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  1. #1

    Default Test your routing knowledge

    I have never really considered what happens when you pan a stereo track (always leaving them center and using a plugin if I need to adjust one of the sides). I can play around and determine exactly what happens, but I thought this would be a good thread discussion.

    I assume that the L & R remain entirely on their sides and their relative volumes change from full,none -6,-6 none,full across the pan slider.

    That question leads to others which is, are all of the input modules identical - or does a channel with a mono input do half the processing of one with a stereo input (which strikes me as the way Bob does things - but because so many effects like delay utilize stereo it may argue in favor of stereo processing every channel). Also, what happens when you use a mono plugin on a track with stereo content, and visa versa?

    Then you might expand the original question of panning to the Aux Sends - are we sending what we think we are - particularly if we have post-fx engaged?
    Last edited by jmh; 08-26-2021 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    I always use the pan at the channel as the final pan adjustment.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    OK I've just been playing with a stereo track and the pan does just what the label implies (how obvious). Center is 0,0db and moving to the right of center rolls off the left while the right remains the same - and visa versa. This also means the overall volume decreases as your pan is moved off center (which I think would be the case with a mono input - something I'll have to look at and is good to know about if you automate the pan).

    The auxes do the same thing - while I have not used stereo tracks too much somehow I had it in mind that the auxes pushed both the L&R content toward one side or another.

    From my quick experimentation, it appears that every channel is stereo. I never gave this much thought but some of the waves and other plugins I've used are mono or mono->stereo or can be set to one or the other, so I'll have to do some additional experimentation to see just how these behave.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    This also means the overall volume decreases as your pan is moved off center (which I think would be the case with a mono input - something I'll have to look at and is good to know about if you automate the pan).
    Made a mono sine wave, put it on track 1 now click mono on the output track sweep input 1 pan from L to R and indeed crossing the center becomes 6dB louder on the main.

    I have always had trouble doing a rough mix with everything panned in the center then I'd start panning things and it would fall apart I finally gave up on trying to first balance things in mono as so many people recommend - now I see why. I expect this is the way it is on some consoles, but I wish I had understood this years ago - which brings the question, is there a switch to change the pan taper?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    Made a mono sine wave, put it on track 1 now click mono on the output track sweep input 1 pan from L to R and indeed crossing the center becomes 6dB louder on the main.

    I have always had trouble doing a rough mix with everything panned in the center then I'd start panning things and it would fall apart I finally gave up on trying to first balance things in mono as so many people recommend - now I see why. I expect this is the way it is on some consoles, but I wish I had understood this years ago - which brings the question, is there a switch to change the pan taper?
    Here is a link to some tutorial. On image 6 there is some information I think: https://www.rmllabs.com/sawstudio.co...eControls.html

  6. #6

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    OK I've just been playing with a stereo track and the pan does just what the label implies (how obvious). Center is 0,0db and moving to the right of center rolls off the left while the right remains the same - and visa versa. This also means the overall volume decreases as your pan is moved off center (which I think would be the case with a mono input - something I'll have to look at and is good to know about if you automate the pan).
    This is how all balance controls (stereo source) work, I believe. Pan controls (mono source) can have various "tapers," though. Here's some interesting reading, though the opening sentence could use a rewrite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law

    The auxes do the same thing - while I have not used stereo tracks too much somehow I had it in mind that the auxes pushed both the L&R content toward one side or another.
    If you think about it, such behavior would quickly spoil (narrow) the stereo image of the source.

    From my quick experimentation, it appears that every channel is stereo. I never gave this much thought but some of the waves and other plugins I've used are mono or mono->stereo or can be set to one or the other, so I'll have to do some additional experimentation to see just how these behave.
    In SS a channel either has a mono source (sound file) or a stereo source (sound file). Whichever it is determines whether you then have a pan control or a balance control above your fader on that channel.

    If you want more control over your stereo sources when it comes to balance of content therein, consider the free, native Brainspawn SP-1 stereo panner plugin that lets you play with that, generously hosted by our own Steven Berson here: http://www.totalsonic.net/brainspawn.htm IIRC it's a little buggy, but can be very useful, allowing independent pan and volume control of each channel of a stereo source when patched into an FX patch point in SAW.
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 08-31-2021 at 01:31 PM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  7. #7

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    This is how all balance controls (stereo source) work, I believe. Pan controls (mono source) can have various "tapers," though. Here's some interesting reading, though the opening sentence could use a rewrite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law
    Actually, that is not what I'm getting out of that wiki description - and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panning_(audio)

    I think what is typical is continual taper on both channels (one the inverse of the other) from full left to right
    0db,none <-> the center being -XdB,-XdB <-> right is none,0dB reduction
    ...where X is somewhere between 3 and 6. Where a value might be chosen for the type of content expected a particular bus. When I get a chance, I'm going to do some testing on some physical pans and see what happens.
    Last edited by jmh; 08-31-2021 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by jmh View Post
    Actually, that is not what I'm getting out of that wiki description - and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panning_(audio)
    What is not what your getting out of that wiki description?

    I think what is typical is continual taper on both channels (one the inverse of the other) from full left to right
    0db,none <-> the center being -XdB,-XdB <-> right is none,0dB reduction
    ...where X is somewhere between 3 and 6. Where a value might be chosen for the type of content expected a particular bus. When I get a chance, I'm going to do some testing on some physical pans and see what happens.
    Is that not what my link said? Except that center value, it said, was about room acoustics and not type of content IIRC.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #9

    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    In SS a channel either has a mono source (sound file) or a stereo source (sound file). Whichever it is determines whether you then have a pan control or a balance control above your fader on that channel.
    Yes you were describing both pan and balance correctly - but unless I'm misunderstanding something, Studio does not have pan controls - just balance - regardless of a mono source - in which case, it doesn't behave like a pan.

    It is sort of coming back to me. I think sawpro had pans and I had difficulty transitioning to studio - and until recently, not nearly as proficient. I had taken a 15 year or so hiatus from doing any mixing other than quick recordings. Over that time period, there were many features added to studio which I occasionally discover - but I guess not that. I haven't really been thinking about it - just subconciencly guessing on the pan and leaving it alone then mixing.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Test your routing knowledge

    If you want more control over your stereo sources when it comes to balance of content therein, consider the free, native Brainspawn SP-1 stereo panner plugin that lets you play with that, generously hosted by our own Steven Berson here: http://www.totalsonic.net/brainspawn.htm IIRC it's a little buggy, but can be very useful, allowing independent pan and volume control of each channel of a stereo source when patched into an FX patch point in SAW.
    This plugin may also be useful. It has adjustable pan-law (in the settings). VST format.

    https://www.sonalksis.com/freeg.html
    Last edited by Naturally Digital; 09-01-2021 at 08:36 PM.


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