Panning Instruments


pan 150x150 Panning InstrumentsSo, you have recorded all the tracks and you are ready to mix.

You have 2 guitars, bass, drums and last but not least, vocals.
We will pan each instruments just like we see them at a concert.


Let’s see the most common way to pan them:

*  Guitars
Guitars are at the left and right of the mix. You can pan them hard left and hard right (from 60% to 100% each for example).

*  Bass
Put the bass in the middle (0%). Experimenting is always positive, but don’t overdo it.
Putting the bass far away from the middle will confuse the listener.

*  Drums
There are 2 different perspectives that you can choose to pan drums.

Drummer’s Perpective:
You are sitting at the drums. Pan each drum as you see it.

Kick: Middle (or not far away from middle)
Snare: same as kick.
Toms: From left to right.
Hi-Hat: Little left
Ride: Little Right (or even near center if you like the bell to “hit your face”)
Cymbals/Overhead: From left to right


Audience Pespective:

It’s exactly the opposite of Drummer’s Perspective. (hi-hat at right, ride bell left etc)

Feel free to experiment.


*  Vocals
In most songs vocals dominate the mix. They are in the dead center  of the mix.
You have more freedom to experiment though with backing vocals (60% Left/Right for example)

Of course, all the above are just some basic examples.
You can change anything if the mix asks for it.



If you want your guitars to have a “huge” sound you can Quad-track them rather than Double-track them, putting the added tracks to 80% each.

Common Mistake:

Many people just copy-paste the tracks. You have to re-record the tracks in order to make them sound fuller. You need 4 different recorded takes.



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