Audio Signal Phase 101

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An in-depth tutorial on phase. Is it timing difference or polarity? What about comb filtering? What is a linear phase EQ? Learn more here:

Tutorial Breakdown:

Signal Phase
– What’s the deal?
– Why does it matter?
– What tools are available?

– In-phase vs. Out-of-phase?
– “Kind of” In-phase?
– “Sort of” Out-of-phase?

Phase is complicated
— Not just In-phase or Out-of-phase
Signal processors can effect phase
— Phase distortion
Good news: humans cannot perceive signal phase differences in some cases
Bad news: other cases…

Signal phase is complicated
— Phase is frequency dependent
Are signal processors going to screw up my mix?
— Linear phase processors

Linear phase
— What’s with the name?
Non-linear phase
— Are there any drawbacks or trade-offs?

Is a signal phase shift the equivalent of a time shift, just without the shift in time?
— That doesn’t seem so bad
It is more complicated than that
— Phase is frequency dependent

Linear phase
— What’s with the name?
— Non-linear phase
Are there any drawbacks or trade-offs?

Linear Phase
— Processing results in a constant time shift for all frequencies
— Relationship between frequencies is not distorted
— Time delay (Latency)

When are linear phase processors useful?
— When you don’t want the phase relationship between different frequencies to be distorted
— When a little latency doesn’t hurt anything
— Master Bus
— Compensate for latency


Sergey Che says:

thank u..loved the slow simple speaking

Jan Obrębowski says:

hello. do you know any hardware (stomp box) phase shifters?

Samineni Rohit says:

Finally got it.!!!!!!!


to the maker of this video record an audio signal thats audible then worry about phase

chefrabih123 says:

hello pro audio , got an issue with the lack of bass in my hi fi system , it was like ( no 35 hz – 40 hz – even 45 hz were heard ) so i tried to push a bottom called " absolute phase 180 " on my carver preamp panel ,the quantity and quality of the bass has changed , but not quite sure if other sounds were affected like MIDS OR HIGHS ! mmm what do you say ?

Mi B says:

Excellent intro to signal phase. I feel that one main drawback, beside latency, of linear phase EQs that unfortunately was omitted is pre-echo (often called pre-ringing).

Againwelived says:

is their fhase issuing when i only mix solely one wave alone?

or phase issues arise when there are many woves?

thanks again, i remembered to ask another question, please…

u said avoiding frequency distortion, so i may understand from this that phase issues only arise when there are multi tracks not only a one track, ??… like if i' m equing my guitar line alone, as the song have only one guitar recorded in it
? so in this example of a one track do i will face phase issues with it, or no because it isn't playing with any other tracks… sorry i cant translate well but i hope u understand my question…

thanks again
from Alexandria/ Egypt

Hector Colon says:

Awesome explanation. As an electrical engineer, I am familiar with the topic of distortionless channels and linearity of phase, but you did a very good job at summarizing how this affects your decision making process when mixing and mastering audio.

sikor02 says:

So in general, nonlinear filters (when it comes to phase) shouldn't mess anything up? I mean – you cannot hear the difference?

Jacques Moretti says:

Great one!!! All best

The Pro Audio Files says:

Hi Andrés. Thanks for watching!

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