Ask Joe #64 – Phase Issues

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Questions covered this week:

  • Which tracks should be mono, and which ones should be stereo?
  • Should I switch from Pro Tools to Studio One?
  • Should I bounce down my background vocals to a single stereo track?
  • Why am I having phase issues on acoustic guitar?

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4 Quick Delay Tips

A while back, one of my VIP members was asking some questions about delay in the VIP members forum.

I ended up posting a few delay tips for him, and I thought I’d share ’em with you here on the blog.

Here are 4 quick delay tips…

Roll off the high end.

Delays (and even reverbs) normally sound better if they don’t have a lot of high end, especially the sibilance in the vocals.

I’ll normally roll off above 5k or maybe even lower. (more…)

Great Acoustic Guitar Tone – Mic Placement: Stereo (Part 5 of 7)

If using one microphone is great, two must be twice as good, right? Sometimes. 🙂

Some of the best acoustic guitar tones I’ve ever gotten have been with two microphones, this is sometimes referred to as stereo mic placement (although two microphones doesn’t always mean it’s technically “stereo,” but that’s for another day).

As with most things, if there stands to be a bigger benefit (better guitar tone), there are also greater risks (phase issues). (more…)

3 Ways to Kill Your Monitors’ Stereo Image

Home studios aren’t perfect.

In a perfect world, your home studio would be designed by a professional. You’d have a great-sounding control room, a couple of tracking rooms, and a nice, quiet vocal booth.

Raise your hand if your control room, tracking room, and vocal booth are all the same room. (Joe quickly…and sheepishly…raises his hand.)

That’s the reality we face. We’re weekend warriors, home studio recordists. Hobbyists. We’ve got to make the best of what we’ve got.


Should I record in stereo or mono?

My buddy Rob from Home Studio Center liked this article so much, he created a really cool cheat sheet. If you find the whole “mono/stereo” thing confusing, download his cheat sheet and print it out.

I see this question a lot, and today I’d like to set the record straight. If you’re like me, and you’ve been recording for a long time, you hear “mono” and “stereo” and you understand the differences and when to use each.

However, if you’re just starting out, all these audio terms are being thrown at you — EQ, mixing, compression, reverb, effects, tracks, cardioid, dither, condenser, plug-in, bus — and it can get very confusing VERY quickly.

The good news? You don’t have to memorize Sweetwater’s glossary to be able to make great-sounding recordings. You’ll learn the terminology as you go.

One of the first things you should get a handle on is the concept of mono and stereo.