Experiences of messing with the Phase for sound design

In my messing around with phase…
It has produced interesting sound design results…that is insanely hard to mix.

Im not just talking about slapping a phaser effect on a bass.

Putting an lfo to modulate the phase of an fm oscillator…or an envelope to enhances warbling of synth…

Inverting the phase…

Delibrate phase cancelation

Phase distortion

Phase for phatness…

Phase is like the the blender, the cleaner, the spacer, etc…messing with the phase of an audio signal produces many different results…imo

Phase its not just a phase.


I would recommend you to go for self-learning, there are no short cuts in life. After doing extensive research and reading many books, this is what I have observed. There is not a single book or person who can teach you the art of sound design. You have to do it yourself by experimenting and by doing. After spending time, you realize that the whole process is quite intuitive.

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Phase manipulation definitely has its place for very deliberate applications (like phase cancellation), or a few design use-cases (like phase distortion), but for the most part it’s not my ‘secret sauce’ or really all that interesting to me most of the time compared to other design tools and techniques. Normally if I’m having to deliberately invert the phase or even swap channels, it’s to fix something somebody else fucked up rather than to deep-dive into cool, or fun sound design territory… unless we’re talking about multiband FX stacking or something that rips apart the phase as a byproduct which is a completely different topic altogether.

To each his / her own, but most of the time it’s about as ‘fun’ as audio restoration


The thing I do is listening to the songs I like thru brainworx’s bx_solo, I listen only the sides. This way I flagged way more phase inversion / phase cancellation choices than I initially thought. It helped me to understand when and why. It is a hard choice to do but a phase inverted second snare or clap in the back can provide huge depth and space in your mix.

I like to invert left or right on a ghost snare, or sometimes on the little filler sounds I use.

However it is crucial to equalize the sides by shelfing or cutting under 250/300hz.

I became used to phase invert / phase cancel / manipulate the phase of every sound and every part on my song. When it sounds ass or ruins my brain I don’t do it, but 50% of the times I’m discovering some dimension in my song I wasn’t aware of, and I can use that dimension to increase overall depth and space.

On some top billboard songs, I discovered that that technique is used (while listening only to the sides), this is why I began to experiment like crazy with Live’s Utiliy or (way better) DMG’s Trackcontrol.

It is also very useful while layering stuff.

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