Best panning techniques

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Best panning techniques

Post by deusdiabolus »

I have discovered that a major technique I have been overlooking is panning various inputs to help compensate for the muddiness caused by excessive instrumentation. So I have been going back over my work (for the Nth time) and adjusting the position of things in the soundstage. However, I almost always use Cyanphase's JedShivaMeter to route all my inputs into the master. I have been trying to adjust the panning of each input from the parameter window of JSM, but (at least in headphones) it doesn't sound as if there's any change in the positioning, no matter how extreme I make it. Should I be using a separate pan machine on each input instead? And if so, is there one you'd recommend over others? (I was trying Automaton Balance, but I discovered when you put it in the chain of a certain VST a horrible shriek results when you load the song thereafter, so...)

TL,DR - Why am I not hearing a difference when I pan inputs from JedShivaMeter, and which panning machines should I use if it's better to use them?

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Re: Best panning techniques

Post by strobotone »

strange. maybe there is something wrong where you use multi outs ?
it might be something different but
sometimes one has to adjust the output channels of some VST effects to get stereo channels.

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Re: Best panning techniques

Post by UNZ »

may i suggest mixio

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Re: Best panning techniques

Post by bahador »

I have not worked with jedshiva but as you may know the new built in feature of buzz is to have the panning adjustment for each input and output, and even if you try the very built-in panning nubs you should hear the difference at least panning more than 25% will be easily distinguished.

Also panning is not the best approach for sucking out the muddiness from your tracks. The best approach is to use decent equalizers (in this respect I never suggest buzz eqs and you may find some good eq vst over the web) usually the muddiness of non-percussive instruments are caused by frequencies around 200 to 400 but when cutting them use a wide band eq and make very slight increments as these frequencies happen to be the fundamentals of each element and by overdoing it you will end up with a track with lack of low ends. So just try juggling around those frequencies and just a db or 2 will do the trick. And then you might benefit from a logical and correct panning.

And also on your final master you might benefit from cutting a half of a db or 1db approx. over 250 to 300 and add a db or so from 4k to 7k (very wide Q like 0.5 to 0.8) and just a high shelf on the end over the 10k or 11k will give you a very pleasant sharp sounding.

And for panning effect you might try Joachim’s deep pan effect. Unfortunately (that I know of) it does not support automation and you might get some clicks when panning all the way from left to right and visa versa but for fixed panning it will be considered as one of the best panning effects I have been using over the years.

Also for pushing your tracks back and forth on the mix you might use some reverb and delay but that’s not the point here. So my suggestion try to remove the muddiness mostly with the help of an eq.

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Re: Best panning techniques

Post by flat »

i would go for mixIO or, more modularly, for kibibu's stereo tools.

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Re: Best panning techniques

Post by Joachip »

The panning knob in Buzz should do just fine for panning, and you should see the panning on the meter when panning far, like this:


I just had a little strange incident where the panning knob didn't show up, but that's probably just a fluke.

Panning techniques:

1) The normal way to pan stuff is the way most hardware mixers do, which means if you pan to the middle, the signal will be sent through, both sides at 0 dB (no amplification or attenuation.) When panning 100% left, you will have +3 dB signal in the left side and silence in the right side.

2) The more primitive typical software way (mostly seen in software) is the same when panned center, but when panning 100% left, that channel is still just at 0 dB and the right side is silent. And because one channel playing at 0 dB is not as loud as two channels playing at 0 dB, the over-all percieved loudness will be lower.

3) Another primitive typical software way (mostly seen in software) is the same when panned center, but when panning 100% left, that channel is still +6 dB and the right side is silent. Volume will be perceived as louder when panned far to the side.

4) Pseudo-acoustic (to various degrees) panning may incorporate a time delay on the attenuated side to help the brain pin-point the exact location of the sound. My listening tests show that you can achieve a larger stereo spread with a smaller difference in amplitude this way. I also think it becomes possible to pan slightly more low-frequent sounds, even though this is hard to judge. You can read more about this here. One of the problems with this technique is that it causes flanging if you do anything like stereo-spreading (or the opposite.) Also, transients will not hit a compressor with stereo link enabled in an entirely optimal way.

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