Life In Between Phase: Understanding and Manipulating Microphone Relationships With Visualisation Tools

Daniel Pratt, Andrew Bourbon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper examines the phase interaction of multi-microphone recording and mixing. Its intent is to develop an in depth understanding of relationships 'in between phase' in order to produce better recorded text. For any student studying recording and mixing, phase is a subject that is often discussed. It is used in technical descriptions relating to the acoustic and electronic summation of multiple sources and is explained in practical recording workshops. One of the conceptual challenges that students face is hearing phase variance and implementing the appropriate action to remedy what they hear. For educators, explaining phase becomes problematic when that variance represents a shift that cannot be solved via a simple polarity reversal. We explore the use of metering and phase manipulation in the recording and mixing of audio. On the recording side, we investigate through the creation of a drum recording documentary. The documentary examines the capture of phase interaction information, the analysis, and correction of resulting issues. The data analysis of the phase relationships will inform both analog processing choices and the physical movement of microphones. We demonstrate real time phase interaction measurement using the innovative metering in the Sound Radix Auto Align plugin. This information helps us to demystify phase interaction and enables us to develop new methods for microphone placement.
We then manipulate the complex phase relationships in a Big Band recording featuring thirty two microphones across twenty sources using a range of mono and stereo techniques. We use metering and analysis techniques to inform our alignment and manipulation of this pre recorded work. In both of these case studies the sonic impact of the phase analysis and manipulation will be presented. The data will be used as a pedagogical tool for the demystification of phase in the teaching environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th Art of Record Production Conference
EditorsJan-Olof Gullö
Place of PublicationStockholm
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event12th Art of Record Production Conference: Mono: Stereo: Multi - Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 1 Dec 20173 Dec 2017
Conference number: 12 (Link to Conference Details )


Conference12th Art of Record Production Conference
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Life In Between Phase: Understanding and Manipulating Microphone Relationships With Visualisation Tools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this