Old 06-25-2016, 10:15 AM   #1
flux=rad
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Default Another pan/routing problem

Hi All,
Over the last two days I've Google searched the hell out of this problem (read many related threads) and fiddled with routing at all stages of my signal chain.

The basic problem is that I can't AUDIBLY pan left or right. I'm running a MacBook Pro into a Motu 896 (drivers up to date) and monitoring with headphones exclusively. Sometimes I record with the Motu, then unplug my laptop and and try mixing from the "built in output" soundcard, and other times I try mixing while connected to the Motu soundcard (and Motu headphone output). Problem is the same in both cases. Here's what happens:

When I pan a single track left or right, my track meters reflect that change. Pan 100% left and the track meters show that the left side of the stereo signal is at 100% while the right side is at 0%. Same thing when I pan to the right. When the track is solo'd this action is also reflected in the master meters. I can also pan the master L and R and see the meters respond accordingly. Problem is, the sound doesn't actually shift from left to right or right to left in my headphones. But when I pan 100% left I have no volume at all. When I pan 100% right the volume is at its loudest, so the pan is actual functioning like a volume control with L %100 no volume and R 100% full volume.

Issues already checked:
1. Master pan width. It is set to 100%
2. Master Output is set to "stereo"
3. Headphones are stereo (Sony MDR-7506, 1/4" and 1/8")
4. No plugins or automation on the track, which was recorded with a single microphone

Current Routing in Reaper:
Master: Output 1/ Output 2
Track: Parent Chanels 1-2, Track Channels 2. No Audio Hardware outputs. Send Track to Master.
Send Hardware/Output default mode (in preferences): Post Fader/Post Pan

Project Settings: Stereo Balance/Mono pan

Routing in Motu:
Output set to Stereo 1-2

Session file attached. Thanks for your help.
Attached Files
File Type: rpp Beggars Pirate.RPP (3.9 KB, 45 views)

Last edited by flux=rad; 06-25-2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:35 AM   #2
Airal
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This is almost surely some weird setup you have.

1. Open a new project.
2. Put a noise generator plugin(some come with reaper) on a track
3. You should hear stereo output. Make sure you don't have mono selected on master.
4. Make sure all pans are 0 and all widths are 100%
5. Make sure your master IO's are all set correctly.
6. Check your panning and see if everything works.

If it works, then it's your project that has something off. It is a width, pan, mono, etc...

If it doesn't work then it's a hardware issue. You could have your "asio"(or MME or whatever) settings to use only one output(I know you said you have it using 1&2 so this doesn't apply to you specifically), or could have a bad cable or whatever.

You should be able to trouble shoot this type of problem in about 5 mins. It's one of those things that is either X or Y but not both, and hence try to narrow it down by testing X or Y independently.

I remember having a similar problem and it was due to setting the width or something. It was pretty obvious once I figured it out.


Usually when the panning acts like you have described, it's due to the left channel not working and the mix at some point being mixed to mono.

e.g., you don't have your headphone jack plugged in all the way. The L channel doesn't make contact to the tip, but the Right channel makes contact both the tip and ring. This makes the headphones sound in mono for just the Right channel. When you pan left, you are removing the right and hence, because the headphones are only "hearing" right, it acts as a volume.

Again, you should be able to figure this stuff out without too much problem. If reaper is showing that the panning and everything is working, then chances are it's not reaper. Hence looking after it, like if the MOTO has a mixer interface, or the jacks on the interface, etc.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:41 AM   #3
flux=rad
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Thanks. Same issue when I open a new project and use a noise generator (tried it with the Mac's sound card).

Last edited by flux=rad; 06-25-2016 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:54 PM   #4
flux=rad
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Problem solved. Headphones are not working properly!
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:51 PM   #5
Matsuemon
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Default Still troubleshooting

Hey Airal! Thanks for that very clear walkthrough. So I've established that the sound is working properly when I open a new project and go through the steps you described. I've also gotten the panning to work correctly with my microphone, whether I record in mono or stereo. So, it's looking like it might be a problem with my guitar audio interface. I'll try splitting input/output, rather than listening to the audio through the interface itself, and see if that helps.

Last edited by Matsuemon; 05-11-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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