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Joe's Bar
(25-05-2023, 12:57 AM)mikej Wrote:
(24-05-2023, 11:08 PM)SonicTramp Wrote: I see your argument. Here's mine. I didn't argue on the artistic side of mixing for a very simple reason: no standard to go by. It is whatever you call it, aka very subjective. That I agree. However, science is diff. We do have a standard that all must adhere to. The 'science' side is not a standard to be adhered to as such, it is more a way of explaining why things are the way they are, if I can put it like that.

(*distinction w/o difference. I am o.k. with it)

Ok, so I pick 2, bc I liked it more, personal preference, but it could also be bc I couldnt hear any phase issues.  (How would you tell if there were any phase issues - you would perhaps try inverting the phase of one of the tracks, or maybe zooming in to have a look at the waveforms, etc). .

(*Though flipping the polarity is mostly luck, I wouldn't completely rule it out, the same with zooming in. We should take advantage of technology. But even without them one can still tell if they are out of phase using logic and science. Take the basses, for example, bc they use different means to get to the DAW, so they must be out of phase. That's for sure. However, how much out of phase is a diff story. And even that we still have some hope. One can calculate how much if one knows the lengths of the cable being used. Time=distance/velocity. We know the speed of sound.)

Cool, but I was still wrong if they were out of phase; my choice didn't make it in phase. Well, your artistic choice was the one channel 'out of phase' option. It could be argued that you are wrong scientifically speaking, but not wrong artistically speaking if you like the sound.

(*I'll take that. But...the argument is: no matter the choice, phase remains, and correcting phase is the name of the game, not what sounds good)

Eventually, I will have to pay the penalty for not getting them in phase The only 'penalty' as such is if you don't like the resulting sound bc if I don't then why do we even talk about phase it's so we can describe the relationship between the two waveforms and the resulting sound; it'll become a non-topic. Besides, what you gave me was just the drums, but we know that phase happens when sounds interact.

We know that the resulting sound can change when the two waveforms are summed together due to differences in phase.

(* That is the definition of interact, isn't it? Let me elaborate. If you solo the kick, no matter which, in or out, by itself and flip the polarity and even move it around, nothing will happen. You will still hear a kick with no change in quality. If you moved it, the same happens just in a diff place. However, if you bring the other one in, you will hear the diff, if out of phase. That is the interaction bet the both.

If you now bring in the bass. It shares some of the frequencies contain in both of the kicks, especially from the lo mid down. And since we don't know the exact lengths of cables used we are not absolutely sure if they are in phase. However, conventional wisdom calls for an assumption that the cables they used are in diff lengths. And so phase must happen (bc phase is a function of time, and time alone). And since we are missing some vital info (no cable lengths), I resort to line the bass to the kick and...pray.)

**Anywayz, that's enough for today on writing for me. We still have this awesome song to mix. I came back and did another redo, while we were conversing. Started with, you guessed it, phase. I lined all of them up as much as I could. Here is what I did:

1. Line the kickout to kick in. Bc kickin gets there first.
2. Lined the kicks to the bass. Bc it makes sense
3. Lined all of them to the OH. Bc sometimes we just have to bend the rules, just bend it, not breaking it
4. Lined the snares up to each other and then to the OH
5. Flipped the polarity of the Organ ®
6. Lined up the AC guitars. They look suspiciously identical, so...

EQ first in the chain, just HP and LP, small cuts in kick/bass. Compressor next, just to control the peaks, GR barely hits 1/3 of a dB. No parallel, no FX, no unmasking. Just a bare bone mix.

I notice a significant improvement in sounds quality (relatively with my last mix). Snare is much beefier, kick beater cuts thru, the same with organ, guitars are more separated in the stereo field, less metallic hi from the hats, I hear the strings buzz on the AC guitars clearer (which I completely missed), etc...And best of all: no phase issues. There is no way any of you can say that my mix has phase issues. Science is my shield and logic is my sword. But, of course, I am always ready to jump ship. No need to hang around with a shield/sword when one is on the losing side, right? You know that.

Thanks to all for participate in the discussion. I know I learn so much more about phase and most of my questions have been answered. If I am a better mix now than I was a few days ago mostly bc of you, and for that I am grateful. I hope we all will be cool enough to let go of the unfortunate and unavoidable frictions in any debate, if there was any. It's all in the name of education, right?

Well, now you can blast my mix, not much of a mix right now, but it's damn good to start...right?

.mp3    Phase-Joesbar.mp3 --  (Download: 10.82 MB)

I feel these two articles cover everything we've been discussing here relating to the mix:

Phase Demystifed
Mix Rescue: Phase Relationships
Yep, those articles solidified my understanding of phase. Thanks, man. You have been very kind on feeding me with all these info. I read pretty much the same thing but from diff people and diff publication, more technical and harder to understand. The one you sent is much more digestible.

I notice that it's much easier to hear my EQ moves after all the phase moves I made. Also, not a lot of moves and cuts are not as deep. Much easier to hear compression, especially the release. I still struggle to find the sweet spots but it helps to hear when it doesn't work.

If EQ moves create phase then what can we do to minimize it? I don't have a linear EQ and not that it'll come with no penalty, the ringing I never heard before (wish I have a sample of it) but trust that the pros know what they're talking about. Here is what I think we can do to avoid creating phase when using EQ. Unless we avoid using it at all, there's no way around it.

Here is what we know, with blessing by the pros.
We know that HP help minimize phase. We know that low end phase issues is always more audible/noticeable than hi end's. It makes sense bc a destructive/constructive in the 100Hz will drastically reduce/amplify the low mid and will be audible. However, the same in, say, 5kHz will hardly be noticeable. So (1) refrain to boost (if possible cut instead) from the lo mid down. That should help minimize phase. Cut the hi and raise the gain achieve the same as boosting the low. (2) use the least amount of plugin. For example, if I can get away with "strip silence" then I will do that instead of using a gate. No chance for phase to show. Your thoughts? (I am mixing this song following that line of thinking).
This mix is actually one of the extremely rare occasions I used either a minimum phase, or linear phase eq. I can't recall which one I used now, I'll have to check.

I didn't like that single overhead mic. I wanted to see if I could get the snare from the OH in the middle of the mix and the hat / cymbal from the OH on the right. I duplicated the OH track and used eq (it was either minimum or linear phase I settled on) to separate out the snare on one channel, and the cymbal/hi hat on the other so I could pan it to the right. I didn't think too much about it - I just picked what sounded the best to me.

My thoughts are that phase issues are only a problem if they can be heard in the mix. With experience you learn to tell if something you are hearing might be down to a phase issue - ie if perhaps the kick, bass or snare perhaps sounds a bit odd, or not as 'solid' as you might be expecting. You might zoom in and look at the waveforms of the kick, snare and bass tracks as a matter of course as you mix.

I find I don't generally worry or think about phase issues with regard to eq at all when mixing.

Personally I mainly use a quite basic digital eq type as I prefer the sound of it. I might consider trying a minimum phase, or a linear phase eq in situations where I feel there might be the potential for phase problems to occur (or if I can hear an issue), to see if prefer the sound of one over the other, but those situations are pretty rare.

I liken understanding of phase is like trying to understand earthquake. We didn't invent the seismic meter to battle mother nature. We did so we could get away from her anger (avoidance tactic). We also developed a way to build our buildings so that it doesn't hurt us as much. Sometimes we try to understand things only so that we can avoid it or at least not suffer as much.
The reason I worry about phase more than some of you is bc I notice in this business there is no such thing as fake it till you make it. Mixing demands real skills and knowledge. More so than, say, songwriting or guitar playing. There are only 7 chords in a key and when we hit the wrong chord we can always remember not to play it anymore. Phase, on the other hand, has an infinite ways of becoming. So it's better to reign it in way before it shows up. From the beginning, not while we're mixing. I am still on that leg. I want to sand this baby smooth and clean way before I start to turn to the paint can. Sanding, in itself, has many sub steps and solid knowledge of...sand paper grits. Painting, to me, is an easier task tho itself demands a different type of skill. The EQ, the compressor, the gate, the FX, etc, all can wait and have no choice until I am done with getting things in phase. But don't be bothered by it, my questions now are mostly residual. I understand phase a lot more than, let's just say yesterday. I have enough to go on by myself. I actually want to discover it myself but resorted to asking bc time, in the grand scheme of things, is no longer an option. The quicker I get there the better.
It's just something I want to share with you but will hesitate to debate on it. Just an opinion.

.mp3    Phase-Joesbar_1.mp3 --  (Download: 10.82 MB)