Is there a way to reverse polarity/invert phase of a sound?

tymeansthankyou Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

I have been working on a track and theres a part where two sounds are coarsing each other, i like both sound individually in terms of volumes and designs, but when two of them play together they clashing with each other. Wondering if theres a phase button to play with, or theres alternative ways to deal with it.



  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,176 Expert

    Usually messing with equalization can be a good solution to give sounds room to breathe and avoid interfering with each others

  • tymeansthankyou
    tymeansthankyou Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    I have tried this too, but the problem is if i cut the frequencies where they crashes, one of the sound has to lose most of its body cuz it happens at the range where it matters the most for both sound lol. Thats why i was wondering if inverting phase may help

  • Paul B
    Paul B Member Posts: 41 Helper
    edited June 2

    Your DAW may have a device which inverts phase. Ableton Live's Utility device can invert phase of left or right or both channels.

    But if the sounds are clashing in what is the most important frequency range for each, this may not be fixable with phase inversion. Phase inversion (or shifting phase) would be for when parts of each sound are being cancelled by the other so that the combined sound loses something from both. That's why playing a phase inverted sound against itself produces silence.

    If your sounds are clashing because each has content in that range and they're adding together instead of cancelling, then you can try

    • EQ; perhaps dynamic EQ with sidechain input – so that the frequency cuts are controlled by the level of the other sound in that frequency range – to allow the sound to return to its full spectrum when playing on its own
    • Changing the octave of one sound (with possible additional EQ on the edges of the sound where there may still be overlap, which you could find better retains the character of the sound that you like)
    • Replacing one of the sounds (as hard as this may be, sometimes it's what's best for the music)

    I find it's a good idea to let go of what instruments sound like on their own, at least when they're playing together. Sacrificing part of the character of one sound (or both) for the overall character of the combined sound wins over trying to force them together. If the EQ'd sounds play on their own sometimes and you want them without the frequency cuts in those sections, that's where EQ automation or sidechained dynamic EQ are useful.

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