In-depth look at phase alignment for bass and guitar tracks using multiple mics and improve focus and clarity
This is going to be part 2 of my series looking at phase in the mix prep stage of mixing. If, like me, you like to use multiple mics on your bass and guitar cabinets, you better be prepared to roll your sleeves up and get down and dirty with you phase relationships.
Now, just to be clear, there is no right or wrong here. You want to use the different phase relationships between the mic to sculpt the tone that is appropriate for your mix. Perhaps a thin, nasal sound is exactly what you're looking for for a particular part or a thick, heavy chugging rhythm guitar is what you need - These can both be achieved using the same mics but with a different phase relationship.
I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty technical details about phase as there are already many great articles written on the subject (here is one for example - https://www.uaudio.com/blog/un...) but just know this - multiple microphones on the same source, like a guitar amplifier interact with each other when summed together within your DAW or console, causing tonal shifts which can be desirable or undesirable.
Typically, you can want to capture a full, rich sound from your amplifier (unless you're going for a special effect) so the idea is capture the sound with the mics as "in-phase" as possible. This ensures the least amount of tonal cancellation as possible. You should spend as much time as need during the recording process adjusting your mic placement to achieve this but its impossible to get it perfect but don't fret, there are some tools out there which can help even after the tones have been recorded.
We welcome again, our friend, AutoAlign by SoundRadix. I am constantly amazed by the difference this can make to guitar tones which sounds "ok" but with some phase alignment all of a sudden become so much fuller and literally jump out of the speaker. The difference is NOT SUBTLE at all. Same can be said for bass. I demonstrate both in the video below so be sure to check it out.
The process is quite simple. For bass, assuming you've captured a DI, set SEND 1 on the DI and RECV 1 on all the other mics, solo the tracks, hit play and click detect and prepare to be amazed.
Same for guitars but don't use the DI, instead pick one of the guitar mics as SEND 1 and the rest as RECV 1
You can check out how i do this below
If you're serious about learning more about mixing then head on over to my Facebook group and request an invite - https://www.facebook.com/groups/760641984759343
Mixing and mastering done at - https://blackartaudio.net