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In The Studio: Five Steps To Checking Your Drum Phase When Mixing

You'd be surprised how many times that flipping the phase on one or two drum mic channels results in a better, fuller sounding kit...

By Bobby Owsinski August 12, 2014

This article is provided by Bobby Owsinski.

 
One of the most important yet overlooked parts of a drum mix is checking the phase of the drums. This is because not only will an out-of-phase channel suck the low end out of the mix, but it will get more difficult to fix as the mix progresses.

I covered how to check the polarity of the drum mics a few weeks ago (here), but here’s an excerpt from my Audio Recording Basic Training book that covers a way to check the phase when you’re setting up for a mix as well.

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A drum microphone can be out of phase due to a mis-wired cable or poor mic placement. Either way, it’s best to fix it now before the mix goes any further.

1) With all the drums in the mix, go to the kick drum channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

2) Go to the snare drum channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

3) Go to each tom mic channel and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

4) Go to each cymbal mic or overhead mic and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

5) Go to each room mic channels and change the selection of the polarity or phase control. Is there more low end or less? Chose the selection with the most bottom end.

You’d be surprised how many times that flipping the phase on one or two of the drum mic channels results in a better, fuller sounding kit, even on one that’s well-recorded.

Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information be sure to check out his website and blog. And go here for more info and to acquire a copy of Audio Recording Basic Training.


About Bobby

Bobby Owsinski
Bobby Owsinski

Music Industry Veteran and Technical Consultant
Bobby Owsinski is an author, producer, music industry veteran and technical consultant who has written numerous books covering all aspects of audio recording. For more information and to acquire a copy of The Recording Engineer’s Handbook be sure to check out his website.

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