I designed a sound for a clean guitar. At first it was in phase, which sounded OK, but when I flipped the phase I liked that sound more. The Correlation Meter (in Logic) shows that the phase is now negative. All other parts of the song are in positive phase.

Is it OK to be out of phase (for production) if the instrument which is out of phase sounds good after this action, or should everything be perfectly in phase?

correlation meter

  • This is really an extension of music.stackexchange.com/questions/85128/… If you flip the phase of one side of an identical stereo image, then in stereo it will sound like it's coming from "outside your head" in some strange ethereal way. In mono, it will vanish completely... hence my last comment on there "did you check it in mono?"
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 15:49
  • Check your mono compatibility by listening in mono, and/or with a stereo correlation meter. There are tools for fixing phase issues, for example Voxengo PHA-979 Phase Alignment Plugin voxengo.com/product/pha979 Commented May 26, 2019 at 15:54
  • @Tetsujin It doesn't vanish when converted to mono. Phase is flipped. That means... stereo image has some center material (sides did vanish, in fact). Looking at the correlation meter, it's perfectly in phase. In stereo I've got a cool effect and in mono it still can be heard clearly. That means? BTW sorry for no answering on previous thread, I thought it wasn't a question.
    – Eugen Eray
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 16:16
  • 2
    There’s a lot I don’t understand here. What did you do to “design” the sound? Did you record a clean guitar track? And then you flipped the polarity? Did you record anything else at the same time as the guitar? Polarity and phase only matter if there’s another track with identical or similar content on it with a different phase or opposite polarity. Commented May 26, 2019 at 18:11
  • 2
    If you phase-flip one mono instrument, no-one will ever know & no meter can ever tell either. Phase flipping only becomes 'dangerous' when it loses coherence with other tracks, ie in a left/right scenario if the overall pan would be central.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


If it sounds "better" then that's all that matters. Your audience isn't critiquing some measurement deep in your signal chain, any more than it's analyzing your musical notation or your precompositional cocktail-napkin scribbles.

If you're worried that you're breaking a rule, plenty of musicians -- both composers and performers -- have pulled off stunts that scandalized their immediate teachers, but delighted audiences for the succeeding decades and centuries.

Be bold!

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