Is the phase shifting caused by analog equalization serious enough to require attention or even adjustment of some kind in a live sound reinforcement setting?

1 Answer 1


No. In fact when using EQ to enhance the tone of a track or fix problems with the track sitting in the mix, the phase shift is often part of the beneficial sonic change created by the EQ. In a live situation, the phase shift caused by EQ can actually provide more gain before feedback.

Phase linear digital EQs can actually sound a little strange becuase the phase shift goes along with the frequency changes both electronically and in our aural experience.

There are some situations where time alignment is critical, and phase changes brought on by EQ can be a factor, but generally a different caliber of microphone, preamp, etc. would be needed since all of those devices are not usually phase linear through their usable frequency range.

  • Thank you, I think the answer will be beneficial for those looking in the recording setting so +1 I will clarify my question because I was thinking of a live scenario not recording. Jun 16, 2015 at 18:56
  • The same answer applies to both, although I think linear phase EQs are not generally available in live settings - they might have unavoidable processing latency. EQing a live mix isn't really much different from EQing a recorded mix in terms of goals. The main difference is just how much time you have to be as precise as possible and what kinds of tools you can reasonably bring to bear. Jun 16, 2015 at 18:58
  • They are available in live. I remember something in SIM II classes about watching the phasing as EQ is changed. I just couldn't remember if it was a just note this or make sure it doesn't get to this or that point because it's bad. Having not done it in a while and thinking about using SMAART to setup my church's system since we got new gear got me thinking about it again. Jun 16, 2015 at 19:03

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