Ambience panning confusion!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by coasterman, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. coasterman

    coasterman Guest

    There is something which has been bothering more and more of late, a nagging feeling that I am missing a very significant link in my understanding of reverb and stereo image.

    Let us for arguments sake say I am creating a space that contains a 4 or 5 piece blues outfit (I will be overdubbing all parts as this 5 piece is in fact me) and the space I am trying to convey is that of a live setting in a fairly small venue, jazz club or the like. To keep things as straight forward as possible with the exception of drums which are already as a stereo pair all tracked parts are mono (or summed to mono if dual mic'd). My panning mirrors the placement of the instrument sources, furtherst players from listening position panned no more than 70/30.

    I load up my Aux send with Altiverb and a nice m-st IR which seems to fit the bill. If I simply add what I think to be the appropriate amount of send on each track and solo the ambience (using pre-fader send in the tracked audio) I have the ambience but without any sense of where the sound sources originate in my stereo field, at least that’s what I believe I am hearing, I could be wrong??

    If the previous statement is correct the panning cues come simply from my tracked "dry" audio. Presumably this is not how our ears and brain work, I cannot imagine if we could "pre-fader" our ears all ambient information would arrive evenly panned across the stereo field let alone at the same time. So do I reach for the send routing (Cubase 5) and pan the send on the tracked audio? In our small venue setting would this be the away from the panned position from the original source or bias towards it, or does this approach simply not work for a project of this type. My gut tells me this is wrong although I could not really say why I think it's wrong, hence the nagging feeling I'm missing something significant.

    Perhaps additional Aux with different IR's may form part of the answer or even indvidual Insert reverbs with differing pre dealys blended with the AUX but I don't feel confident enough to know how to utilise that additional information and any success would be guesswork and therefore fleeting. I appreciate it's difficult to give advice on specifics but any guidance or direction to useful reading would be welcomed.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Many send sections ALSO have pan independent of the channel itself. If your aux section does not have it's own discrete pan then you have to adjust your send elsewhere. Now when you route your sends there is also pre fader and after fader. If you were sending pre fade then you would not have the pan you set up in the channel. I'm guessing you were sending straight 0 pan signal to the reverb bus.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Use two auxes as a stereo pair and pan your source to the correct spatial position in the auxes before selecting a stereo-stereo reverb in the Altiverb. Don't try any panning of the reverb output.

    That said, you could find that a track with added reverb that is correctly panned and sounds great on its own makes an unpleasant muddy wash when mixed with the other four tracks all doing the same. You may want to ease back on the individual track reverbs (even down to zero) and bring the atmosphere back up by using a sensitive amount of reverb on the stereo mix. Theoretically, simple reverbs should be additive, but the better ones don't always work out that way as they incorporate non-linear amplitude terms.
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