Mic Placement, phase problems?


I have started my own studio, but I am a bit of a beginner. I am recording drums and guitar for a band now. For the the guitar I am using 2 mics, one sm57 almost touching the cabinet and 1 condenser mic 3-4 feets away. I am panning them all to the left and right respectively. I have the same setup for a second guitar. The problem is that it doesn't sound that great in the mix, it's a wall of guitars but not in a pleasing way, sounds very messy. Could it be phase problems? The waveforms from the 2 guitars are of course not aligned because of the difference in distance. Should I move the away mic track forward to make the waveforms aligned? For the drums I have room and overhead mics in addition to the close miced kick, snare etc. Should I move the distant mic track forward there as well? I am wondering what current practise is.



Ken Demofonte

New Member
Try this out, it's a favorite technique of mine that will give you the "wall of guitars" that you want. Keep recording the way you are, 1 dynamic pretty close to the grille and 1 condenser a moderate distance back. Record all guitar tracks like this. If you only have one rhythm guitar track duplicate both its corresponding tracks. Zoom in nice and tight and align the waveforms on all 4 tracks that you should have now. Take one pair left and the other right, ensuring that they are not panned identically. Now feel free to even duplicate a couple more and spread them around the audio spectrum a little more. If you decide to go that route try putting a really subtle delay on the new duplicates (Tr. 5-6, etc). Hope this helps, it typically gives me amazing results.

Alan Branch

Logic Samurai
A tricky one Per, you can't really hard pan the same source sound hard left & right because of phasing problems, comb filtering will give a horrid hollow sound, and cancelation when in mono will give loads of volume problems. Normally you combine these sounds and track it, or use an ADT (small delay) to create a stereo image.
EQ and volume can ease the phase problems, you can also try Logic's sample delay to shift the phase, I just got UA's Little IBP phase alignment tool and thats fantastic for this kind of problem, (http://www.uaudio.com/products/software/ibp/index.html) but I think in your case it won't eliminate it as it's still the same source sound your trying to pan. Normally a bit of trial when recording and positioning those mic's to begin with can also help:)

Matt Robinson

New Member
If you think you are getting phase cancellation you can always try shifting the ambient mic track to notch the waveform out of phase slightly. Somewhere between 30 and 45ms should do the trick without being perceived as a delay.

In addition, instead of hard panning which will make the mix quite muddy, try using the Haas effect. Its a little bit complex to explain and im sure the web has some simpler explanations than mine. ;)