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3:1 Rule

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What Is the 3:1 Rule?

The 3:1 rule is a guideline for recording sound with multiple microphones. It states that a secondary microphone should be placed at least three times the distance away from the first microphone from the source.

For example, if the first microphone is 1 foot from the source, the second microphone should be 3 feet away from the first microphone.

This rule helps to prevent phase issues.

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Why Is the 3:1 Rule Important?

This rule of thumb is used in sound recording and mixing techniques to ensure that phasing issues do not occur in the recording or broadcast. By having the correct phase of sound waves when recording or mixing, it is possible to achieve a better and cleaner sound.

The 3:1 ratio is an essential part of achieving great-sounding recordings and mixes since it allows engineers to maintain consistent levels without sacrificing quality or adding too much noise. While there are no hard and fast rules about how close or far apart two sources should be placed, understanding this basic guideline will help you get off on the right foot when approaching your next project.


You’ve now learned about the 3:1 rule and why it’s important in sound recording.

It’s important to remember and keep it in mind when you’re setting up microphones. Using this rule, you can avoid phasing issues that might otherwise occur.