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I've been playing around with some of the presets in Pianoteq 7. One of the most interesting ones I've found is the C. Bechstein DG Venue preset. It has this wonderful, ethereal quality to it. The sound seems to result mostly from a combination of the mic setup (two omni mics, placed just outside the "box" (room?), set to fairly high volume) and the reverb setup.

I noticed that the mic settings display of one of the mics that are placed near the piano was red (as opposed to gold). Looking at the properties of the mic, the red color seems to indicate that "reversed polarity" is set to "1", which is "ON". So that microphone's polarity is reversed. Of the four microphones used by the mic preset, only one has its polarity reversed.

Does anyone know what reversing a microphone's polarity is supposed to achieve? Search references talk about "full and accurate sound", but in the world of VST's, I'm not sure what that means. When would you not want full and accurate sound?

TIA! smile


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If there are two mics, fairly close together, and the polarities are different, the bass frequencies will suffer.

That might be the cause of the "ethereal sound" that you're hearing.


. Charles
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Sounds like an effect deliberately created. This seems to be a case of "too much information" or "what he doesn't know won't hurt him"
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, y'know! smile

I think I'd rather not know. When I start fiddling things break. But with PTq the original item is always on hand.


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Originally Posted by SeaDrive
I've been playing around with some of the presets in Pianoteq 7. One of the most interesting ones I've found is the C. Bechstein DG Venue preset. It has this wonderful, ethereal quality to it. The sound seems to result mostly from a combination of the mic setup (two omni mics, placed just outside the "box" (room?), set to fairly high volume) and the reverb setup.

I noticed that the mic settings display of one of the mics that are placed near the piano was red (as opposed to gold). Looking at the properties of the mic, the red color seems to indicate that "reversed polarity" is set to "1", which is "ON". So that microphone's polarity is reversed. Of the four microphones used by the mic preset, only one has its polarity reversed.

Does anyone know what reversing a microphone's polarity is supposed to achieve? Search references talk about "full and accurate sound", but in the world of VST's, I'm not sure what that means. When would you not want full and accurate sound?

TIA! smile

Sound is air moving, but the move is not like wind always in one direction: it's pulling and pushing at subsequent times. If you reverse the polarity, you exchange the pulling with the pushing and vice versa. The speed at which the pulling become pushing is loosely speaking the frequency of the sound.

Since that movement take some time to go from one place to another (speed of sound), two microphones at a certain distance could measure pulling and pushing reversed, however that will depend on the frequency and is related to the wavelength.

As somebody said in this thread, that could be much more than you wanted to know (and not enough to answer your question smile )
The point is, to answer this question you need to specify too many details, including the distances between the mics themselves and the soundboard (which is not a point source, if PT is simulating it correctly, and each frequency is generated in a different location of the soundboard). In the end the best way to answer your question is to run some tests, which you can with the PT demo even if you did not purchase the PT version to allow you to do so in production:

1) remove such a red mic and see how the sound changes

2) move such a red mic and see how the sound changes

3) flip the polarity of such a red mic and see how the sound changes

Warning: I've found that these things are usually a huge time sink, so set a timer before if that's a concern to you and stop the experiment when time is over

Happy experimenting!

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Originally Posted by Del Vento
As somebody said in this thread, that could be much more than you wanted to know (and not enough to answer your question smile )
The point is, to answer this question you need to specify too many details, including the distances between the mics themselves and the soundboard (which is not a point source, if PT is simulating it correctly, and each frequency is generated in a different location of the soundboard). In the end the best way to answer your question is to run some tests, which you can with the PT demo even if you did not purchase the PT version to allow you to do so in production:

1) remove such a red mic and see how the sound changes

2) move such a red mic and see how the sound changes

3) flip the polarity of such a red mic and see how the sound changes

Warning: I've found that these things are usually a huge time sink, so set a timer before if that's a concern to you and stop the experiment when time is over

Happy experimenting!

You've got me curious. But . . .Not enough time! Not enough time!


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Maybe you would find this article interesting: Recording magazine: Miking the grand piano

When the author talks about "phase" or "flipping the phase" it means "polarity" or "reversing the polarity".

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The author uses "phase" because that's the correct word.

Polarity is not a proper description. Sound does not have polarity.

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Originally Posted by Thomas B
Maybe you would find this article interesting: Recording magazine: Miking the grand piano

When the author talks about "phase" or "flipping the phase" it means "polarity" or "reversing the polarity".


Good article (and good terminology as MacMacMac indicated). Here are a few more from the KISS series:






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An article found at the top list of results with a random web search using Ecosia, search string “ phase versus polarity with sound dynamics “ wherein is explained basic sound dynamics relative to the nuances of phase versus polarity for purposes such as sound/music recording, mixing, etc.

- https://www.justmastering.com/article-phase-and-polarity.php

Last edited by drewr; 06/24/21 01:57 PM.

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Thanks to all for your input; I appreciate it! smile

I'll have to spend a bit more time playing with the various parameters, but changing the polarity of Mic#1, Output 1 in the DG Venue preset from 1 (on) to 0 (off) noticeably increases the "boominess" of the bass. It's particularly noticeable in C#3, Reversed vs Non-reversed. It definitely sounds better (to my ear) with the mic's polarity reversed, as it is in the DG Venue preset.

I'll update this if I notice anything else as I play around with the settings...


"I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel; a free man at the start of a long journey, whose conclusion is uncertain." -- Morgan Freeman's character, "Red", in The Shawshank Redemption

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