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Recording Studio Discussion on everything recording based, such as mixing, mastering, mics, monitors and other gear.

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Unread 08-19-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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Far left / right panning Q

Hello! I've been wondering this for a while... probably a really simple answer, but I wanted to see if anyone knew. I've been recording for a long time (not professionally), and always wondered how some (not many, but some) mixes have tracks that are panned hard left or hard right and they sound really far left or really far right. I mean, I've had a track panned full left or right, unaffected (no reverb, etc), and it still doesn't sound as isolated to one side or the other as some good recordings I've heard. Sure, it's only coming out of one speaker, but the stereo space doesn't sound as 'wide'. Is there some trick to creating a wider sonic space in your recording?
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Unread 08-19-2010, 03:43 PM   #2
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Yeah - I don't know about it either but you want to look up stereo widening, psychoacoustic panning, etc. I know it involves phase and that there are plugins that do it for you but I havn't read into it yet.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
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There are a ton of different approaches you can take.

These are just loose concepts rather than specific instructions so bear that in mind:

You could make 3 copies of the same individual track, then pan the 1st 100% left, pan the 2nd 75% left and the 3rd 50% left (those are random/rough numbers, so don't take them as Gospel). If there are any phase issues, you could put a very slight delay on 2 out of the 3.

Additionally, presuming each of your tracks are currently in stereo, you could also experiment with summing the track you intend to pan into mono, and then playing with the copy/paste/pan method above.

There are also VST plugins out there that will let you alter the stereo field of a given track. I'm only personally familiar with the S-1 Imager from the Waves bundles (which cost thousands of dollars) but I am confident there are a bunch of free ones out there.

There are other options, too. As mentioned before me, there are plugins that will 'widen', and do all sorts of other crazy things. I guess I just prefer doing what they do the hard way.

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Unread 08-19-2010, 05:06 PM   #4
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Okay, from the little I've read and have been watching (a tutorial on mixing).

Stereo Widening is what you're looking for. There are VST Plugins which can help you with that.

Also, check the Phase Correlator (another plugin) to make sure you are not cancelling out phases. The cancelling can happen either due to masksing or the same signal on a diff phase. This can also make your panned instruments cancel out.

I believe Izotope's Ozone is a good plugin for widening and checking the phase correlation
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Unread 08-19-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Stereo Widening is it. It effectively makes things appear to be wider than your speakers using the Haas effect. If you have Logic, the Direction Mixer under Imaging can do this for you.

Another way to achieve it is by duplicating the mono track, pan each to the extremes, but delay one by no more than 30ms. Experiment with using shorter delay times also.

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