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How often do you guys pan kick and snare?
Old 23rd October 2007
Gear Nut
Ottomo's Avatar

Thread Starter
How often do you guys pan kick and snare?

...i was recording a great jazz blues kind of band live in the studio(amps and vox included) and they sounded great until at one point i accidentaly paned the kick and snare oposite to each other the room left the fok right and some other weird paning and it sounds unbelievable...checked in mono as well no problems as far as i can tell...drumkit it real small (16inch kick) but the sound is huge. is it over the top to do this? Songs do have a funky groove at tomers but you wouldnt play them at a club if you kkow what i mean. Of course its down to experimentation but just checking to see if its going to sound weird...
Old 23rd October 2007
If you like it great...but it's not exactly going to be a natural result!

What CAN be cool is panning the kit as a whole - esp if you've got some percussion to stick on the other side of the mix.

Check out Jackson Five's "ABC" for an example of lots of beatles stuff of course.
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
DeepSpace's Avatar

Personally, I prefer the kick dead center always. It's the foundation of the beat. Buildings fall over if their foundations are off to one side.

As for snare, there's a bit more room for experimentation IMO. I rarely pan snare dead center, but I'm not inclined to hard-pan it either. I like a thick and integrated (in the mix) snare sound - whereas it is too easy for it to sound thin and dissociated if it is panned too hard.

Depends what you're going for, though and of course, YMMV.
Old 23rd October 2007
Gear Nut
Ottomo's Avatar

Thread Starter
...i understand the kick is the foundation....then again nude by radiohead on their new album has the kick panned to the side... i forgot to mention that 80% of the drum sound and stereo image comes from the overheads at the moment so kick and snare dont sound compeletely out of place...definately not pefectly balanced but not weird either...also panning to one sound is cool not the same feeling tho...
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
Infernal Device's Avatar

Not a single thing in a mix for me is dead center.

Even shifting a tiny bit L or R can help things breathe.

I always make sure kick and bass are a bit apart, and vox and snare are a bit apart.

Old 23rd October 2007
Gear maniac

I've also been finding that slightly (really slightly) panning snare and kick off center can add to how lively a mix can sound. Then again, it's possible this can just be in my head and it doesn't make a damn difference.
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
el cochino's Avatar

Old 23rd October 2007
Gear Head

...Everytime I have an electronic music project due @ the university I go to. The teacher loves that sort of 'wacky'
Old 23rd October 2007
Gear Head
bogus's Avatar

In my most used OH-setup when recording(Spaced pair), I place the OH's equidistant to the snare, so that there are no phase-issues between the OH's and the snare mics..
BUT in this setup, the kick drum isn't perectly centered in the OH's.. If you are a real bitch about it, you could monitor just the OH's and Kick mic in mono and pan the kick back and forth until you find where it's loudest.. This way you can accuratlely place the kick in the OH's stereo image..
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
travisbrown's Avatar
I like panning the whole kit, or leaving the kick centre and the snare 5 degrees left, but I think they need to be together to sound cohesive. To me, hearing the kick and snare drastically seperated loses the groove and sounds like a pingpong match.
Old 23rd October 2007
never tutt
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
TornadoTed's Avatar
I do this to, so the snare is equal distance from the overheads. I then pan the kick slightly to one side (usually to the left) to it's position in the overheads. I then pan the bass the same amount the other way. This seems to work for me and helps me get a bit more definition in the bottom end.
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
robot gigante's Avatar
Yeah, I like to pan 'em...

Right dead center.

Or, not very often, hard left or right.
Old 23rd October 2007
Lives for gear
I usually only pan them when I'm panning the whole kit left or right or something. I'll have to try it though. Could be cool for some things I can imagine. This gives me an idea to try on a part of a song needing some lofi type stuff. Maybe pan the kick right, snare left and have the decay of the verbs on the opposite sides. It's worth a shot. Maybe even throw in a spectral enhancer to make em even wider out there. Hmmm - Thanks for the ideas.
Old 24th October 2007
Gear Head

Fundamentals of the drums go dead center, including kick + snare. Kick is often in mono as well, at least in the lower freqs. Reasoning behind this is because multiple speakers slamming the exact same audio at you is going to punch through better than half of them putting out one thing and half putting out another thing, especially in a club environment! I'll often add stereo depth to the click/top end of both the kick + snare though.
Old 24th October 2007
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar

no rules means no rules. none.

sounds cool? you like it? client likes it?

end of story.

Old 24th October 2007
Lives for gear
Improv's Avatar

No rules.

That track is a perfect example. I just love how the kick tugs all the drums to the right (must be some sidechain-gated ducking on the left channel of the drum submix). Really cool effect... never heard it before... kills on that track.

But those guys are at the top of their game... you just gotta get there and then you'll know when it's appropriate
Old 24th October 2007
Lives for gear
DeepSpace's Avatar

What - not even the laws of physics?

When you hard-pan an instrument, it is 3db quieter. To maintain its overall level in the mix, you must therefore bring it up by 3db (if you have the headroom to do so) or pull back the rest of the mix to restore an equivalent amount of punch-through for the hard-panned instrument.

In the case of instruments that have a lot of bass energy, forcing the mix to rely on the amount of air that can be moved by a single bass driver is a compromise. As part of that compromise, when heard on under-powered hi-fi systems, the low end will fag out way sooner with such a mix.

Maybe it's a compromise you're happy to take on occasions. You have to weigh things up and decide what is most important and go with that.

But saying there are "no rules" is pure fantasy. Sorry.
Old 24th October 2007
Lives for gear
uncle duncan's Avatar

I think there are less rules in jazz/blues. Sometimes, in jazz, the kick is more of an accent instrument than a groove instrument. As long as the bass is still near the center, panning the drums shouldn't really have an adverse affect the punchiness of the mix.

Personally, I like out-of-kilter mixes. It's not like you have to be seated directly in front of the kick drum to get the message of the music. It could be the message of the music is coming from the keyboard, or the horn, or whatever. The only problem I see with this approach is continuity when listening to the CD. Is it going to be too weird if the aural image changes with every song?
Old 24th October 2007
Lives for gear
Protools Guy's Avatar

i've never done it. kick & snare are always straight up the middle. maybe i'll give it a try on a future project.
Old 24th October 2007
Lives for gear

Its cool. I don't do it on contemporary rock stuff but for something with more "room" to it...definitely...check!
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