I know it's a big issue for recording Drums because the mics will all be played back together,

but when you are recording a sound effect in the field like guns or fireworks, do you check the phase and notice how far the mics are from each other?

Do you even care?

Would this be something you fixed in post or do you handle it during the recording?

What's the protocol? I'm probably going to record some guns soon and wanted to know if this is something you guys pay attention to or if you don't care about it (where's Chuck and Tim?!?!)

4 Answers 4


it's not something I've ever worried about or had issue with.

  • 1
    Thanks Chuck. I thought it might not be a problem, and now I've got it on good authority. So if my music engineer says "wait, what about the phase check?" I can tell him CHUCK SAID HE DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!! Heh
    – Utopia
    Aug 15, 2010 at 20:10

I care when I'm doing non-coincident stereo recording, or if I'm summing to mono.

As long as you keep to the 3 - 1 rule, you should be good!

  • Ok ok so tell me again what the 3 to 1 rule is? 3 to 1 ratio as in 3 times as much space as the mic is to the subject?
    – Utopia
    Aug 16, 2010 at 23:30
  • @Ryan - basically, if the first mic is 1 foot from the source, the second mic should be 3 feet from the first mic.
    – Colin Hart
    Aug 17, 2010 at 1:47

For multimic setups, just stick with x/y pairs or the 3-1 rule, and you should be good.

an example:

In a gun shoot I did a couple of years ago, my setup looked like this:

1)lav mic worn by shooter 2/3)stereo x/y sm 57s 10 feet in front of shooter and aimed at him 4)416 over the shoulder about 4 feet off 5/6)vp-88 20 feet behind the shooter and aimed at the most reverberant hill

In post the transients were obv misaligned due to the varying distances the mics were to the source. Since I kept them split out it wasn't an issue, and in the stereo combined versions I put together I experimented with both leaving the transients as it and manually lining them up. I liked the sound of the lined up transients better. YMMV.


It would depend on the results you're looking for. Any time you'll be mixing multiple mics to mono, you want to listen for phasing. Chance are however, that you won't be placing mics close enough together for it to be a problem.

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