using figure 8 mic's.

That is the reason some engineers choose to only use 1 mic. for exactly this reason,

So in practice, if you want to record in this way using 2 ribbons in Fig 8, I would commit the EQ in the tracking stage, so that at least you know what is going to happen to the combined mic's, with EQ, and at the source move the mic to compensate phase issues.
Try to track it so there is no need for eq in the mix.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:31 pm

Thanks Chris
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby The Tasmanian » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:04 am

May I add, that the artists performance also comes into play and affects the phasing sound as well.

All you need is a singer that hits certain notes too loud, (or barky on some part of their range) and the voice then can start to appear out of phase in the guitar mic on certain vocal notes , as it gets almost louder in the guitar mic than the guitar itself, and the same can happen the other way around, loud strumming can have a weird artifact in the vocal mic if played loud during a quiet vocal part.
Also a loud vocal note can add the reflections off the walls, floor and ceiling playing into the phase problems through the 2 fig 8's.

It really must be approached differently for each performers dynamics/style.
Its not that hard to record it sounding right , but near impossible to add EQ later in a mix without something weird starting to happen to the sound, much too risky to leave the EQ to do later.

I get better results, and feel much more confident with phase, positioning 2 cardiod's, as long as the rejection of the capsules is fairly flat, and not too much reflections coming back into the mic.
But even with that set-up the performers dynamic's comes into play with phase....

Its one of the hardest recording gigs to consistently get right.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:20 am

I am glad you wrote that last reply, it tied in to so many things I was thinking about with this particular job. I have done this kind of thing before, and as with you, I have always used cardioid. I thought I would try something different as I had just gotten the two ribbons.


Again, thanks mate.
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Re: Fig 8s.... Is this a phase I am going through?

Postby Wiz » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:37 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-fAvABEV9s&feature=em-upload_owner


Some might be interested, will leave the link active for a few hours.. then pull it.

This is the finished result, it sounds pretty damn good I reckon, and the video came out well.

There are six songs in total.. and we will shoot B roll (there I leaned that term this week, now I sound all professional and stuff ) and some interviews to go between songs... kinda like Live at Abbey road...

I might end up doing something like this, as an income generator whilst my shoulder heals, you know fixed price, come in do half a dozen songs, I track it, mix , edit it... dunno yet, its a thought though.

Unbelievable what you can do with domestic shit like iPad, iPhone, cameras and a 200 buck copy of video editing software all done on a off the shelf iMac.. ....
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