How to use an audio phase meter (-1/+1)?

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When people wonder if a stereo signal is out of phase by a lot, they open a phase scope which can have several types of display modes. I often get asked what the “-1 and +1” numbers represent in phase meters.

The simple answer is that if your stereo signal is leaning towards the +1, or all the way to the green right side of the meter {0~45 degrees}, then your stereo signal is deemed to be ‘in-phase’. If the signal is leaning towards the yellow center {45~90 degrees}, then the stereo signal is ‘out of phase’.

a phase correlation meter
a phase correlation meter

But if the meter is hovering between the -1 red left side and the yellow center {180~90 degrees}, it is safely assumed that you have severe inversion or out of phase issues.

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