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So what do you pan to the center?
Old 6th April 2004
  #1
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guittarzzan's Avatar
So what do you pan to the center?

Hi, ...I'm curious what different approaches people use on panning and what you can get away with and still have the lead vox up front. I realize that it's very common to have the lead vox, kick, snare and bass up the middle, but how much room do you generally leave before you start adding in the other flavors?
I'm in the semi-noob category and just fishing for different ideas and approaches to panning.

thanks,
Steve
Old 6th April 2004
  #2
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
I pan everything you mentioned dead center as a default. But... sometime I cheat ten percent left or right, if it aids clarity.

Jasper
Old 7th April 2004
  #3
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 

I agree completely with Mike. I'd add that lead instruments + solos also get panned towards the center, though not always all the way. Sometimes I pan them out as much as -/+ 20. Also, I recommend experimenting with placing 1/8 note percussion dead center for a more driving sound than panning it left or right. This includes hi-hat, tambourine and shaker. Panning the hat to the middle can also have a more retro sound.

After that, these days I've been doing a lot of hard left + right panning. There are those mixers who say there are only three pan positions: hard left, hard right, and dead center. Though I believe that is more applicable to simpler, lower track count productions. I find that the bigger productions seem to require making more use of the space in between hard left/right and center to maintain clarity. Especially Latin music with all the percussion.

Another guide in panning that can be helpful is that the most important instruments usually go to the center, the next most important usually to the far left/right and the remainder would most often be placed in the space in between. Additionally, texture and subliminal elements that are meant to be felt, but not heard as clear + distinctly seperate parts, can be hidden nicely by placing them in the center and tucking their levels under the general level of the rest of the track.

Hope this helps.
Old 7th April 2004
  #4
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Dye
Another guide in panning is that the most important instruments go to the center, the next most important to the far left/right and the remainder would be placed in the space in between.
yes .... I live by that rule say 75% of the time .... but rules have to be broken at times to make it more exciting or 'special'


automating pans is something that can be exciting for example.
Old 7th April 2004
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts
yes .... I live by that rule say 75% of the time .... but rules have to be broken at times to make it more exciting or 'special'
That darn word "guide" ("guidelines") keeps getting me into trouble. Yes, I agree with you completely Chris. What I meant was that I use the above panning suggestions only as a guide, but definitely not as a rule.

(I changed my previous post to make it clearer and also added a note about panning positions for subliminal parts.)
Old 7th April 2004
  #6
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Charles Dye
That darn word "guide" ("guidelines") keeps getting me into trouble. Yes, I agree with you completely Chris. What I meant was that I use the above panning suggestions only as a guide, but definitely not as a rule.

arggghhh ... would rather blame it on my english. Although I think I 'master' it quite well ... it's the finer things in the way you 'feel' a language that I miss out on a lot. A native english person would probably have gotten it right ... btw ... I didn't think for a second about it being a 'rule' or a 'guide' one has to stick to ...; neither when reading your post, neither when posting my reply.

That's the thing with languages ... one can learn the vocabulary / grammar etc etc ... but the real feel .... damn hard. kinda like music .... if you ain't got the roots ... you can only fake it that much.
Old 7th April 2004
  #7
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I was thinking that might have been the case. Check out the additional note about panning of subliminal parts I made to my original post.
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