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Discussion in 'Recording' started by danielb, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. danielb

    danielb Active Member

    i know still to this day, professional engineers still question panning. my problem is...when im mixing a track, i tend to pan every instrument to the slightest touch...i kind of imagine a concert or a club and imagine all the instrument playing in the back of the artist. that would be my reason why i usually dont pan instruments fully to the left or fully right. i kind of want to keep the beat behind and not too far wide from the vocalist. am i correct or i got it all wrong?
  2. inbloom27

    inbloom27 Active Member

    I always pan my drums respectively from the audience's perspective: OH L hard left and OH R hard right, snare and bass drum center and toms slightly to the left and right as they're set up on the drum set. As for guitars, bass stays center, guitar stays center unless you overdub another guitar part, then I put those hard left and right. Vocals stay center except for when I do double or triple tracked vocals. When it's doubled, I hard pan left and right and if its tripled, hard left and right with one in the center. Hope that helped!
  3. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    professional engineers still question panning...


    Where have you heard that drivel?..lol..

    Keeping it all in the middle will give you major headaches when separating the instruments / voices @ mixing.
    Panning has always been a part of the game as long as stereo exists. Hear the early Beatles records, were the drums and bass are only on one side.
    Well, to do it that way is rather questionabel for me.. right the other extrem...
    I suggest, paint a picture to the song in your head and EQ & pan to match the scenery and story.... Lbnl, compare it to other songs you like.
    Apart from OHs, I rarely pan hard l&r, but for some effects even that can sound interesting and good.
    Get into chorus, delay and reverb that all can widen the sound of single instruments.

    Bob Ross: Paint it your way and many happy accidents...lol...
  4. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    Yeah, depending on the type of music you are recording, panning can add life to the mix.

    When mixing a band, I normally pan the band like they would look on stage. Drums..as has been described...how they sound when I am looking at the kit from out in front. Bass and bass drum normally in the center with everything else set off to one side or the other but rarely ever fully panned left or right.

    It can help to make a drawing of the band on a piece of paper and assign pan numbers to each element so you can actually see where everyone is in the audio/visual spectrum.
  5. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    The only things I pan center as a rule are kick, snare, bass, and usually lead vocals. Guitars go hard right/left (if only one guitarist I'll usually double track when appropriate and then just pick right or left for single layer parts), except for solos, which could be anywhere. Cymbals hard right and left, toms somewhere in the middle. If you go too wide with drums it can get cheesy, but panning is a really important part of giving each instrument it's own space, especially in rock/metal mixes where guitars take up most of the freaking sonic spectrum.

    I personally always pan drums from the drummer's point of view. It's just a personal thing, I can't even listen to albums where it's from the audience's perspective until I flip my right/left outputs to make it "right" to my tastes! Just drives me insane for some reason. Also, I figure it makes air drummers happy.
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I always double (double-track, not duplicate) guitars, and pan Guitar 1 L80, R40 and the other vice versa. If its metal or rock, I'll put a few ms delay to widen the spread. I'm a guitarist though.

    I've recently taken to having the drummer stand before the kit and yell to me 'Centre' 'Left' and 'Right' from the appropriate positions as I can rarely tell the difference between putting OHL R and OHR L, and vice versa, but I always want to get it correct.
  7. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member



    I learned it from Paul McCartney via his inner sleeve drawings on "Press to Play". Draw pictures like that and you'll really see the panning clearly.
  8. Federico Acosta

    Federico Acosta Active Member

    Panning tool

    I´v got a little battle horse to share.
    Taking in count the Haas effect and the real diferences of sound when the source moves side to side, I took a few days and developed a windows vst, it adjust delay, eq and level (all in the same knob). Far away more realistic than a regular pan-pot (level only).
    It obviously works on stereo channels only, but you can route mono signals to stereo mixing channels in most of programs.
    I also added the posibility to name instances to get a clear workflow using multiple instances.
    Be aware when you use it and then convert to mono, it can add Hi frequency comb filter but not much. All the way to one side adds 0.4 ms to the opposite side, at that point the level diference does´n let you hear the comb, so the comb filter it´s going to be generated from 0.3ms to 0 increasing the effect as sides equals level (in case you take your stereo mix to mono later).
    For windows users of the forum:


    For install just paste the panning.dll file in to your vst folder.
  9. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the VST...I'll give it a try soon.
  10. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    The Haas effect is a wonderful thing, but it influences sound and room reverb, as well.
    It includes the law of the second wave, also. Like: a delayed signal (5 to 30 ms middled) comming from a different position as the original sound source can be up to 10 dB louder
    as the original source and still the position of the, e.g., speaker, generating the first audible wave, will be the only perceived source.
    But what does that all do with your signal when panning with those parameters?
    I'll try it out. I am not convinced that it will be usable on any and all material, but it might be a different and interesting approach for some.
  11. Federico Acosta

    Federico Acosta Active Member

    I just tried to imitate what sounds would do coming from diferent directions on free field. I use it on every panned channel, the drums sounds like taken with a stereo pair of mics but with the advantages of individual miking. Hope you find it usefull.
  12. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    I have Jose Feliciano's bass player coming over next week. I'll try this on the drums when we record and see what happens. Thanks!

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