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Thread: Panning Tips please!

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    Panning Tips please!

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    hey. i am having a horrible time getting the mix right for a project i am working on, and i think its because i have the panning wrong. i set all of the frequencies for the tracks, and i have it all panned out to pretty much a minimum. because when i spread it out (which means i just about guess on everything) i end up with too much noise in one side and/or sounds that just don't have a spot but i don't want to trash them. like percussive taps, sidesticks, and hats mostly. mostly percussive tracks.

    Any tips?

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    What tracks are you trying to pan....specifically names and numbers.
    ...we have reached a time where infinite growth is colliding with finite resources. We are in trouble....

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    Leave the snare and kick centered. I pan my left and right OH's hard (100%) accordingly.
    ...we have reached a time where infinite growth is colliding with finite resources. We are in trouble....

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    What tracks are you trying to pan....specifically names and numbers.
    im trying to pan everything i guess. Im leaving most of my synths and pads pretty much centered, because thats where i think that action is. and i haven't touched the bass and i have to samples for snare, and i have them reflecting each other (-14,+14). but whats getting me is the rest of my beat. i have a CH and a shaker type sound alternating on eighth notes (down beat up beat would probably describe that better) . should i pan them the same?

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    Actually, what I do when mixing drums, and this may not work for everyone, but it's the way I do it. I start with the faders up and then I listen to the song dry, no fx. As I am listening to the song I am tweaking levels into the ballpark bringing everything into the mix just to get a feel of how everything can work together. By the time the song is over(usually) I have the levels close to where they need to be. Next I mute everything but the OH's pan those hard left and right. I create a bus for the OH's and start to add any corrective eq, gating, compression and tone shaping eq. Once I have the drums sounding the best I can get them with just the OH's I bring in the kick and season to taste, add snare, add toms/hats/cowbell/whatever until finished. I leave kick and snare centered and pan the toms according to how the relate best with the OH's usually in the 45 L or R range...meaning, if you have 3 toms, the 1st tom approx. 45 to the left, the 2nd at 0 and the floor tom 45 to the right. That is a GENERALIZATION not a PATTERN TO MIMIC. Sorry, just had to throw that in there.

    After the drums are done, I add bass, then guitars, other instruments and finally vox. When I've done that I go back and fine tweak, starting with the drums so everything blends together.

    That's a good suggestion, that works for me. Others may have different suggestions but it comes down to trial and error and what works for you.
    ...we have reached a time where infinite growth is colliding with finite resources. We are in trouble....

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    That's a good suggestion, that works for me. Others may have different suggestions but it comes down to trial and error and what works for you.
    im not going to mimic you dude. lol. but thanks thats exactly what i needed. i was just having trouble getting it down to a system of doing things. which im pretty ocd about stuff so i was getting pretty frustrated.

    thank you

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    Mimic away! What I meant was, there is no set practice...that one may work for your, someone else may think differently. But glad that helped. You are very welcome and good luck.

    Welcome to the board.
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    Thanks for the welcome! this is quite an impressive forum.

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    keep your bass and kick centered, youve got about another 5% either way with the snare...but keeping it in the middles a good idea

    keep your overheads (cymbals) within the 10 o clock to 2 o clock position..anythi g else and you are getting too unatural for our ears to accept..if you are using drum software with OH's be sure you pane the drums appropriately..but Ive heard your stuff so I dont think it pertains..just dont go wild

    synths?

    keep the lead in the middle..like you would a vocal..but other synths can bounce around the soundstage...pads are best left alone in the middle too but remember they are frequency fillers....unless they are the focus cut the fuck out of the middle frequencies..they are also great with a stereo imager pushing them out to the extremes after some frequency cuts

    dont fall into the "W" trap of having everything at the extremes or middle..plan what you are presenting...but more importantly dont think that 1 or 2% makes much difference..give them a bit of whack when panning lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachyboy4 View Post
    im trying to pan everything i guess. Im leaving most of my synths and pads pretty much centered, because thats where i think that action is. and i haven't touched the bass and i have to samples for snare, and i have them reflecting each other (-14,+14). but whats getting me is the rest of my beat. i have a CH and a shaker type sound alternating on eighth notes (down beat up beat would probably describe that better) . should i pan them the same?
    Put both snares up the middle, and pan the perc hard. Without hearing the track that's the best advice I can give you as it's the likeliest to work and work well.

    From Zen and the Art of Mixing: "My recommendation is this: When in doubt, pan hard or don’t pan at all. Over time, you’ll figure out when to use internal panning positions. Background vocals are often a good candidate for this. Soft-panning a mono Rhodes in a predominantly guitar-driven mix can be a reasonable solution, particularly if the guitars are panned hard (as they should be). A single acoustic guitar is certainly best soft-panned in a guitar/vocal production. So there are certainly times to soft pan; it’s just that overall, hard panning is usually the better option."

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