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Dual pan knobs on stereo tracks vs single pan knobs on mono tracks
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Dual pan knobs on stereo tracks vs single pan knobs on mono tracks

So this is something that has been bugging me for a while and I am hoping someone more knowledgeable than me can give me a concise answer.

I want to know how to quickly and precisely set panning positions on stereo tracks which have independent left and right faders/knobs (such as the ones on stereo tracks in Pro Tools) in order to match the panning position of my mono tracks which only have on fader. Apart from "using my ears" which I guess will be the standard response or even using external panning plugins I want to actually know what the formula is so that I can set my panning positions correctly and precisely.

Example: Say I have two toms (or any other sound) on two separate tracks but one is stereo and one is mono. Now say the mono one is panned 60% to the left. How would I go about setting the stereo one so that it is in the same position as the mono one? I know that if I just move the right fader so that it is in the 60%L position it is too far left in the stereo field. Is there a formula that would allow me to work this out without relying on guesswork? Ofcourse I am also assuming that the levels in both channels on the stereo material is equal so that the image is centered properly when the faders are in their default position.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Stereo track: right channel 60%L, left channel 60%L and faders (for volume level) - 3dB (or - 6dB depending on law) on both.

Or (if you want to keep it stereo), left channel 100%L and right channel 20%L, position = (100 + 20) / 2 = 60.
In your case it was (100 + 60) / 2 = 80%.
It will change levels (power)!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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I think there's a typo in there somewhere... but something like "left channel 100% and right channel 20%", or numerically

(-100) + (+20) = -60

i.e. 60% left...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
Stereo track: right channel 60%L, left channel 60%L and faders (for volume level) - 3dB (or - 6dB depending on law) on both.

Or (if you want to keep it stereo), left channel 100%L and right channel 20%L, position = (100 + 20) / 2 = 60.
In your case it was (100 + 60) / 2 = 80%.
It will change levels (power)!
Ah ok the first bit makes sense, and I tried it and to my ears that seems to get the position right. Also good to point out that the level also needs to be adjusted, I didn't take that into account.

But I don't quite get what the difference would be between doing it that way (both left and right panned 60% to the left) and doing it the other way (left panned 100% to the left and right panned 20% to the left) like how would that sound different?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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I'm wrong. It all depends on the type of pan.
A mono (standard) panner wil lower the level -3dB (depending on law) if set to C and raise to 0dB if set to ether L or R.
An stereo (balance) panner wil keep the level 0dB until it reaches C and then lower the level of the opposite channel it is turned to.

Perhaps this will help to explain.

The top one is what happens with the volume on the left channel when the pan is turnd from Left to right with an mono standard pan.
It goes from 0 dB (at 5) to - 3 dB (at 10) and then starts to drop to infinite (at 15).
The bottom one is the stereo balance pan.
It stays at 0 dB (from 5 to 10) and then starts to drop.

I guess if you want to do it right you could use a stereo image meter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Bunker View Post
But I don't quite get what the difference would be between doing it that way (both left and right panned 60% to the left) and doing it the other way (left panned 100% to the left and right panned 60% to the left) like how would that sound different?
It will sound different depending on the source.
If the source is stereo you will make it mono putting the two channels at the same pan.
Otherwise you are only narrowing the stereo image and moving it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Bunker View Post
But I don't quite get what the difference would be between doing it that way (both left and right panned 60% to the left) and doing it the other way (left panned 100% to the left and right panned 60% to the left) like how would that sound different?
With a mono signal in a stereo channel if you pan both to the same place the difference would i guess be a lack of "spread". If both are set to negative 60 then there is no spread. If you on the other hand imagine you have a mono source vocal and a mono-to-stereo reverb insert then with a wet/dry less than 100% wet the dry vocal would be negative 60 regardless and with a (-100)+(+40) the rest would be reverb to the left and right of -60.

I think this numbers are right...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
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My first instinct here is to say, a mono drum on a stereo track makes zero sense for mixing unless you used more then one mic recording it.

Putting a mono drum in a stereo track is exactly the same as cloning a track and panning the two hard left and right.
Its redundant and doesn't do much besides make mixing more difficult.

My advice is if you have a mono drum on a stereo track, bounce the track to mono. End of story. You wont have to mess with figuring out which track is louder or whether the panning laws are correct when dealing with another track.

If you did use more then one mic, like in the case of a snare having the top and bottom heads miced, or a kick with a mic inside and a mic outside the shell, then you're going to have to deal with phase issues. You wouldn't want to use a stereo track for those in the first place because of the independent tweaking each mic requires to get them. If they did wind up as a stereo track I'd suggest bounding the stereo track to two mono tracks so you don't have to deal with the issue.


If for some reason you want to use stereo effects then that's where stereo busses come into play. You can pan your mono tracks as wanted then send them to a stereo buss and add your stereo effects there instead of putting them on tracks.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
I'm wrong. It all depends on the type of pan.
A mono (standard) panner wil lower the level -3dB (depending on law) if set to C and raise to 0dB if set to ether L or R.
An stereo (balance) panner wil keep the level 0dB until it reaches C and then lower the level of the opposite channel it is turned to.

Perhaps this will help to explain.

The top one is what happens with the volume on the left channel when the pan is turnd from Left to right with an mono standard pan.
It goes from 0 dB (at 5) to - 3 dB (at 10) and then starts to drop to infinite (at 15).
The bottom one is the stereo balance pan.
It stays at 0 dB (from 5 to 10) and then starts to drop.

I guess if you want to do it right you could use a stereo image meter.


It will sound different depending on the source.
If the source is stereo you will make it mono putting the two channels at the same pan.
Otherwise you are only narrowing the stereo image and moving it.
Ok I had to read that a couple of times for it to sink in, but thanks very much for the detailed and illustrated reply. Definitely learned something new today. Much appreciated!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
With a mono signal in a stereo channel if you pan both to the same place the difference would i guess be a lack of "spread". If both are set to negative 60 then there is no spread. If you on the other hand imagine you have a mono source vocal and a mono-to-stereo reverb insert then with a wet/dry less than 100% wet the dry vocal would be negative 60 regardless and with a (-100)+(+40) the rest would be reverb to the left and right of -60.

I think this numbers are right...
Ah this is also interesting... in my original scenario I had no such effects so it wasn't a consideration. But I hadn't even thought about how this would interact with effects so good point you raise there.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
My first instinct here is to say, a mono drum on a stereo track makes zero sense for mixing unless you used more then one mic recording it.

Putting a mono drum in a stereo track is exactly the same as cloning a track and panning the two hard left and right.
Its redundant and doesn't do much besides make mixing more difficult.

My advice is if you have a mono drum on a stereo track, bounce the track to mono. End of story. You wont have to mess with figuring out which track is louder or whether the panning laws are correct when dealing with another track.

If you did use more then one mic, like in the case of a snare having the top and bottom heads miced, or a kick with a mic inside and a mic outside the shell, then you're going to have to deal with phase issues. You wouldn't want to use a stereo track for those in the first place because of the independent tweaking each mic requires to get them. If they did wind up as a stereo track I'd suggest bounding the stereo track to two mono tracks so you don't have to deal with the issue.


If for some reason you want to use stereo effects then that's where stereo busses come into play. You can pan your mono tracks as wanted then send them to a stereo buss and add your stereo effects there instead of putting them on tracks.
Thanks for your input. Most of that doesn't apply to my scenario as that is not what I am doing... I was asking generally anyway as I just wanted to know this, but also there are scenarios where its not practical to just bounce things right away. For example inside Superior drummer 3 some individual drum channels on some kits are stereo by default even if the source is mono and you can't change that channel from mono to stereo.
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