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Be Careful With Phase (INFO SONG)



 Genre: Piano

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Here's an example of the dangers of not checking your Left-Right compatibility before bouncing. Many times when putting music to video, things can get exported to mono or end up played mono when on a tablet or smartphone. It's important to remember that things may not sound as full-range and clear in mono as they do in stereo!

What makes something "stereo" is the existence of audible differences between the left and the right channels. When you're recording, it's important to make sure that you don't have TOO MUCH difference between the left and the right. I'm giving an example here of a piano from Kontakt - I haven't even recorded this myself, but the same principle applies.

1: As is, untreated. Hear how it sounds lush, full and clear with a wide stereo space.
2: Mono. This is exactly the same as the first round, but it's being summed to mono. Hear how certain frequencies are lost and it sounds "boxy and small".
3: Mono, with Phase Flip/Invert. While this is still mono, I've flipped the phase of one of the channels. There's a little more clarity here, so I know that this is the one to go with.
4: Stereo, with Phase Flip. We're back in stereo now, but I've left the phase flipped on one of the channels (in this instance, the right one, but it doesn't matter which one you flip). Compare this to the original - it sounds much more natural, so I'm going to leave the track in this state, because while it might not sound as wide and dreamy as the first one, it's going to sound a lot better across-the-board when going between different systems, and be a lot safer if you're going to be working with videos, additional exporting/converting etc.
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Uploaded: Oct 01, 2014 - 06:55:18 PM
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2017 - 05:19:34 PM Last Played: Feb 06, 2018 - 03:15:11 AM
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Parichayaka said 1240 days ago (October 3rd, 2014)
That's very interesting
Thanks for this insight. So would you recommend to add a gain and check 'phase invert' to avoid possible conversion issues for video soundtracks? Lose some but don't risk everything?

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XMaramena said 1240 days ago (October 4th, 2014)
I would recommend that for anything - video soundtracks, game soundtracks (especially game soundtracks, more than anything!) but even a good old stereo song for iTunes - phase correlation is very very important. Another reason it helps to have more than one pair of monitors when you're mixing - even if you don't use a goniometer or try flipping or anything, you can hear differences in frequency addition and cancellation when going between different systems.
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DWL said 1237 days ago (October 6th, 2014)
As Mr P said, a real insight and very well explained.

Very nice piano work as well.


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MarkHolbrook said 1228 days ago (October 15th, 2014)
I hear what you mean
I am wondering if you used a gate, compressor or limiter on this because after some of the piano notes I hear a definite "whooish" type sound.

I went and listened to some of my raw piano work and I don't hear the same thing. It could be in the samples or some effect.

As far as the phase goes I hear it and I agree. I am no where near as technical about this as you but I do try to play various parts and pieces across different systems and a few times I have played with phase because something didn't sound right.
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XMaramena said 1226 days ago (October 17th, 2014)
there's no compression or any treatment
Are you perhaps hearing the pedal sounds as the dampers lift off the strings?
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paul f. page said 1151 days ago (January 1st, 2015)
Blah, blah, blah...
...I just listen to the music...and I find this quiet piano track very pleasant and serene. Is this an acoustic piano? If so, I think you've recorded it rather well indeed, just as it is. If it's a digital piano, what is it? The general sound is gorgeous. (And the piece is too short!) IM me regarding the piano... I love this sound.
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XMaramena said 57 days ago (December 29th, 2017)
sorry I didn't reply sooner, I haven't checked back in!
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