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Panning sends Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 14th August 2009
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skiroy's Avatar

Panning sends

If I have a mono track panned left and I send it to a stereo aux bus ,but pan the send left like the track, does the efect(ex. reverb) still end up in both speakers the same? In other words a Left panned track sent(panned left also) to a stereo delay. Does the delayed signal still hit the mix out both speakers? So why pan it. Can anyone make sense of all this panning madness? I thought that if your track was panned left and you send it to a stereo buss,that it would send panned,but know I found out you can pan the send to. There are somany was of panning stuff when it comes to using mono and stereo efx buses and sends and Its really confusing as to what all the different spacial effects are acheived with each. Can anyone help with using real world examples?
Old 14th August 2009
Gear Addict
Paul Russell's Avatar

A real world example would be a true stereo reverb like the Powercore VSS3. You put in instrument in the stereo image and pan it, then open up an aux send with a VSS3 on it, and pan the send to exactly the same as where you main audio is. The result is a natural sound that helps position the instrument more accurately in the listener's ears. Alternatively, try panning the instrument hard left and panning the verb send hard right. Instant widening. With cheaper reverbs your mileage may vary.
Old 14th August 2009
Gear Addict
withintheflux's Avatar
I had a similar question recently about sends. I know that most people use Aux busses for their verbs/effects and send various amounts of several signals to it. I personally almost NEVER want to have a stereo verb on a source that is mono and panned to either Left or Right. In almost every case I only want the verb to remain directly behind the signal so as to keep control of the signal placement in the stereo field.

From what I was told and now understand, it comes down to WHICH plugin you are using on the Aux. Using some verbs (like Revibe), run in multi-mono, will result in a reverb that follows the panning of your original track. I learned, however, that many plugs don't give you such control.

Also, it makes sense to a degree considering the fact that a Room or chamber (or whatever the verb be) would resonate THROUGHOUT regardless of whether the signal entered left or right.


anyone else want to chime in?

Old 5th July 2010
Gear Nut

I've recently gotten into the world of panning reverb sends and I've found it helps a lot to widen sounds. How much panning is appropriate for drums though? I usually have my drum sounds right up the middle and then pan a reverb hard left and hard right to widen it up. As far as keyboards I tend to pan delays to the opposite side of the stereo field. Is this common practice?
Old 5th July 2010
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fossaree's Avatar
i usually like panning snare reverbs ...
mostly i do pan delays though
Old 5th July 2010
What will happen is totally dependent on the type of effect. Some are quite positional, and others are very much not. Most reverbs are going to have some amount of 'diffusion', which is sometimes tweakable and sometimes not. That will control how broadly smeared out the incoming signal gets as it is reverberated. Sometimes a very non-diffuse reverb is useful, sometimes a really diffuse reverb is useful, depends on the effect you want.

If you use a dual mono type of effect, and you have any sends panned hard left or right, then in theory the effect will be completely hard panned as well. Or if the effect does not do any sort of diffusion or play with the positioning at all, it should show up exactly wherever you have the send panned.

So, if you put an EQ or compressor on a bus, it's not going to change the positioning of anything that comes into it. So it should be exactly whever the send is panned. If you put a wide stereo chorus on it, then no matter where you pan the send, the output may give no clue as to where the original incoming signal was in the stereo field, assuming it's set full wet.
Old 5th July 2010
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XKAudio's Avatar

one technique that works miracles for me is to have a send to a reverb panned hard left, and another send panned hard right... ill copy the same reverb and tweak the settings slightly on both sides so they are slightly different... usually pre-delay, decay, diffusion etc. then based on where the instrument is panned in the song, ill send the signal to both sides, and respectively put that much more send to the side the instrument is on... or sometimes the opposite for widening... so i have guitar panned left at 50% AND ill put 50% more send to the left reverb aux track and 50% less to the right. for an example of a cool effect ,ill put two similar guitar parts panned equally side to side x amount and invert their send to the other side its like... woah.

edit: both reverbs i use are mono
Old 5th July 2010
Old 5th July 2010
Lives for gear

crazy special effect reverb = usually panned with the source track to the same location, or purposely opposite the source track.

normal "ambience" reverb = usually mono in/stereo out. sounds WAY better to my ears than a true stereo reverb.
Old 5th July 2010
Originally Posted by imaginaryday View Post
you can subscribe without having to post - it's in the "thread tools" menu I think...just so you know for the future!
Old 5th July 2010
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Unclenny's Avatar
Panning verb sends is important.......and it's one of those things that you can easily skip over.

For my taste, having verbs hard panned results in an overwash of revereration. I like to pan them to exactly where my instruments are panned to reinforce those positions that I have worked hard to establish. many little details like this in this game of inches.
Old 6th July 2010
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Eloheim's Avatar

To the OP:

Just wondering, but when you say "panning the send", skiroy, do you mean turning the pan knob on the return channel, or does your DAW/console actually have a separate "Send-Pan" control next to each individual "Send" knob? (Mine in the former, so I'm just wondering.)

Panning has been confusing to me too at times. Pan could be like a "rotation" control, right? So, for example, if you had a stereo signal, and you panned it full left, it would be like you had collapsed the signal to mono and played it only through the left channel. The alternative would be that panning the stereo signal to the left would play ONLY the left channel, and the right one would be essentially muted. The latter is the standard way I guess?

I think the difference between the above examples is what originally confused me, so maybe thinking about what I wrote can help people work to better work it out in their heads. (I'm not 100% sure I'm right about all this for all different DAWs/mixers, so that's why I put it more in the form of a question. I don't wanna lead anybody astray...)

Last edited by Eloheim; 6th July 2010 at 01:50 AM.. Reason: wrote the pan rules backwards-doh!
Old 6th July 2010
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D K's Avatar
I'm interested in this as well... The only time the send pan control seems to work for me is with delays - with stereo reverbs or chorus it seems like the only pan control that has any effect is on the track itself.

I kind of agree with what someone said above - in a normal room you would hear it on both sides of the room anyway - the direct sound would obviously come from wherever the instrument is placed...

Not sure how this works so definitely interested in learning more?
Old 6th July 2010
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XKAudio's Avatar

im sorry.. i meant to say that both reverbs on both sends are mono!!! i dont think panning two stereo reverbs would give you the same stereo effect...the point of them both being mono is to have full control over each stereo side's specific sounds, and how much each instrument is affected.

If you think of a guitar player playing right in front of you in a big hall, it is only if the guitar is dead center and both side walls are perfectly the same... (very rare in reality).. that the reverb should be the same on both sides...this would be mono reverb..

now imagine if the guitar shifts to the left, just because it is more left does not mean your going to hear more reverb on the left (which is what i hear stereo reverbs doing) ... in some cases depending on how far the back walls are from the guitar, you would hear a more wet sound on the right and a dryer sound from the source.

maybe im just talkin outta my ass... cuz im 20... and we like to do that... and i wouldnt want for you to think im a super big proffessional.. take it with a grain a salt. any thoughts or experience with this technique?
Old 6th July 2010
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
you can subscribe without having to post - it's in the "thread tools" menu I think...just so you know for the future!
Old 6th July 2010
Gear Guru
Muser's Avatar
I think this is where the Waves S1? would come in handy.

The wavearts panner / spatializer is in that ballpark too I think.

I don't really know of any others.

though Nugen Audio have an interesting 5 band panner where you can pan any one of 5 frequency ranges.

I think the S1 was designed by Michael Gerzon so, that one could be well conceived. I think I remember you can close down the position and spread. or extend it.
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