Fig. 1

Keeping sound sources in phase will ensure your recordings sound as full and vital as possible. Here’s where to start.

Welcome to another Dojo. Before I begin, have a look at Fig.1. Recognize this symbol? You’ve no doubt seen it as a button or switch on mic preamps, audio interfaces, some plugin GUIs, and in your DAW. This is the symbol for phase, and phase is one of the most overlooked fundamental elements that can greatly improve your recordings and mixes. If you’re new to phase, this is not about using your phaser pedal (or plugin), but rather checking that the waveforms of your recordings are in the most optimum relationship with each other. I’m going to start with basic explanations you’ll need to know. Tighten up your belts, the Dojo is now open.

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Need to swap your mic on the fly? Here’s an option designed for guitarists.

It can be easy to overlook one of the most important parts of the signal chain in both live and studio settings: the microphone on your amp’s speaker. MXL’s new DX-2 was designed specifically for those who need more than a one-trick pony. The secret is that there are two mics in the DX-2—a supercardioid and a cardioid. A single knob lets you blend between the two capsules on the fly, which is an incredibly handy feature.

The supercardioid offered a response more typical of the sound of a close-miked cab, with increased response in the low-mids and bass frequencies. With my Fender ML 212, I usually kept the knob turned all the way to the left, which only engages the supercardioid capsule. Naturally, my Tele was on the bright side, so I usually only blended in a hair of the cardioid capsule. As you can hear in the included sound clips, the addition of the cardioid added extra air and brightness. If you have a “set and forget” approach to miking your cab, the DX-2 will offer some much-needed flexibility and an easy way to dial-out any unwanted frequencies.

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