Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TRACK PAN Mistakes To Avoid

Here's something we may not have learned just by listening to music on a stereo system over the years: 
      No matter how it sounds, the recording does not put all music of one instrument to the right side and all of a 2nd instrument on the left for "balance."  

Of course, we can play with the balance to learn this.
And if you're going "duh",  please remember that this is a blog not for professionals... Just easy hints.  
       A history bit of trivia:  I've been told by a studio producer that "back in the days" when stereo recording was first used for rock bands, a famous band panned all guitars to one side and all drums to the other side.  Only later did they remember (from complaints) --- not all people had updated their record players to have stereo capabilities! Imagine the sound difference of no drums or bass on a driving rock song!

Track pan mistakes are common for beginners.
    For example, church volunteers recording a choir practice
often mistakenly put all the choir to one speaker and all the instruments to the other side.    This is *literally* painful, tiring out your ears,   straining to hear the desired side,  unless you're directly in front of both speakers.  Which you are not in a vehicle.  
    And of course, occasionally one speaker does go out...

1.  Keep the drums and lead instrument (probably keyboard) centered.
2.  If just a single vocal track, centered it.  If there are 2,  set one to "10:00" and the other to "2:00".  Or whatever pan you prefer.
3.  Pair up similar sounding tracks (in tone), and set one to 10:00 and the other to 2:00.
I like to pair  (flute & oboe)  and (violins & cello).

Much joy to you playing with music! Including, if you move to larger studio programs, having fun "writing" pans back and forth for weird effects!

©2013 DianaDee Osborne;  all rights reserved