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Although Panning the drums may seem intuitive, there are actually two ways to do it. In this video we'll explore each of them, and you can select the one you like best for the song. There are two ways to pan the drums, from an audience viewpoint is just stand in front of the kit or from the drummer's viewpoint as he looks out at the audience. Most engineers use the audience perspective, and that's what we're used to hearing the most records. This means with the right-handed drummer the hi-hat would be panned to the right, the snare would be just off-centered to the right, the floor tom to the left, and the bass drum would be centered.
(music playing) First, pan the snare slightly off-center to the right as you see it. Then pan the hi-hat to about 3 o'clock as you see it. (music playing) If the drummer has only a single rack and a floor tom they have two choices, either pan each tom at 10 and 2 o'clock or as you see them, with the rack tom at about 1 o'clock and the floor at about 9. (music playing) Keep in mind that sometimes setting the panning a little narrower at 10 and 2 o'clock centers the drums a little better in the mix. (music playing) For a normal 3 tom kit, pan the high rack tom to the right to 3 o'clock.
The next Lower tom to the center at 12 o'clock and the lowest tom to the left at 9 o'clock for a nice stereo spread. (music playing) Overheads are usually panned hard right and left. Although the track sometimes benefits if those are pulled into the 9 and 3 o'clock positions as well. (music playing) Pan the single room mic to the center, for stereo room mics, pan them same as the overheads or hard left and hard right. (music playing) The second panning method is from the drummer's perspective, which is exactly opposite of the audience perspective, neither method is right or wrong. Choose the one that you think works best for the song. (music playing)
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