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Thread: Pan Issues When Mixing

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    Pan Issues When Mixing

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    Ok I used my M-Audio Audiophile 2496 for the first time yesterday and noticed the mixdowns sound... well odd. It reminds me of when I mix a file to play left pan and a seperate one to play right pan... like the sound is slightly distant.

    My card's input does have a manual pan setting, the Left is set L50 and the right is set R50, so I'm guessing that is causing the bizarre playback? I never fiddled with it as I assumed that is how I should leave it? You can central them, but I can push it to L2 and R2, as close to central as possible?

    I have the audio file if anybody wishes to hear what I mean, in comparision I can show a track recorded previously on a Soundblaster were the vocals are more central and sound a lot of more 'full' as a result.

    Hope somebody can help out, thanks

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    It's hard to tell just what you're talking about because "distant" is not something that's usually associated with a panning issue. Posting a before/after file might help.

    But just a guess in the meantime: You may be hearing a difference in software panning laws, especially if you switched software or software configuration when you switched sound cards.

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damian227 View Post
    Ok I used my M-Audio Audiophile 2496 for the first time yesterday and noticed the mixdowns sound... well odd. It reminds me of when I mix a file to play left pan and a seperate one to play right pan... like the sound is slightly distant.
    It could be that something inadvertently got wired out of phase when you were hooking stuff back up.

    I would check by playing a commercial track through your sound card and see if it still sounds weird. Pop it in mono and see if the low end disappears.

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    No anything else sounds fine, my panning-laws remain the same and everything. It just sounds like anything recorded is no longer central to the speakers. Sounds just like when I set the pan directly to one speaker

    I've uploaded the bare vocals of Old (Soundblaster) and New (Audiophile 2496) and a version on the instrumentals (mixed with ad libs and backing vocals).

    They've been mixed the same way in the same program but as you can hear, the Old one is more central, sounding like any other professional recording... the new one just sounds strange on the instrumental, like it's seperate from the beat and playing beside it, than with it. Even if volume is boosted, it just sounds louder and defines how each channel plays too far to either side.

    Really hope somebody can help as the Audiophile gives nearly zero noise when set up to my gear and I'm loving it, apart from this issue.

    Link to the files - http://www.zshare.net/download/73383475a788577c/

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    OK, I put your Old and New raw vocal samples up on the table and ran some tests on them, and found a few things, but one is the killer.

    First of all, there is obviously a difference because the old and the new are from two different songs with differing volume/RMS levels and differing amount of reverb added. But that's probably not what you're talking about. This is:

    Tom W. was on the right track. You are recording your vocals in stereo (which is quite unnecessary, BTW), and for some reason the L and R tracks on the "new" vocal are polarity inverted, giving you a fake wide stereo effect due to the phase difference. Here is a close up of one small part of the file showing the inversion clearly:



    You can correct this in your current recordings by highlighting just one side of your stereo file and inverting it; you'll instantly hear the focus snap back to the center like on your old recordings.

    As to why that's happening to begin with, I'm not sure. It could be some setting in the card's driver, it could be bad wiring on the card itself. But I'd try first of all to record your mono vocals in actual mono and see if that avoids the problem.

    HTH,

    G.
    Last edited by SouthSIDE Glen; 03-06-2010 at 10:50.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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    Actually that looks more like a DC offset.

    Usually there are plugs that can undo this or a hpf set at 10 hz would also work, but the more important thing would be to find out what is causing your converter to act that way.

    The main cause is usually inaccuracies in the A/D converter or conversion subsystem that produce a slight output offset voltage.

    There are some phase issue's going on as well because usually the wave forms would not be a mirror image.

    This is usually a problem that stems from the converter, which is why it showed up when you switched converters.

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    I liked the panning laws link, very informative. Thanks.

  8. #8
    RAMI Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Damian227 View Post
    My card's input does have a manual pan setting, the Left is set L50 and the right is set R50,
    OK, I don't know anything about your card, so I may be way off here. But, just a guess: Could it be that they should be set L100 and R100. L50 and R50 sounds to me that they're both only halfway panned.

  9. #9
    RAMI Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by saads View Post
    I liked the panning laws link, very informative. Thanks.
    I agree. Now I have to go into Reaper and check out what law I've been working with all these years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
    Actually that looks more like a DC offset
    Nope, there's no offset in that file, I checked already. It's a simple inversion between the L and R sides.
    Quote Originally Posted by RAMI
    OK, I don't know anything about your card, so I may be way off here. But, just a guess: Could it be that they should be set L100 and R100. L50 and R50 sounds to me that they're both only halfway panned.
    That should not be an issue, at least not one related to the actual inversion problem. Panning the two sides by an equal amount would still result in a mono image down the center, just as 100% panning would. The only potential difference might be in the amplitude of the resulting signal, if the DAWs panning laws were still causing some gain reduction at 50% pan.

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
    SouthSIDE Multimedia Productions[/COLOR]
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