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Exploring Logic's panning features

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Exploring Logic's panning features

Track panning is an important part of mixing. Before Stereophonic Audio was invented, and everything came out of one speaker, mixing was a lot more difficult. Now, it's possible, through panning, to create spaciousness and find more places for the element of your mix across an imaginary sound stage. You can use panning techniques to do this. All audio software and instrument tracks routed to a Stereo Output have a panner. The panner controls how much of the signal is sent to the left or right, or in other words, Channel 1 or 2 of your final output.

Exploring Logic's panning features

Track panning is an important part of mixing. Before Stereophonic Audio was invented, and everything came out of one speaker, mixing was a lot more difficult. Now, it's possible, through panning, to create spaciousness and find more places for the element of your mix across an imaginary sound stage. You can use panning techniques to do this. All audio software and instrument tracks routed to a Stereo Output have a panner. The panner controls how much of the signal is sent to the left or right, or in other words, Channel 1 or 2 of your final output.

To use the panner, you can click in the center of the circle, and drag up to pan right, drag down to pan left. When the panner is turned all the way to the right, the signal is sent only to channel 2 of your Stereo Output. When it's left, it's only sent to channel 1. Think of your mix as a stage and pan all the tracks as if they were actors performing on the stage. You wouldn't arrange actors to stand in front of each other, and you don't want to do that to the instruments of your mix. Some common conventions of panning are to put deeper instruments that ground the mix, like the Kick Drum and the Bass, in the center, and other lighter elements, like Guitars, Shakers, and Percussion, towards the periphery.

The lead vocal is usually centered as well. But there are no rules. You are allowed to pan your mix the way that sounds the best to you. Just remember that you can use panning to help carve out sonic space for the elements in your mix. You might notice here that some tracks, like the OHL and OHR tracks, are panned away from one another. This is set because this is how the mics were used to record. These are drum overheads and a stereo pair system of microphones was used to record them. The mic technique used involved the special relationship of the mics to one another.

In this case, 90 degrees. Then when we play them back, panned hard away from each other, we get the effect on the mix. You will notice the Rhodes track and the Background Vocals track also have that type of arrangement. If you look in the bottom of these tracks, underneath the track meter, you will see a little icon. This tells us the output format of the track. In this case, this is the left part of our stereo pair, and the one over here is the right part. Some other tracks, like the Snare Drum and Kick Drum, are just set to Mono. If we scroll down a little bit, we can see the bridge section actually has a double loop.

That tell us that it's a Stereo track. That means the information on this track is a file with a left and right information already embedded in it. Let's solo this up and take a listen. We'll hear it in its stereo track format first. (Music playing.) Now if I were to change this track format to Mono, we'll hear the left and right information summed together. (Music playing.) Let's go back to Stereo.

A single-click does it. (Music playing.) So, you always want to make sure, if you have stereo content on your tracks, and the track output is set accordingly, in this case, it should be Stereo. There is one other option for panning stereo tracks in Logic. It's called Binaural Panning. Binaural panning uses a different algorithm than simple level between left and right output. By doing this, it emulates more of the way humans perceptually hear sound spatially around them.

Let's put the N_Beat 1 track into Binaural panning. Remember this track has stereo information on it, since it's a software synthesis instrument. Put it in Binaural Mode, click where it says Stereo Out, and choose Binaural. And notice we get a different panner. We can double-click on this to see a larger view. This is our Binaural Panner. We can alter the width and direction around the listener's head. Let's Solo this track to hear it. (Drums playing.) We should note here that this effect is optimized for stereo headphone listening.

So, when you bring this out into speakers, the image kind of breaks down. Logic has a special plug-in to help with this. It's called Binaural Post-Processing. We can insert it on a plug-in in the track. Go up to our plug-ins, click and hold, choose Imaging > Binaural Post-Processing > Stereo. This is just a utility plug-in, but it can help optimize a binaural mix to work over loudspeakers. Now that you understand how to set up a sound stage using panning, you're one step closer to getting that final mix.

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This video is part of

Image for Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 27849 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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