General Discussion of the Nord Stage (EX), Nord Stage 2 (EX), and Nord Stage 3 Synths, FAQ, Troubleshooting etc.

[SOLVED] Outputs 1-2 are 180 degrees out of Phase!?!

Postby gsteiner » 09 Nov 2018, 00:50

Hey Guys... discovered something rather disturbing about my Stage 3... I'm hoping that there is a setting somewhere that is causing this problem:

Output channels 1 and 2 are *180 degrees out of phase* with each other.

I should probably mention that I'm an engineer so I'm pretty well versed with these issues. Below are my troubleshooting steps and how I arrived at this conclusion:

My Setup:

Nord Stage 3, Outputs 1-2 are connected via 1/4" cables to two DI boxes. The XLR outputs of these boxes are fed into a Midas M32 Console (channels 9-10 just for reference). Note: I have tried different DI boxes thinking the problem could be coming from one of the DI's but there was no change.

1. I first noticed that certain piano sounds had some phase issues because we use in-ear monitors, some in stereo and some in mono. The stereo monitors sounded reasonably good, however the mono monitors only had effects (classic sign of phase cancellation.)

2. I placed the NORD in MONO mode. Listening on my stereo monitors, it didn't quite sound right as listening to both output 1-2 (panned hard left) simultaneously sounded slightly different than listening to only the output 1 or output 2 alone (another indication of phasing problems.)

3. I summed Channels 9-10 of the Midas Console to MONO and lost 100% of the sound on ALL patches of the NORD. There wasn't a single sound which could be heard through the console as I scrolled through the patches.

4. I phase reversed channel 10 on the Midas Console. With channel 10 (Output 2 of the NORD) flipped 180 degrees out of phase, ALL of the sounds could now be heard properly. While the NORD was in MONO mode, there was no tone difference between listening to Output 1 alone, Output 2 alone, or Outputs 1-2 together. While the NORD was in STEREO mode, ALL of the patches sounded correctly and there was no significant (noticeable) phase cancellation on ANY patch.

Based on all of this, there can only be one conclusion:

On MY Nord Stage 3, The signals leaving Outputs 1 and 2 are *exactly* 180 degrees out of phase.

Obviously this is not acceptable...

Is there a setting somewhere on the NORD which allows you to flip the phase of an output channel 180 degrees?

[EDIT: SOLVED]

So, as it turns out, nearly *half* of the direct boxes in my studio were wired phase reversed at the factory... when I was switching out DIs during troubleshooting, random chance had me replacing one out of phase DI with another out of phase DI... while trying to further diagnose I decided to try ALL of the DIs and discovered the problem.

I figured I'd leave this post up as a lesson for others: NEVER assume that a piece of gear was correctly wired at the factory... test *everything*

:roll:
Last edited by gsteiner on 09 Nov 2018, 01:06, edited 2 times in total.
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[SOLVED] Outputs 1-2 are 180 degrees out of Phase!?!


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Re: NORD STAGE 3 Outputs 1-2 are 180 degrees out of Phase!?!

Postby Hobster » 09 Nov 2018, 00:56

Are you sure your XLR cables from the DI Box to the console are exactly the same? i.e. one of them hasn't perhaps got the hot & cold connections swapped at one end...?
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Re: NORD STAGE 3 Outputs 1-2 are 180 degrees out of Phase!?!

Postby gsteiner » 09 Nov 2018, 01:02

Yes, but I just found the problem... Oddly enough, half of my direct boxes are wired out of phase... the other half are correct. When I switched the direct boxes earlier, I replaced an out of phase one with another out of phase one... (no phase switches on this boxes)

Trying to eliminate the issue, I pulled all of the direct boxes in the studio and tested them. Found a matching pair and problem went away.

FYI the DIs in question are made by Whirlwind.... word to the wise, never assume the factory has wired something correctly!!!

:)
Last edited by gsteiner on 09 Nov 2018, 01:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [SOLVED] Outputs 1-2 are 180 degrees out of Phase!?!

Postby pablomastodon » 10 Nov 2018, 01:10

just to further complicate this discussion, I run into reports of related problems around this 2-3 times per year, the symptom where there's almost no volume at all on EPs unless the reverb is turned up. It usually turns out that the individual is listening to instrument through headphones which are using a substandard 1/4" - 1/8" adapter and which is shorting one hot leg to ground. Occasionally I will encounter someone who has had the clever (not) idea to use a Y cable to join outputs 1 and 2 into a single line for connecting to an amp. Or someone who is running 1 & 2 into adjacent mono channels on a mixer with each channel panned up the middle.

This affects EPs most of all because...the Nord's outputs are sending parallel mono signals which are 180 degrees out of phase with one another. Can't really say that I know why this is so, but in the words of Bruce Hornsby..."that's just the way it is."

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