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Panning Up and down?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by edaub1, May 23, 2010.

  1. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    How do you mix sounds up and down? As in guitar sounds like it should be higher, and the bass should be lower on the vertical axis..

    I feel like an idiot because I cant think of a better way to ask that question haha

    I know part of it must be using an EQ correctly, but is there anything else to it?
  2. rmsaudio

    rmsaudio Active Member

    Hi edaub1. I believe you have the right idea. Sounds that have more treble and upper mids will sound more "up" than sounds with more bass. I can't remember if there's a psycho-acoustic principle behind this (maybe we interpret bass as coming from the ground?) there might be, but either way, you're definitely on the right track and that's how I tend to approach mixing - building a mix from the "bottom up".

    You can also use more sophisticated psycho-acoustic processing (binaural simulators that allow binaural cues to be played over loudspeakers --- products like Q-sound etc) which allow you to place sounds up, down, behind the speakers, in front of the speakers, and even behind you. using computer-generated aural queues (created using delays, complex EQ, inter-channel interference).... But there are disadvantages. It's highly dependent upon listening conditions, and listening position (listener needs to be in the "sweet spot" to get the best effect). I believe most of these kinds of technology work best when played over two loudspeakers as well (not a 5.1 system, not a pair of headphones) so again, it's very fussy and very specific. I think these days, technologies like this are most popular for gaming (as usually with gaming you can ensure the user is right in front of the screen, not moving, and between two speakers a lot of the time).

    So even though I enjoy technologies ilke Q-sound I tend to just use good old EQ for a sense of up/down, and reverb for a sense of depth.

  3. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Presuming you're mixing for 2-channel stereo of 5.1 surround, rmsaudio hit the nail on the head: brighter, treblier sounds will locate "higher" in the vertical plane than darker, bassier sound. Not sure if there's a psychoacoustic explanation for this phenomena, but I suspect there is; I do know if you invert your monitors so the tweeters are on the bottom under the woofers you'll still perceive brighter, treblier sounds as being "higher".

    Some of the nascent 6.1 (and greater) surround formats that utilize height channels open up a wealth of possibilities. Not that I ever expect any of them to become standardized...
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    A nice stereo effect to create a sense of something passing overhead is to collapse the stereo image to centered mono and then immediately take centered mono to L./R. mono phase inverted then back to original stereo phase inverted. Something that requires fast hands, presets and/or proper understanding of your software. So we are not talking actual surroundsound here we are talking left right stereo.

    If you think properly in stereo you are thinking in surround
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Just to make sure I'm understanding what you're suggesting, is the bolded & underlined section supposed to be read as "left minus right" ?
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    The mono signal really has to be handled as 2 separate channels of the same thing. So frequently one has to use some type of 1 into 2 to accomplish this. In fact, if you can do 1 into 3 you can cross fade to creative senses motion. And a little Doppler pitch shift thrown in enhances the motion effect. This is not a fast and simple setup to create. And software automation certainly makes this process much easier than on a film mixing console.

    This gives you a great appreciation of the sound effects mixers for film
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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