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PhazeQ™ Using & Applications

This short manual assumes you are familiar with the 500 series format. For more details, please visit the FAQ section as this is where we post answers to questions and the latest updates. For more information, we recommend that you download the PhazeQ user's manual by clicking on this (PDF download).

The PhazeQ can be used as either a phase adjustment tool or as an EQ. The difference between the two is simple: when phase adjusting, you are basically bringing two different sources into phase while as an EQ, you are taking one source, splitting it in two and then recombining to create the effect.

Using the PhazeQ as a Phase Adjustment Tool

When two microphones are used on the same source, no matter where the mics are positioned, so long as the source contains different harmonics, the sound will change depending on the distance. Moving a microphone ever so slightly will change the tone. When recording, two mics are often combined to capture different parts of the instrument. For example, on a guitar you may want to pick up sound from both the hole and the bridge. On a piano, you may have one mic capturing the bass registers while a second mic captures the highs. Spill from the instrument will invariably feed both microphones. This means that some frequencies, when combined will be in phase and therefore reinforce each other and become louder, while some will cancel each other out and be attenuated. Moving the microphones around will change the sound.

The PhazeQ is basically an electronic device that does the same thing: It lets you move the mic around electronically with surgical precision. What it will not do is fix the relationship between the two sources. This is impossible as each frequency has a different wavelength and they go on forever. With a PhazeQ, you will actually have to use your ears and listen to find the sweet spot that works.

A common set up would be to load your 500 series rack with two mic preamps and a PhazeQ. You would connect each microphone to the preamp and feed the preamp that is closest to the source into the PhazeQ. Set the BLEND control to wet, the phase adjustment counter-clockwise, and make sure the low-pass filter is off. Bring up the level on the direct (far) mic to make sure it is working. Then, bring up the level on the 'mic to PhazeQ` channel (near). Set both channels to about the same level, turn on the phase adjustment tool and rotate the control clock-wise.

You will find that most of the audible effect will be from 7 o'clock to 12 o'clock as this is there the bass frequencies are affected. As you move the control all the way clockwise (to 5 o'clock) the effect will diminish. Try depressing the 180º switch. This will reverse the polarity of the signal from 0º to 180º to 180º to 360º of phase shift. The effects can be dramatic, weird and very pleasing. There are no rules… just fun!

Using the Phase Adjustment with the JDX Amp DI

Another great application is combining the direct feed from a guitar amp with a mic. To do this take a direct feed from the amp using a Radial JDX Reactor. Feed this into the PhazeQ and set up a second mic in front of the amp or somewhere else in the room. Combine, mix and phase adjust and you will be amazed at how quickly you can take a very basic sound and turn it into a monster. The same works on bass, kick drum, piano… once you try it you will never record without one. It is truly addictive!

Using the PhazeQ as an Equalizer

Connect a source or pre-recorded track to the PhazeQ. Start by setting the phase adjustment counter-clock wise, 180º out, and filter off. Set the BLEND control counter- clockwise so that you will only hear the dry sound. Check to make sure you have signal. Turn on the phase, set the BLEND control to 12 o'clock, and slowly rotate the phase adjustment tool. You will immediately hear the effect. By adjusting the phase control, you are basically moving the phase cut-off point. You can increase or decrease the effect by adjusting the BLEND.

The only way to really understand how this works is by trying it. The more you play with it, the more you will begin to realize the scope. It is huge.

Using the Low-Pass Filter

For even more fun, you can bring in the low-pass filter. This is basically a filter that removes high frequencies from the phase shift circuit. It is set with two ranges so that you will be able to apply a slight, yet well controlled roll off in the upper registers or apply brute force in the lower end. In either case, the intent is to focus the phase effect while leaving the highs alone. The controls let you decide where the effect will occur.

When using the phase, set it fully clock-wise to 5 o'clock and then slowly dial it in backwards. As you move the control counter-clockwise, you will attenuate the high frequencies which means that the direct (un phased) signal will no longer be competing with the out-of-phase signal. This can be particularly advantageous with acoustic instruments that are more phase sensitive in the upper registers. Once again… there are no rules – only choices.