Good morning Mark.
I really do appreciate your input and your discussing this topic with me. That needed to be said. Thank you.
Alright, no one caught my mistake, so I'm gonna say it was a test....yeah a test it was! See if you were paying attention!
I had it backwards. Dynamic would be ahead, so the dynamic might be the one to pull back. In theory.
(Corrected in previous post)
Well. Let's say it was a test!!! LOL!!! Truth be told: I don't question what you post (such faith being based on previous and other interactions on the forums) so for this reason I wasn't about to go trolling the Internet to find the different ways in which different mics. respond. Point is: I would never have picked it up no matter how many times I read your post!!! LOL!!! But thanks for correcting and pointing it out. And let's be honest (you touched on this later on in your post): even although the theory may differ from the practice I really do believe that it's best to try and understand both. At least if you know the theory and something doesn't sound right: you know where to start looking.
At first blush the simple conclusion is that one would calculate the offset and adjust the distance. 1/4 wavelength. That simple right?
I'm not entirely sure this would work although I did at one point consider buying faTimeAlign (https://www.forward-audio.de/fatimealign/
) but I wasn't prepared to pay the full price given that it was being sold at a greatly reduced price upon release (I even emailed them about it and they said "sorry") AND, so far as I can tell, I've probably got at least two other plugins that do exactly the same thing albeit, possibly, not as elegantly. I digress. The reason I say that I'm not entirely sure that it would work is because I noticed this with the phase correlation metering. You cannot base any distance calculations or distance measurements on the physical construction or design of a microphone. From my tests: the (internal) distance between the actual mic. capsule and the grille of the mic. differs between mics. So if one were to begin doing any measurements of this type one would have to be aware of, and compensate for, this difference from the outset. In other words: one could not simply assume that your starting point would be to have any two mics. (different types or manufacturers) placed side-by-side with their grilles perfectly lined up (and then expect them to be in phase or have a high degree of phase correlation). As an example: if the grilles of the Samson and SM57 are lined up perfectly in the front: the phase correlation drops off quite substantially. In this case (my case and my initial setup): the Samson had to be moved about 3/4 of an inch back / behind the front of the SM57. Just by the way: I WILL admit that it was the faTimeAlign video (watched it some time ago) that gave me the idea of using the phase correlation meter in Voxengo's SPAN Plus (so on this score: thanks to them and that Daniel chap).
I'm including a screenshot of Voxengo's SPAN Plus below for the sake of reference (as I'll reference it in the balance of this post):
Now to continue.
I'm pretty sure that some will read this thread and be thinking to themselves that I'm simply making conversation and being pedantic and "full of it" with this phase saga (especially given the rather tiny adjustments and measurements being discussed and done to arrive at this point). Please believe me when I say it's not me being pedantic or even OCD about it (although the latter is a possibility!!! LOL!!!) I can tell you that even the slightest adjustment makes a big difference BECAUSE if you start out with a low phase correlation then for some reason or the other it seems to get exponentially worse as you add more mics. (or let's call them "recording paths"). So for example if you have a pair of mics. with a low phase correlation to begin with and then hook up another pair with the same low phase correlation: by the time you add all these tracks to Mixcraft and pan them the phase correlation between the left and right channels gets worse almost as if the lower phase correlation gets "summed".
But no, music ain't a sine wave, and the correlation adjustment would only directly effect a specific fundamental frequency and its multiples.
...there is no such thing as "perfectly in phase"...
You are quite right here as I've noticed with my tests. Even although on the above meter and with putting white noise through the amps. I've been able to achieve phase correlation of around 0.95 to 0.98 between a pair of mics.: when you're actually playing or recording for real then the phase correlation jumps around i.e. it may move in the range of, for example, 0.70 to 0.95 (although this only by sight i.e. I've not actually captured the actual figures). But (and here's the important thing): if you START OUT with a low phase correlation this range of movement (0.70 to 0.95) gets wider (worse) to the point where if it's REALLY out it to begin with it can even go momentarily negative (which, by the way, is the exact point in a recording where you can hear that mono, phasey, flangy, "somebody closed your one ear" type sound). So you are quite correct (as usual and once again): there is no such thing as "perfectly in phase" (at least not with mics.) BUT getting it as close to "perfect" as is humanly (technically) possible to begin with makes a big difference as you move down the recording chain.
And most people don't know the difference between phase and time displacement.
Again an interesting point. I'm figuring that this is why a simple delaying of one of the channels (not an effect i.e. simply delaying or offsetting one channel by a fixed amount) creates a pseudo or perceived stereo effect??? In other words: the "base" signals are in phase but simply because the timing of one of the channels is shifted you have an in phase (original) signal but the delay (time displaced???) channel gives the illusion of stereo??? Not sure if I'm right but I'm sure you'll clarify. I have to say that this method does provide a semi-decent stereo widening (with plugins of course) BUT there's also a very narrow sweet spot and unless you find it: at some point those two signals intersect and you get that mono, phasey, flangy sound at that very point.
And no, aligning a transient peak does not put you "in phase"
This I understand (I think). Put another way (and as much as I hate to say it): is it not the fact that these transient peaks may be OUT of phase (as long as the rest of the track is not) that actually creates a stereo perception??? If I do understand this correctly then is this not the reason why some of Melda's plugins actually do work (pretty well I guess) to create stereo i.e. they keep the "base" tracks in phase but offset only certain frequencies (transient peaks) and this creates a "not so mushy" (as with other plugins) stereo field???
You have identical amps with identical amp settings and identical mic configurations. No plug-ins or processing? Where is this center/side field you describe originating from in your opinion?
(I have some theories, just curious as to yours first!)
Hmmmnnn... My theory is that there are subtle differences between the amps., the mics., everything in the recording chain. Could be subtle differences in the speakers themselves, the cables, the amp. switcher (which splits the guitar signal i.e. it's a fancy one not merely a little cable splitter and I know for a fact that the signals go through two different circuits in the splitter). And as much as I hate to mention PHASE again: another contributing factor could be that it's impossible to phase align BOTH amps. with two pairs of mics. 100% equal in correlation. That would be my take on things. You theory / idea???
Worth noting (of course) is that the stereo field with IDENTICAL settings on the amps. isn't a very WIDE stereo field. It may be nicely "saturated" (not sure if that's the right word to be using) and "rich" but it's not one of these "sloppily" wide stereo fields (that I get with plugins regardless of their settings!!!). It must also be said that when I refer to "no plug-ins or processing" I'm noting this as it pertains to WITHIN Mixcraft. In other words the amps. themselves have built in effects and you're able to choose between different cabinet emulations and so on and so forth. And I have indeed experimented with this too i.e. my "standard" sound (that I like) has reverb and delay set on the amps. So I experimented with shortening the delay and reverb time on one amp. and used a different cab. emulation. This does widen the stereo field but I would have to say only slightly i.e. it's still a "rich" but not "sloppy wet" stereo field with the a "prescent" middle (dunno if "prescent" is even a word but I'm sure you get what I mean). What's more: even with these different settings the phase correlation remains very high between the two amps. I'm absolutely convinced that it's this phase correlation that makes ALL the difference here (more than anything else anyway).
And one last thing I'd like to mention here: this DOES make a difference and for those of you who may be asking "well: is somebody actually really going to hear this"??? I believe the answer is a big YES. And here's why. Some time ago I happened to be looking at some band details (local bands) on that ReverbNation site (was actually surprised to actually FIND South African bands on there). I found a link to a video from one particular band (I forget now which one) and watched it. I was watching on an iPad at the time and lo and behold: the MOMENT that video started playing I got that mono, phasey, flangy sound and I found myself wondering "who in their right mind would allow THIS to go out to the public). Point is: even although the band themselves were really good I can tell you that because of this their sound was less than pleasing to the ear (and it becomes more evident if you've listened to something else just before that and listen to something else just after that that did NOT have phase issues). I did, in fact, give the video another chance and watched it on my PC with the sound coming through the monitors and I'm figuring that this is where their "recording engineer" made his mistake!!! Out of the monitors it seemed fine DEPENDING ON WHERE YOUR HEAD WAS PLACED BETWEEN THE MONITORS!!! In other words: sitting slightly off center in the stereo field things seemed fine but move from left to right and you hit that "aweful spot" which just killed it (and there is an even bigger problem in that once your ears hear this they seem to battle to adjust back to NOT hearing it) (well: my ears anyway) (and if I'm right there's probably a technical or biological explanation for this). And the reason why it was so obvious on the iPad was simply because (in my opinion) the iPad's speakers are right next to each other so this made the situation worse.
I suppose and at the end of the day the most important thing for me was to capture what (I believe anyway) my amps. sound like exactly live (whether it be the amps. on their own or micd. up through the PA). I still do indeed have one little problem that I've discovered (now that the phase issues are sorted): I've noticed that in order to get a "biting" sound on the recording I've had to turn the prescence up on the amp. settings. Not by much but enough to make the live sound rather "harsh" to the ear (at least in an enclosed space). But I will continue to experiment with this i.e. if there's any way for me to get away with NOT having to EQ the recorded sound in Mixcraft well, then, that would be first prize. But maybe this is as good as it gets and there's a reason why people like Mr. Scheps (& Co.) have jobs!!! LOL!!! Maybe it's time for me to understand that actually: no mic. can capture all that my ears hear hence the reason for EQ when mixing??? And it actually just dawned on me as I was typing this: I know I "fly the flag" for LIVE sound and recordings. But it just occurred to me that my "version" of LIVE sound (aside from my own of course) is based on DVD or Blu-ray soundtracks and who KNOWS how much processing is done to a DTS (or better) track??? Put another way: Judas Priest (as an example) sounds KILLER on Blu-ray but I'll never know what the sound was ACTUALLY like at the concert. Closest I've come was seeing Evanescence live some years back and I can tell you that the sound wasn't that great if the truth be told. But their DVDs??? Outstanding!!! Must tell you that I have one or two Whitesnake multi-tracks from a live concert. David Coverdale doesn't sound that "hot" if you eliminate the rest of the band from the stage!!! LOL!!! But of course and in context: WONDERFUL stuff.
Well. That's "quite the post" is it not!!! This HAS to be a (length) record not??? LOL!!!
P.S. NOT LONG ENOUGH (or so it would seem!!! LOL!!!).
For the sake of interest (Mark) I decided to see how these supposed "phase correction" plugins work. And they don't!!! Here's why. I decided to download the demo of faTimeAlign as well as their free offering faSampleDelay. First: I just loaded them onto one of my "pristine" tracks to see if I could achieve an even higher phase correlation (just for fun). I could not i.e. I could not improve what I'd done manually (physically aligning the mics.). But here's the corker. I then purposely put the mics. slightly out of phase (moved one of them slightly) to see if I could correct this with a plugin. So I aligned them again using white noise (on this score it's also possible, by the way, to simply turn up the gain on an amp. and turn off the noise gate, and turn it up full WITH THE PROVISO that NOTHING is plugged into the input). Sorry. A bit of superfluous info. there. Anyway. So I aligned them again (with the plugin) using white noise. But (again) here is the corker: instead of phase correlation remaining anywhere between say 0.70 and 0.95 during recording or playback the plugin(s) resulted in the phase correlation jumping all over the show (sometimes even going to the left i.e. negative) in parts. So. This phase thing is not JUST a simple matter of time aligning signals i.e. there's a lot more to it so far as I can tell. And there doesn't seem to be a substitute for manual labor either!!! And NOW come to think of it (and more money wasted some time ago): this is the VERY reason why when I've used a plugin like WAVES' InPhase you can bring a certain portion of the tracks back into phase (if they were out of course) but then somewhere else down the line you'll get to another portion where the phase it out again (and of course correct that portion and you're back to square one at the beginning).