Quantcast
We all know how to pan L and R in a mix, but how do I "pan" FORWARD and BACK? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
We all know how to pan L and R in a mix, but how do I "pan" FORWARD and BACK?
Old 16th July 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
We all know how to pan L and R in a mix, but how do I "pan" FORWARD and BACK?

I wish it was as simple as panning left or right (maybe it will be one day?).

But how does one accomplish this? I know it's a broad question. It just strikes me that in trying to create a multi-dimensional sonic image, our immediate options are limited to panning left and right, across the "X-axis" (a la high school geometry). Then there's the "Y-axis", which goes up and down. I don't really know how to manipulate that one, either.

It's the "Z-axis", the one that brings a geometric plane into three dimensions, that is on my mind. What are some effective ways of manipulating one's mixes along the "Z-axis"? Whether it be something like bringing vocals to the front, a rhythm guitar part way to the back corner of the room or a string quartet, say, 8 feet directly behind the vocalist, what are some effective ways to bring this dynamic into my mixes?
Old 16th July 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DeadPoet's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Not really a question for the music computers forum.

Read up on how to mix, how to balance instruments.

Simply put:
- panning gives you L-R
- faders and use of reverb/delays give you front-back
- eq gives you up-down


... but writing it down is way easier than mastering those skills.



Herwig
Old 16th July 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
equallyscrewed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Look into binaural and transaural techniques.

You tube "virtual barbershop" with your head phones.

Its all to do with frequency masking, time and level differences.
Old 16th July 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Addict
 
chazwood's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Logic has surround sound plugins that can move a mono signal all over the room.
Old 16th July 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Um, volume. A little reverb helps. Lol. You need to read some more bookzes.

Volume = size
Reverb = space around something

When you look at a car in the distance, it starts of small with lots of space visible around it. As it comes towards you, less space, and it looks much bigger. Hence the formula: Volume + Reverb = Z axis.

lol that formula isn't real, but if you know math it makes sense.

distance is the amount of volume proportional to the amount of reverb. the more reverb, the louder something sounds, farther away. also the delay time of the reverb gives you the size of the space around the sound.
Old 17th July 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
This is a very good question. I really do not understand why there's no such button in any DAW. For now, we have to do it ourselves.

I guess you need a model to use with your experiments.

We all know how to pan L and R in a mix, but how do I "pan" FORWARD and BACK?-depth.png

BACK, MID and FRONT are group channels. Create 3 group channels in your mixer.

BACK:
- insert a (pref. convolution) reverb with a big hall with cloudy sound (roll off highs)
- reduce the stereo width to 30-30
MID:
- insert a (pref. convolution) reverb with a medium hall
- set reverb pre-delay to 20ms
- reduce the stereo width to 60-60
FRONT:
- insert a ROOM reverb
- set reverb pre-delay to 40ms

Now, send some mono instrument ( a simple but not percussive sound) from different tracks to different groups. If you want a sound to be more far away, send it to BACK group, and so on. But you also need to consider the sound of the instrument track; if you want to send it BACK, do not make the sound bright because it would be controversial. You just can not make everything stand out.

You have to experiment, this is just a simplified framework to try out stuff.

Good luck,
dotty
Old 17th July 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
seany's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
logic has binaural panning, if you have it as your sequencer. iirc, click on the output button on a channel and select the binaural there.
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
tribeofenki's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
that virtual barbershop is amazing! by the way, volume equals distance and frequency enhances perceived distance of sound source.

An high frequency noise - as a fast sweep - makes you naturally wonder where it comes from and you look around in the air, while a phat kick boomed into the night makes you fear there's an earthquake.

High frequencies are perceived above and at a certain distance, while lows are, Yes... below
Old 30th July 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
imixrecords's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The ear perceives distance as volume. If you want something to sound "in the back" of your mix make it quiet, and maybe add a bit of verb if needed and desired. If you want something up front in the mix make it louder and drier. Also Eq-ing in the key of the song can help with overall depth of a mix, and, as mentioned in a prior post, height.

It's that simple really.


Just my opinion, disregard at will!
Old 31st July 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
sleeper1400's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacchieDiSangue ➑️
I wish it was as simple as panning left or right (maybe it will be one day?).

But how does one accomplish this? I know it's a broad question. It just strikes me that in trying to create a multi-dimensional sonic image, our immediate options are limited to panning left and right, across the "X-axis" (a la high school geometry). Then there's the "Y-axis", which goes up and down. I don't really know how to manipulate that one, either.

It's the "Z-axis", the one that brings a geometric plane into three dimensions, that is on my mind. What are some effective ways of manipulating one's mixes along the "Z-axis"? Whether it be something like bringing vocals to the front, a rhythm guitar part way to the back corner of the room or a string quartet, say, 8 feet directly behind the vocalist, what are some effective ways to bring this dynamic into my mixes?


volume is the front/ back perspective.
Old 31st July 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
imixrecords's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There have been times when I used multiple autopanners to create the effect of the sound going behind your head. It made the producer turn around and think there was a speaker in the back of the room, but this was only a few times and it was more for effect.

It involves using 4 channels of autopanning and flipping the phase around on a return or two and creating a slight feedback loop by feeding the returns into each other along with some slight delaying. Not an exact science but when it comes together it can be really cool. I used 2 ADR Panscans to do it once. And another time I used the Cyclosonic at Marvin's Room LA to create the effect.

Panning is so critical to my mixes. On R&B records, for example, the ONLY thing panned all the way left/right is Hook Background vocals. That way when the hook vocals come in, the mix explodes out to the extremes of the stereo field. Also The ONLY thing in the middle is Lead Vocal, KIK,and Bass. Everything else occupies some other point in the stereo field.
Old 20th December 2015
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Midi mapping these parameters on an X-Y pad .or two... and so on. new coordinates.
Old 20th December 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Desire Inspires's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacchieDiSangue ➑️

It's the "Z-axis", the one that brings a geometric plane into three dimensions, that is on my mind. What are some effective ways of manipulating one's mixes along the "Z-axis"? Whether it be something like bringing vocals to the front, a rhythm guitar part way to the back corner of the room or a string quartet, say, 8 feet directly behind the vocalist, what are some effective ways to bring this dynamic into my mixes?
I don't think it's possible because we can only listen to music with our left ear or right ear. We don't have a forward or back input to listen to audio. Sorry.
Old 20th December 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
ImNotDedyet's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
To get something to sound further back, use volume as mentioned along with turn down reverb pre-delay to zero or close to it - so the verb comes in with the actual sound. Additionally, EQ out some of the highs as they're the first cycles to disappear as you get further from the sound source.

Do the opposite to get something to appear closer.
Old 20th December 2015 | Show parent
  #15
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desire Inspires ➑️
I don't think it's possible because we can only listen to music with our left ear or right ear. We don't have a forward or back input to listen to audio. Sorry.
Our brain interprets all manner of audio information to gauge distance. We fool the ear all the time in mixing - we give depth and height information with EQ, reverb, recording technique (actual distance helps!) and short delays as well as other techniques. We also listen to sound through our skeletal structure which gives even more positional information.
Old 20th December 2015
  #16
Gear Addict
 
LejonBrames's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Do you use hi-pass filters on most tracks? Start using lo-pass filters also. I've gotten more depth from this practice than I have from any plugins that claims to add 'depth'
Old 20th December 2015 | Show parent
  #17
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet ➑️
Not really a question for the music computers forum.

Read up on how to mix, how to balance instruments.

Simply put:
- panning gives you L-R
- faders and use of reverb/delays give you front-back
- eq gives you up-down


... but writing it down is way easier than mastering those skills.



Herwig
Well put
Old 20th December 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I realize this is an old thread and a few others have mentioned all sorts of info. One criticism I've always had of the virtual barbershop is that you can't completely relate that to a music approach. Why? Because in that particular binaural recording, each position move of the barbershop voice/noises take up a HUGE space in the spectrum. You wouldn't really want one instrument or voice to be that big in the spectrum... it would clutter up the overall mix unless you're simply doing a small scale binaural track for the novelty of it.

A different animal imo than the question of a panpot move in say, a pop or rock&roll recording.

My own best forward/back placement of say a voice, flute, guitar hit or whatever, often comes from backing off the eq on the sound.... doesn't always work but often does.......then lowering the volume of that sound.......... doesn't always work in a very dense track or track loaded with other "like" instruments... and another tool I use that's often important....... having "that" intended back sound on a mono track panned to a place where nothing else is occupying the area.... hard to do in a dense arrangement. It also helps if during tracking, I already know "that" instrument/voice is going to be in a back or up/down area. You an experiment with the mic/eq at that point to often get the sound placed right there at the overdub.

I also often go for up/down/front/back via plugs like panorama...... but using the same basic other approaches above other than the mono track. They're a quick way to get there, but not often as pleasing as when you stumble into a more natural method result.

Unlike the virtual barbershop full out binaural approach, this at least gives you working space that is much more pinpointed in the spectrum at mix time.

The other issue is that no two brains/ears necessarily "hear" the front/back/up/down effect the same. Other than say, in a full surround setup.. which isn't the scenario being discussed.

I LOVE front/back/up/down placement where it is useful and not a gimmick in music. Even if I do it and I'm the only one who ends up noticing. I don't doubt that there will be a set of plugs in the next 20-30 years that can analyze the components in a multitrack and calculate appropriate front/back/up/down on each isolated track... before the mix. Via user inputted templates/settings whatever. That'll be cool and make mixing even more fun. Our tools now are ancient for this.... but the knowledge of how to do front/back/up/down the old fashioned ways are gratifying when they work successfully.
Old 23rd December 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Dan Eriksson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Found this plug, perhaps it can be useful for you.
BINAURALIZER | Noise Makers
Old 23rd December 2015
  #20
Old 5th April 2018
  #21
Here for the gear
 
All of you are assuming that you are mixing to a STEREO only output, with no rear Surround Speakers (as most movie studios have now). How primitive! "As a professor of Electronic Music, modern composers frequently wish to "move" the sound between front and rear speakers (yes, most modern EA performance spaces have 8 to 128 surround speakers! Stereo is so 1970...) One serious limit is that ProTools does limit to adjacent L-R stereo pairs... which does limit to a flat, 2D image. None of you seem to get it... if you cannot think beyond a 1970 stereo image mindset, then stop giving bad/incorrect advice!

Does anyone know how to set paired "stereo" bus outputs to *non-adjacent* output channels without deleting normal stereo pairs that send to the same?? (That is what the original poster was really asking.)
Old 5th April 2018 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
.
Old 10th April 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Dan Eriksson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Another option albeit a bit pricey perhaps.

Sound Trajectory | TripinLab

Old 30th May 2018
  #24
Here for the gear
 
Sound Trajectory LE - free

just a little message to inform that a free version of Sound Trajectory is available. It has all the features of the full program but is limited to four tracks / object.
Sound Trajectory LE
available at https://www.tripinlab.com
Old 31st May 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Well, that Sound Trajectory thing is beyond me. I registered and downloaded both the free and demo full versions. It loads really slow, didn't save the paths I designated, and even with the online manual/tutorials, I just don't see a use for it in straight ahead daw work that isn't already covered by much more intuitive/simple operating plugs. Like Panorama/Binauralizer and stuff like that.

With that said, I recently downloaded the free Sennheiser Ambeo plug and that one is useful for UP/DOWN and 360 panning. The 360 stuff isn't as effective imo as Panorama and Binauralizer, but useful.

If you already understand how the brain perceives far/close via eq/volume (referenced to other instruments/voices eq'd totally different) and the normal gamut of effects of delay... ie.. you've done distance the old fashioned way since the old days, you know how to place sounds even though it's not always an exact science.

Knowing that stuff though... and then using the Sennheiser plug in a fast pinch (use it on a stereo track or a dual-mono) you can get some nice up/down panning.

I find that when I want something down, say as if it's coming at you from left below your neck (when on headphones), setting the ambeo at around 166 azimuth and an elevation of about -68 degrees gets to that spot IF you also spend time backing off eq at higher frequencies. I also keep the Sennheiser reflections area turned off all the time as I dial that type of stuff in at other points in the daw.

Dialing in opposite panned delay in tiny millisecond amounts also helps place the left/down. It also helps to have other tracks playing so that you can best determine any other tracks that are getting in the way of ones you're placing in non-standard positions. And it's often the case that not having any other stuff panned to the general area/side of the extreme up/down item will help bring it out.

Part of the reason the old stereo barbershop thing works so effectively is.... it's not music. You're being "led" around in steps, so the brain already sort of pre-processes where sounds are gonna come from... based on your life experience with your ears. Although dummy-head recording is always a great technique for lots of stuff.

Up positions seem to be easier in the left/right area on the ambeo plug.

When you start placing things at the upper forehead area or top of head or behind, things are always a little trickier as each person's brain is a little different on how the signals are processed. But the ambeo is cool and free.

It also helps to have an extremely narrow point of sound that you're panning to these non-standard areas. Full frequency stuff just doesn't work imo. But then, that's the nature of why stuff sounds far away or up/down.
Old 31st May 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I’d say reverb has more to do with front to back than volume. Volume I’d say has more to do with size than position.
Old 31st May 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
One of the main things that makes true working front-back ( near-far) perspective besides basic EQ shelves is transients and peaks. You hear a lot more of them when listening to the instrument closely. Limit all peaks and suddenly instrument goes to mid or far distance.

Mixing is an art, no need to make anything to sound like in real life, but just using psychoacoustical principles you can make an interesting sound canvas.
EQ, L/R delays, ERs/reverb, and compression/limiting.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 55 views: 34115
Avatar for IM WHO YOU THINK
IM WHO YOU THINK 13th October 2020
replies: 15929 views: 1539171
Avatar for Ragan
Ragan 11th January 2019
replies: 1296 views: 185816
Avatar for heraldo_jones
heraldo_jones 1st February 2016
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump