Home > Mixing, Recording > Are You Panning Your Mixes?

Are You Panning Your Mixes?

When I first started recording, I’d always run things down the middle. It was my preference, mainly because I listend to music with headphones all the time and I thought it was aggrevating listening to drums from the left side and none on the right.

I still don’t like it. I don’t like to pan drums hard left or right.

Panning is the best way I’ve found to get rid of the “muddiness” and have a little separation. Like with drums, a lot of people like to pan the drums to the position of the listener, like the base drum 20 percent to the left, bass down the middle or a little off, say 2 or 3 percent if it’s fighting with the bass guitar. The toms 30 percent right and left. Hi hats maybe a little off to the right.

Some people do it completely opposite. They pan to the point of view of the drummer. I don’t believe there is one single perfect way to pan in every situation. I just know it’s hard to come up with a good mix without it. When you have so many instruments in the same frequency range, instruments fight for control of the frequency and you end up with a muddy mix if you don’t pan.

There are other ways to get separation, but I haven’t found anything that works better.

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Categories: Mixing, Recording
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