Issues with phase - that is, the alignment of two audio waveforms captured from the same source (the top and bottom mics on a snare drum, for example) – are commonly encountered when recording instruments or real-world sound sources, and can also result from environmental considerations.
While phase problems are often best addressed at source, there are numerous plugins available with which to correct them within your DAW. Here are six of our favourites…
1. UAD Little Labs IBP
A faithful software clone of Little Labs’ hardware In-Between Phase box, this simple but effective plugin for Universal Audio’s UAD-2 platforms allows you to adjust time delay and rotate phase in degrees.
2. Sound Radix Auto Align
This ‘point and shoot’ plugin is a handy way to do as its name suggests. Insert AutoAlign on the channel you want to align, pipe in a ‘reference’ sidechain signal, and it’ll then pull your signal in line with that reference.
3. MeldaProduction MAutoAlign
This auto-alignment tool is also easy to use: pop an instance of MAutoAlign on all channels, hit the Analyze button, and the plugin will intelligently match up the timings of them all for you to tweak further.
4. Eventide Precision Time Align
Need to shift the timing of a signal by a miniscule amount? Eventide have your back with this functional plugin. It allows you to shift time by a tiny 1/64th of a sample, and it constitutes a far quicker solution than moving audio around on your DAW’s timeline.
5. Waves InPhase
Available for purchase in both ‘regular’ and Live versions, Waves’ comprehensive phase correction plugin features a detailed phase-correlation meter, waveform view, sidechain input, gain balance and more.
6. Voxengo PHA-979
Voxengo’s utilitarian device lets you alter time delay and phase rotation for the left and right channels independently, as well as adjust the pan and mix of the side signal. It’s not flashy, but it gets the job done quickly.