LCR

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How do you pan things?

LCR
2
40%
I like to use "all of the space"
3
60%
 
Total votes : 5

LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:07 pm

It's funny I used to try to give everything it's own exact space in the stereo field when I first started. I figured it made more sense to spread things around. Now I either put things in the center or hard left/right. Anyone have a different methodology? I'd love to have a discussion about it.
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Re: LCR

Postby macrae11 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:21 pm

I'm LCR until I'm not if that makes any sense. Probably 85-95% of my mixes end up being strictly LCR, but I'm not opposed to venturing out. Sometimes it's only out by maybe 5% or so in order to make some space. Like say I want a BGV panned up the center but it's getting in the way of the lead a bit, sometimes panning it 5-10% left or right will cause it to still be perceived in the centre, but still give the lead a little more room.
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Re: LCR

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:24 pm

Most of my mixes are "busy," so I love nudging little bits and pieces just so, into place. It's an intuitive thing. Rhythm guitars, either acoustic or electric, I generally pan hard left and right, vocals I tend to put right in the middle. I tend to put my percussion in the middle, but panned a little bit to space things out.

Aside from those staples, all other melodies get put wherever they sound like they should be; I'm not opposed to putting something into a panning tremolo once in a while, too, if I think a line could benefit from some exercise moving around. "Random" panning suits the odd percussive synth melody (think the 'popcorn' preset), too, but usually something in the background that doesn't appear that often and isn't too busy itself.
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Re: LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:25 pm

macrae11 wrote:Like say I want a BGV panned up the center but it's getting in the way of the lead a bit, sometimes panning it 5-10% left or right will cause it to still be perceived in the centre, but still give the lead a little more room.


That's pretty reasonable actually. It's never come up before, but I'll remember that one.
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:32 pm

Wherever works.

A lot of mixes end up strictly LCR but as Andrew mentioned, nudging stuff is what happens a lot of the times. I guess I start by working LCR until things don't fit and then I'll work around that.

I don't think about it as a philosophy, but I guess that's probably how it goes for me.
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Re: LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:56 pm

So basically you default to LCR. The only reason I bring it up is that I see a lot of people getting hung up on moving things to 30% left, or whatever without first trying it all the way left. I seem to remember a comment that Andrew made about some mixes of mine a few years back when I was starting. He said my mixes were "not wide enough"...I didn't understand what he meant at the time, but I haven't had conversations liek that with him since I started defaulting to LCR.
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:24 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:So basically you default to LCR. The only reason I bring it up is that I see a lot of people getting hung up on moving things to 30% left, or whatever without first trying it all the way left. I seem to remember a comment that Andrew made about some mixes of mine a few years back when I was starting. He said my mixes were "not wide enough"...I didn't understand what he meant at the time, but I haven't had conversations liek that with him since I started defaulting to LCR.
I remember making the same observation about your mixes being "narrower" than they needed, or IMO, could have been. I wouldn't really say I "default" to LCR... Just that it's where a lot of things end up being, with a smaller number of things being 20%-50%-80%... I guess I maintain my neutrality VS some who are die hard LCR for everything, as Wittman has been know to say "as god intended".
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Re: LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:58 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I guess I maintain my neutrality VS some who are die hard LCR for everything, as Wittman has been know to say "as god intended".

Haha... I love that guy. Between him, Otek and MacRae I've shaved years off my learning curve.
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Re: LCR

Postby macrae11 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:24 pm

William certainly knows where things are at, and I can't fault him on really anything. My only issue is that's he's such an absolutist and he tends to gloss over details, which as they say, is often where the devil is.
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Re: LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:35 am

Weedy simply describes things in a broad sense, then leaves people to discover the detail side of things for themselves. I agree with him and with his style of teaching. It's hard to teach details to someone especially over the internet, it's best to send them in the best overall direction and trust that from there they can sort the rest out if they are really cut out for this.

OK... Since you guys are hell-bent on making this conversation boring, I'll ask the questions.

Why do you think that most of your panning decisions start in LCR then only a small percentage of those decisions ever deviate from that? What is it about LCR that you find is very effective 95% of the time?
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Re: LCR

Postby macrae11 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:15 am

Mathieu Benoit wrote:Weedy simply describes things in a broad sense, then leaves people to discover the detail side of things for themselves. I agree with him and with his style of teaching. It's hard to teach details to someone especially over the internet, it's best to send them in the best overall direction and trust that from there they can sort the rest out if they are really cut out for this.?

Agreed, but some details are important and can make finding your own way much quicker and easier. Otek is an example of a guy who gives an excellent amount of detail IMO.

Mathieu Benoit wrote:OK... Since you guys are hell-bent on making this conversation boring, I'll ask the questions.

Why is it boring... because we mostly agree? I don't think that's terribly surprising.
Mathieu Benoit wrote:Why do you think that most of your panning decisions start in LCR then only a small percentage of those decisions ever deviate from that? What is it about LCR that you find is very effective 95% of the time?

For me I think it's mostly about maximizing the space for every instrument. It's very rare that a mix needs to be narrower and I find LCR generally gives wider mixes. Even in a really sparse mix like acoustic piano and voice, while it might sound funny in headphones, works great with things panned hard. I also find they tend to be more exciting and impactful than mixes that are all over the place. Which is why when I do deviate from LCR it's usually little things that are just sonic candy, or more background. Never something like a rhythm guitar. I guess my only exception to the exception is sometimes when mixing drums for a not so rocky tune I'll pan the individual elements to match their position in the overhead image. So in that case the toms might end up at 50-70%, hi hat 80% etc. With anything that rocks out I find having toms, hats etc panned hard gives much more impact. Of course in those lighter moments I'll end up with mono drums often as not anyways so...
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:14 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:Why do you think that most of your panning decisions start in LCR then only a small percentage of those decisions ever deviate from that? What is it about LCR that you find is very effective 95% of the time?
I like wide mixes. I like stereo. I grew up listening to an awful lot of stuff in headphones for hours and hours. Hard panning stuff out allows them to breathe without dominating things level wise. Some times when things start to clutter up with a lot of things going on, you need to tuck some things in to the middle ground. I just don't start trying to find that special spot on the pan. Once I decide where it's going, (LCR) which is usually pretty quick, then I can work on tight balances instead of wasting time trying to find some special pan percentage.

On the other hand, if I'm building a rockin' track with a stereo drum mix or stereo tracked rthm gtr or keyboard, and the overall vibe isn't as "wide" sounding, I may not end up panning stuff out 100% because it can come out sounding outside the scope of the mix. Sometimes the tracks dictate that direction.


macrae11 wrote:
Mathieu Benoit wrote:OK... Since you guys are hell-bent on making this conversation boring, I'll ask the questions.

Why is it boring... because we mostly agree? I don't think that's terribly surprising.
:lol:

macrae11 wrote:It's very rare that a mix needs to be narrower...
Rare, but it does happen for me as mentioned above. Some things sound pretty "wide" even when only 50% out depending on the other stuff that is going on.

macrae11 wrote:...Which is why when I do deviate from LCR it's usually little things that are just sonic candy, or more background. Never something like a rhythm guitar. I guess my only exception to the exception is sometimes when mixing drums for a not so rocky tune I'll pan the individual elements to match their position in the overhead image. So in that case the toms might end up at 50-70%, hi hat 80% etc. With anything that rocks out I find having toms, hats etc panned hard gives much more impact. Of course in those lighter moments I'll end up with mono drums often as not anyways so...
I always find it funny how similar techniques can come from different ways of looking at stuff. I think I am more likely to hard pan something that is just frosting for the cake as opposed to keeping it center or in the no mans land between. Panning close miced elements to match the stereo OH or front drum mics is a given for me as far as what will go "in between" in the panning world. Like you said, more "extreme" sounds may sound better panned out hard.

All that being said, context is everything when it comes to making mix decisions of every kind. I'm usually panning stuff in response to something else in the mix, and looking for a balance, which is what we're doing while mixing right? I just don't have a set philosophy for panning, which I guess is a philosophy of sorts, so I'm screwed either way...
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Re: LCR

Postby sean.boyer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:07 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
macrae11 wrote:Like say I want a BGV panned up the center but it's getting in the way of the lead a bit, sometimes panning it 5-10% left or right will cause it to still be perceived in the centre, but still give the lead a little more room.


That's pretty reasonable actually. It's never come up before, but I'll remember that one.


This is a common tactic for me too. I will also typically give guitars a fairly substantial separation. In the ball park of 50% to 80%. I play with the width as needed. One thing I do a lot to make sure things are positioned well is to listen to things in mono. You might be surprised at how different things will sound when mono summing the master, and moving your panning around. I spend a considerable amount of time in "mono conscious" mode, especially while working on drums.

I usually like to pan my drums around a lot too. Kick in the centre, OH's hard panned, but then I'll play with the positioning of everything else. I typically mix as if I'm sitting at the drums, so hats 80-90% to the left, ride 75-90 to the right, snare off to the left a little sometimes (try this. It's not as weird as you think. The snare is never physically in the "centre" of the kit in the real world anyway....) and then the toms usually move in increments of 20-30 percent (so for 3 toms, L to R: 30% L, 60% L, 30% right or so).

Sometimes that doesn't work the best, and I find that the ultimate "spatial positioning" of the toms comes down to how things sound against the room mic(s). It's a different process from a single mono room mic, to a centre M/S mic pair, to spaced stereo pair. Most often I use a mono room mic, but it's usually compressed quite hard to bring up the "room" ambiance, more than to support the actual kit tones.

Then for vocals, especially when there are multiple background vox, I will usually split them side-to-side with a 75% or so separation. I have even doubled the lead vox and panned it out side to side for interesting stereo width effects (again, being mono cautious). Oh, the fun you can have playing with panning.

I guess to sum up, I typically only hard pan the drum OH, or double tracked parts (like piano or string parts).
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:16 pm

sean.boyer wrote:One thing I do a lot to make sure things are positioned well is to listen to things in mono. You might be surprised at how different things will sound when mono summing the master, and moving your panning around. I spend a considerable amount of time in "mono conscious" mode, especially while working on drums.
Although I will check mixes in mono to make sure things aren't completely out to lunch, I won't sacrifice balance in stereo for mono compatibility. It's impossible to not have one more what you want than the other... I choose stereo.

If you did a mix with a single mono guitar hard panned, and a single lead vocal center, and loved the balance, as soon as you mono sum it the balance will be different, "pan law" or not.
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:16 pm

...and just to pick nits with terminology. When I see "LCR", although I know what you meant in this case, I think of surround environment mixing VS "LR" stereo panning. Some consoles that are "surround capable" allow you to switch the pan pot to run LR/LCR. In "LR", something panned center will go to the left and right buss equally as well as the center, and in "LCR" panned center will only go to the center channel.
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Re: LCR

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:35 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:...and just to pick nits with terminology. When I see "LCR", although I know what you meant in this case, I think of surround environment mixing VS "LR" stereo panning. Some consoles that are "surround capable" allow you to switch the pan pot to run LR/LCR. In "LR", something panned center will go to the left and right buss equally as well as the center, and in "LCR" panned center will only go to the center channel.


Call it something else then.... You won't hurt my feelings.
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Mathieu Benoit wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:...and just to pick nits with terminology. When I see "LCR", although I know what you meant in this case, I think of surround environment mixing VS "LR" stereo panning. Some consoles that are "surround capable" allow you to switch the pan pot to run LR/LCR. In "LR", something panned center will go to the left and right buss equally as well as the center, and in "LCR" panned center will only go to the center channel.


Call it something else then.... You won't hurt my feelings.
8-)
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Re: LCR

Postby sean.boyer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:21 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:
sean.boyer wrote:One thing I do a lot to make sure things are positioned well is to listen to things in mono. You might be surprised at how different things will sound when mono summing the master, and moving your panning around. I spend a considerable amount of time in "mono conscious" mode, especially while working on drums.
Although I will check mixes in mono to make sure things aren't completely out to lunch, I won't sacrifice balance in stereo for mono compatibility. It's impossible to not have one more what you want than the other... I choose stereo.

If you did a mix with a single mono guitar hard panned, and a single lead vocal center, and loved the balance, as soon as you mono sum it the balance will be different, "pan law" or not.


I'm still a little more careful with mono compatibility than a lot of people may be for the simple reason that if your song is played on, say, CBC1 SJ, or CFMH, you're getting summed to mono. Having your mix played on Shift at 5pm on a Friday with however many people listening is a bad time to learn that your imaging was way wonky. Or at least I imagine it would be, as I've never had that happen because I try to be careful ;)
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:46 pm

sean.boyer wrote:
Malcolm Boyce wrote:
sean.boyer wrote:One thing I do a lot to make sure things are positioned well is to listen to things in mono. You might be surprised at how different things will sound when mono summing the master, and moving your panning around. I spend a considerable amount of time in "mono conscious" mode, especially while working on drums.
Although I will check mixes in mono to make sure things aren't completely out to lunch, I won't sacrifice balance in stereo for mono compatibility. It's impossible to not have one more what you want than the other... I choose stereo.

If you did a mix with a single mono guitar hard panned, and a single lead vocal center, and loved the balance, as soon as you mono sum it the balance will be different, "pan law" or not.


I'm still a little more careful with mono compatibility than a lot of people may be for the simple reason that if your song is played on, say, CBC1 SJ, or CFMH, you're getting summed to mono. Having your mix played on Shift at 5pm on a Friday with however many people listening is a bad time to learn that your imaging was way wonky. Or at least I imagine it would be, as I've never had that happen because I try to be careful ;)
I totally get where you're coming from, and I always check things in mono to make sure that it isn't going to miss the point completely. I just don't spend time fine tuning balances in mono.
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Re: LCR

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:17 am

"Walking on the Moon" in mono. Thoughts.?
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Re: LCR

Postby macrae11 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:20 pm

I'm not sure what the question is since "Walking on the Moon" isn't mono. It's certainly centre heavy, but not mono. Which can be a great effect as then anything that is panned out becomes very distinct. Muse's "Uprising" is a good example of this.

On the other side of the coin, taking LCR to it's extreme I did my first ever "old school stereo" mix ala Sharon Jones this week.
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Re: LCR

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:21 pm

macrae11 wrote:I'm not sure what the question is since "Walking on the Moon" isn't mono.

I meant combine the channels and hear what happens. Would that not be monitoring in mono?
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:51 pm

I'm with Andrew. Scott was less than clear with his post...
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Re: LCR

Postby Scott DeVarenne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 pm

Just listen to the f'n song in mono.
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Re: LCR

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:04 pm

Scott DeVarenne wrote:Just listen to the f'n song in mono.

Hey... I'm working here. :-P I'll give it a spin later when I get a chance.
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