I heard:

[12:19] it's a shame it's from the 90s because that means it will be a vinyl rip and unfortunately that means we can't do clever tricks like phase cancel the drums so we can hear the synth better which is something I would normally attempt. [author: bthelick]

Why can't one phase cancel the drums on a vinyl rip?

  • Doesn't matter if it was originally sampled from vinyl. If it ended up as a loop in a sample library and you could find the sample, you could do what he's talking about. How well it would work would depend on what and how much processing was done to the loop once it was in the track. May 13 at 0:41
  • Not sure why being from the 90s means vinyl. Also I can’t see how whether it’s from vinyl or has any effect on canceling the drums out. May 13 at 4:20
  • Interesting, I was also of the opinion that this was a wacky incorrect statement but seeing the OP’s discussion with the quotee on YouTube clears things up. He usually attempts to phase cancel some instruments, I assume by taking the cleanest kick sound he can find, flipping it and then looping under the original. I assume the same for other drums. Being vinyl means its tempo isn’t as solid and it’s not accurate enough for this technique. He knows it’s vinyl because it’s a hardcore track, in the uk edm scene of the early 90’s none of that stuff made it to cd, it was vinyl only pretty much!
    – OwenM
    May 14 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


(I have a few crates of classic 90's/00's UK hardcore vinyl, btw)

I think what he means, correct me if I'm wrong here anybody, but I think he does something I've done many times over the years, which is to extract samples by phase-cancelling loops, in this case, you get a full drum loop from the intro or outro which is itself, a sample-based loop, so each full loop is identical.

The trouble is, you need virtually 100% sample-perfect, consistent timing throughout the track for the phase cancelling to work. Otherwise, the timing drifts and the phase-aligned pair run out of sync and kind of comb-filter back into - and maybe back out of - existence, which is a cool effect, but not what you want. Trust me, it's not fun trying to phase-align sampled or "re-sampled" audio clips that drift. It's just not practically workable (: for reasons I won't go into, or this will be an 8,000-word essay :)

Another thing to remember is that vinyl is a real physical medium, outputting current-induced analogue signals; representations of a stylus following a literal groove cut into the vinyl. So two occurrences of an identical sampled loop in the track will naturally have variances due to characteristics of the medium and the cutting technique. So those variances would be left behind after a successful phase alignment.

I think these limiting factors are what the author was alluding to.

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