What Is Phase Cancellation, and How To Avoid It

Phase cancellation is can ruin a perfect take in the studio, but what is phase cancellation exactly?  We are here to help by explaining this for you and ways that you can avoid it.  That way next time you get that perfect take in the studio, you won't be beyond frustrated when you listen back to a terrible recording.

What Is Phase Cancellation?


Phase cancellation is what happens when two different signals of the same frequency are picking up opposite frequency patterns of the wave.  IWhat Is Phase Cancellation Explained made this example of the wave pattern with my awesome drawing skills (Clearly, I am kidding).  As you can see, the wave goes in the polar opposite direction.  This can absolutely destroy a recording, and can happen easier than you think.  Now let's take a look at some example of phase cancellation and how they can be avoided.

How To Avoid Phase Cancellation


When two microphones are pointed at each other, they can cause phase cancellation.  When I was first building my microphone collection andWhat Is Phase Cancellation recorded drums, I put a bunch of microphones all over the place, room mics and all.  Due to the amount of mics I used, phase cancellation was bound to happen.  Drum set recordings are the easiest instrument to have this happen.  To avoid this, simply be sure that no microphones are pointed at each other.

Another example is when recording electric guitar.  Some guitar amps will have more than one speaker.  Those speakers may have opposite frequencies, so if you are wanting to mic two different speakers, be cautious of this.  If you do mic two different speakers, definitely test the sound out first to be sure that there is no cancellation in the recording.


If you still find yourself asking, "What is phase cancellation?" or have any questions about recording at all, we are always there to help!  You can contact us through our contact us page, and we will respond as soon as we can!

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