Forums > MaxMSP

Phase canceling an acoustic sound

April 24, 2014 | 9:09 am

Hey folks,

I wanted to pose question to you guys on the feasibility of trying to phase cancel an acoustic sound.

My create objective is to have an acoustic instrument mic-ed and then cancel or mute certain portions of its spectrum. I would be using some impulse response tools like HISS to create spectral awareness of the performance space.

With the IR response of the space, I could generate a spectrum that would be the inverse of the incoming sound, and hopefully cancel or mute it. I could then overlay my own spectral content.

Now I know unless I was in an anechoic chamber, I could not truly cancel the sound out completely. But would I be able to get some nominal result? It would be good to know before I go too far down the rabbit hole only to be stymied by the laws of physics.


April 25, 2014 | 8:05 am

Hmmmm… silence…

Did I ask a silly question?


April 25, 2014 | 10:49 am

I’ve always thought of phase cancellation as a pipe dream. Technically it might be possible, but I have failed every time I have tried. It only has an appreciable effect on pure tones or simple harmonics. Music has way too many frequencies to deal with, and trying to cancel them just makes it sound muddy.


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