Guitar panning

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by tommyd, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. tommyd

    tommyd Guest

    Just got done listening to some G'n'R(Appetite for Destruction) and listened to the guitar panning. I've seen a lot of people write about panning and reasons not to pan hard L/R. But, it seems that G'n'R did it with great results.

    Question, if I pan two guitars hard L/R when you listen to that mix in mono, won't it sound weak? I have yet to take the CD out of my car and listen to it in mono. But, I seem to remember trying that panning awhile back with my band and it just sounded like crap when played back in mono. These were two separate guitar tracks.

  2. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    Yeah, I think Slash used a Marshall head and Izzy used a Mesa Boogie. The combination was a GREAT sound--IMO
    This is not the answer to your question...however when I pan hard left and right I do notice that the signal completely disappears from the other speaker. And I don't know for a fact if it effects the mono mix to a larger degree or not.
  3. gucci

    gucci Guest

    hey guys,
    the idea is this...
    firstly yu shudnt ever pan equally left and right,...why coz there's a phenomenon called phazing if yu pan guitars say L 64 and R 64, you are brringin down overall gain...
    secondly: when you mix this down to mono, id be surprised if you get any guitars at all but do check it out..why ------again phazing out..
    that is why, pearl jam producers will have a seperate mix for audio cds and dvd..and separate mix for all their all tv recivers are mono least so far...and the cd and dvds are stereo..
  4. tommyd

    tommyd Guest

    If that's true(the separate mixes for different formats), what goes to radio? Some listen to radio in stereo...some have little mono units(like i do at work).

    And, would phasing really be an issue if we are talking two separate guitar tracks?
  5. mixopenta

    mixopenta Guest

    I would suppose only if nothing was changed in the recording setup between the two takes, i.e. if the other guitartrack was added using the same guitar, amp, settings and micplacement.

    If the two tracks have a similar sound, phase cancellations might occur anyway, even if completely different gear was used to record it, resulting in a slightly weaker and muddy sound when listened to in mono, (though it will doubtably never be cancelled out all together).

  6. aaronlyon

    aaronlyon Guest

    1. Phase cancellation is not going to be a problem when summed to mono. In order to cause phase cancellation, you have to have two IDENTICAL signals, exactly 180 degrees out of phase with each other (actually, what we're talking about here is POLARITY, not phase, which is a time shift). So if you make two copies of the same track, pan each hard L and R, and then reverse the polarity of one track, and then sum to mono, the two tracks will exactly cancel each other out and you will hear nothing. Go ahead, try it in your DAW.

    2. Now, if you take two separately recorded guitar tracks, and I don't care how similar they sound, and try the same experiment, they will not cancel each other out. At worst, the summed mono playback may make the guitars sound a little thinner due to phase (the time shift phenomenon this time) issues.

    Finally, if you take the hard-panned guitars in example 2 and sum to mono, they're not going to sound quieter or weaker just because they're hard panned. The key word is "SUM"--that is, you're adding the L and R channels together to make one mono track.

  7. Hmm... I do recall my 1993 Sanyo 19 inch TV having stereo audio... I'm looking at it right now....


    First of all, panning equally left and right is a very common practice. Unless you have a polarity issue, it won't bring down your overall gain. You might experience some phase shifting due to the fact that you are summing two signals together, but unless you have a polarity reversal, you won't "phase out".

    You have a polarity problem if something disappears when you mix down to mono. Also, it won't affect just one instrument, but all tracks where the same frequenc(y/ies) are present and 180 degrees out of phase.
  8. Have you ever noticed that on most radio commercials, the VO seems stronger on the left side? That's because that's what (most) mono radios pick up. Some, however, sum everything to mono.
  9. tommyd

    tommyd Guest

    So I shouldn't have any real problems if panning two separate guitar tracks, one hard R and one hard L?
    I don't mean equal..I usually do kind of a 10 o'clock, 2 o'clock thing..and that's equal. I mean panning hard L/R.

    Seems like it would open up more space in the middle...what's the downfall of panning them hard R/L ?
  10. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    DeKalb, IL
    Home Page:
    Hard panning is a little more "retro" and "classic" in sound to me. It sounds like the old 50s and 60s recordings. Even Van Halen used the method of guitar panned in one speaker while the reverb is panned the other way.

    I personally like more symettrical mixes, and things panned -too- far apart tend to cause the balance to shift as those parts do. If the parts are identical, but the sounds are different, panning anywhere from 30-70% works well to me, depending on how much space you want to scoop out of the center for everything else, or how much you want to highlight the stereo guitars. For heavier rock, I prefer around 50-60% for stereo distorted guitars playing the same or similar lines.

    For things like the aforementioned Guns and Roses album, where a lot of parts were panned pretty far to the sides, and they weren't identical, it creates an interesting interplay between them, and puts enough space between them that they stand out from each other a little better. The closer you bring these parts to the center, the less isolated they sound from each other and the mix.

    So depending on what your desired effect is, pan at will. I find it really depends on what else is going on in the mix.. but I never, ever pan guitars 100% left and right when they're not playing the same thing, or something very, very similar. I like 'em a little closer so they don't sound so disjointed.
  11. gucci

    gucci Guest

    buddy, its not how youre reciving it ..its how its been sent to you..if the radio station encodes it in mono, youre getting it mono..
  12. Each station I've been to (some big budget and many tiny budget) don't do encoding. They broadcast it as a stereo mix. In fact, that's the reason there is .2 separation between radio station frequencies and not .1. If your receiver can only handle a mono signal, it is usually the left signal which is found on the odds (usually). If your receiver takes in stereo, both signals are either processed as left and right or summed together to mono for a single speaker.
  13. gucci

    gucci Guest

  14. True, not everything sounds realistic hard left and right, but you can make things (like guitars) seem bigger that way. It just takes some tweaking.
  15. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    That's wrong! Radios broadcasts rely on M/S not Left/Right. Mono radios pick up "the m" signal in a m/s broadcast and stereo picks up both "the m" and "the s" signal.

    No.. there's no "left frequency" and no "right frequency".. there's "mono frequency" and "stereo frequency"

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