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Author Topic: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?  (Read 2603 times)

Mark Humphrey

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I hate to wear this out if it's been discussed alot.
I did a search, but didn't find quite what I needed. I need more opinions please.

To Me,  inverting  phase on a bottom head drum mic in a live situation is a good thing.  I do it when I double mic drums and guitar amps where there is a rear mic. (VERY rare.)

Concerning vocal mics however, I've never wanted to do this despite heavy oposition at times from 'Believers' who think it should be an automatic given that this be performed on at least one mic in the group.

I've never heard/had any troubles that would make me consider inverting.  

It's recently been brought up to me that the A&H manuals state that this is a recommended thing, so I'm after answers at this point.

Thanks in advance for any help and discussion given.

Mark H.
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Carey Davies

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 06:53:40 am »

humphreyaudio wrote on Tue, 10 May 2005 11:33

To Me,  inverting  phase on a bottom head drum mic in a live situation is a good thing.  I do it when I double mic drums and guitar amps where there is a rear mic. (VERY rare.) Concerning vocal mics however, I've never wanted to do this despite heavy oposition at times from 'Believers' who think it should be an automatic given that this be performed on at least one mic in the group. It's recently been brought up to me that the A&H manuals state that this is a recommended thing, so I'm after answers at this point.



Hi Mark.
I'm not too sure what it is that you have had recommended to you. As author of most of the A&H manuals I can say that, to my knowledge, the description for the polarity (was phase  Smile) switch does not include any reference that inverting polarity of the vocal mics is recommended. One situation, however, is in a musical production where two actors wearing radio mics face each other resulting in a comb filtering effect caused by both mics picking up both actors from different positions. Here, it sometimes helps to invert polarity of one mic, but to be honest it is a bit hit and miss, and mixing radios is hectic enough without having to ride the polarity switches too.

The polarity switch is another 'tool' to try when you face problems with mic interaction on stage, or you suspect a reversed cable or connection somewhere. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it does not. It is always best to start with polarity switches deselected, except for those predictable dual mic situations such as snare and reverse guitar amp you described.

A lot has already been discussed here on this subject, the usual look through the archives may reveal more. If you do want further clarification about the use of any console switch or anything written in an A&H manual please let me know. A specific model or reference would help.
All the best,
Carey (A&H design)
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Tom Reid

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005, 07:08:45 am »

humphreyaudio wrote on Tue, 10 May 2005 05:33

I hate to wear this out if it's been discussed alot.
I did a search, but didn't find quite what I needed. I need more opinions please.

To Me,  inverting  phase on a bottom head drum mic in a live situation is a good thing.  I do it when I double mic drums and guitar amps where there is a rear mic. (VERY rare.)

Concerning vocal mics however, I've never wanted to do this despite heavy oposition at times from 'Believers' who think it should be an automatic given that this be performed on at least one mic in the group.

I've never heard/had any troubles that would make me consider inverting.  

It's recently been brought up to me that the A&H manuals state that this is a recommended thing, so I'm after answers at this point.

Thanks in advance for any help and discussion given.

Mark H.



Hey Mark.

Have you got phase or polarity issues "down the road" that effect the overall?  Like tops wired reverse polarity?

What are you trying to achieve with flipping the polarity of a vocal mic?  If the answer is "to eliminate comb filtering from two close miced vocalist" like in Cary's post, then yup, go for it.  

If you're trying to get something out of nothing, no manual or book on the black arts of audio is going to help.  Tim will probably chime in with "it's in the acoustics ...silly" comment.

If you've got that singer that just can't can't through the mud, it needs to be fixed at the physical layer, not the electronic.



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Mark Humphrey

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 04:36:20 pm »


Hey Mark.

Have you got phase or polarity issues "down the road" that effect the overall?  Like tops wired reverse polarity?


What are you trying to achieve with flipping the polarity of a vocal mic?  If the answer is "to eliminate comb filtering from two close miced vocalist" like in Cary's post, then yup, go for it.  

If you're trying to get something out of nothing, no manual or book on the black arts of audio is going to help.  Tim will probably chime in with "it's in the acoustics ...silly" comment.

If you've got that singer that just can't can't through the mud, it needs to be fixed at the physical layer, not the electronic.


Thanks,

Basically, I don't have any issues like that, and I never flip polarity on vocal mics at all.

There are those that believe certain functions are a 'Must do' in live audio, and they'll spread that junk around like a bad cold.  When you don't agree, It can be an issue.

I've long known about the myth of flipping polarity as being a 'Must do' thing in live sound.

Thing is, I was given obviously wrong info concerning the A&H  Manual suggesting this, and it prompted me to get on here and ask.

That's about the long and short of my query.

I well know how to deal with cleaning up vocals, and am an advocate of the 'There is no Magic button' reality.
I'm the moderator of another group, and this subject came up, so I needed a reality/sanity checkup.

Thanks for your comment and support,

MH
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Andy Peters

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 04:42:39 pm »

humphreyaudio wrote on Tue, 10 May 2005 03:33

Concerning vocal mics however, I've never wanted to do this despite heavy oposition at times from 'Believers' who think it should be an automatic given that this be performed on at least one mic in the group.


I'm a believer in splitting vocal mics into FOH and monitor channels when not using a dedicated monitor console, and recently I've been flipping the polarity on the monitor channels.  I think I'm getting an improvement in GBF, but previously I wasn't having many monitor feedback issues.  Of course, the mains are delayed which probably helps too.

-a
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Mark Humphrey

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005, 04:43:51 pm »

 
Hi Mark.
I'm not too sure what it is that you have had recommended to you. As author of most of the A&H manuals I can say that, to my knowledge, the description for the polarity (was phase  Smile) switch does not include any reference that inverting polarity of the vocal mics is recommended. One situation, however, is in a musical production where two actors wearing radio mics face each other resulting in a comb filtering effect caused by both mics picking up both actors from different positions. Here, it sometimes helps to invert polarity of one mic, but to be honest it is a bit hit and miss, and mixing radios is hectic enough without having to ride the polarity switches too.

The polarity switch is another 'tool' to try when you face problems with mic interaction on stage, or you suspect a reversed cable or connection somewhere. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it does not. It is always best to start with polarity switches deselected, except for those predictable dual mic situations such as snare and reverse guitar amp you described.

A lot has already been discussed here on this subject, the usual look through the archives may reveal more. If you do want further clarification about the use of any console switch or anything written in an A&H manual please let me know. A specific model or reference would help.
All the best,
Carey (A&H design)
[/quote]


Thank very much Cary,

I was obviously given wrong info concerning A&H manual's referances to this subject.

That's what prompted me to ask here though.

Back to buis as usual for me, and thanks for jumping in here.

MH
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Tom Reid

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2005, 06:11:24 pm »

Andy Peters wrote on Tue, 10 May 2005 15:42

humphreyaudio wrote on Tue, 10 May 2005 03:33

Concerning vocal mics however, I've never wanted to do this despite heavy oposition at times from 'Believers' who think it should be an automatic given that this be performed on at least one mic in the group.


I'm a believer in splitting vocal mics into FOH and monitor channels when not using a dedicated monitor console, and recently I've been flipping the polarity on the monitor channels.  I think I'm getting an improvement in GBF, but previously I wasn't having many monitor feedback issues.  Of course, the mains are delayed which probably helps too.

-a

There's volumes of tips in that statement ...
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Norbert Ruf

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Re: Switching phase on stage vocal mics and A&H Recommendation?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 09:29:56 pm »

I had only one issue where the Phase / Polarity switch did help: despite careful EQing and all, I still had a little ring and got rid of it when I punched the Phase switch.  Smile

Norbert
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