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Old 02-06-2020, 05:12 PM   #41
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Assuming the tone is a mono signal, this is by definition *not* a -3dB pan law. If it were, the signal peak would be higher at the extremes than when centered.
True. -3 dB seems to be correct in Reaper, but 0 dB is definitely not. 0 dB is correct in 3.x balance mode.

DC signal, pan from left to right:
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:14 PM   #42
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Yea, I just referenced it as I use it in Reaper because it saves me re-balancing when I switch to it in order to automate (assuming the tracks are center when I switch, it's a net zero difference), not stuff coming to reaper from another DAW.
I stick with 0dB. That way I get no surprises. If I want something whizzing about the stereo field, I quite like it being loudest in the centre anyway, it gives it more movement, but as I said I wouldn't do that without riding the fader anyway.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:17 PM   #43
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A very good resource about Pan Laws is Robert article part 6 of his DAW vs DAW series....


it goes even deeper ! There is difference between daws.



http://admiralbumblebee.com/music/20...an-Curves.html
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:17 PM   #44
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I stick with 0dB. That way I get no surprises. If I want something whizzing about the stereo field, I quite like it being loudest in the centre anyway, it gives it more movement, but as I said I wouldn't do that without riding the fader anyway.
I'm always 0dB too unless I have something I want to pan-automate and need the volume the same across the field. Often more important for lower priority mix elements like that analog synth in God Candy as an example. I'm just guessing you remember that btw.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:20 PM   #45
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A very good resource about Pan Laws is Robert article part 6 of his DAW vs DAW series....


it goes even deeper ! There is difference between daws.



http://admiralbumblebee.com/music/20...an-Curves.html
That's the hat-trick! (I've already posted that twice in this thread )

It also shows up some ugly truths about automation in Logic and Pro Tools. Ew.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:22 PM   #46
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I'm always 0dB too unless I have something I want to pan-automate and need the volume the same across the field and it's center and contains a balance I want to keep. Often more important for lower priority mix elements like that analog synth in God Candy as an example. I'm just guessing you remember that btw.
Sure!

I tend to enjoy the "cylon" effect of 0dB, if you get what I mean...

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Old 02-06-2020, 05:22 PM   #47
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OK... I'll do more tests with a stereo sine wave. That sounds totally fair.

Thanks... will report back tomorrow.

You guys are great for listening.
Ok... I just tested with a stereo sine wave... and the results look exactly the same as my mono test. In other words, to get a unity equal gain like the other DAWs Pan Law at -3dB, I have to use the Reaper 3.x Balanced (deprecated) setting at 0dB.

@Justin

If you would like, I can post a GIF or a boring video, but really, the results were pretty much identical as what I showed above.

So I don't think this is a stereo vs mono panning thing.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:24 PM   #48
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Ok... I just tested with a stereo sine wave... and the results look exactly the same as my mono test. In other words, to get a unity equal gain like the other DAWs Pan Law at -3dB, I have to use the Reaper 3.x Balanced (deprecated) setting at 0dB.

@Justin

If you would like, I can post a GIF or a boring video, but really, the results were pretty much identical as what I showed above.

So I don't think this is a stereo vs mono panning thing.
See the post above re using a mono channel in Logic in order to use the pan law.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:24 PM   #49
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Sure!

I tend to enjoy the "cylon" effect of 0dB, if you get what I mean...
I do!
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:46 PM   #50
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You want to be testing on a mono channel in Logic to see the pan law in action.
The guy that works for me ran the Logic test and sent me the GIF. I'll ask him tomorrow. He's a Logic guy and I'm a Reaper guy (despite my loving requests)

With regards to mono vs stereo, I ran the same test on Nuendo and Kontakt... they had exactly the same VU behavior as a mono test. BTW... so does Reaper with the Reaper 3.x (deprecated) set at 0dB.

I'm fine with reading white papers when I have time. But I find running my own tests with sine waves is more real-world. When all the other apps behave a certain way in my tests (at least with regards to equal unity gain)... then I had to scratch my head and dig deeper. This can get compounded as you bus a panned signal several time too... I believe. But that may be a different discussion.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:50 PM   #51
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See the post above re using a mono channel in Logic in order to use the pan law.
@ Justin,

Playing catchup... yeah... read my last post above in response to Judders.

Anyway Justin, I really appreciate you chiming in and showing interest. I'm editing a HUGE protect in Reaper now... and am flying. Thanks to your awesome DAW.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:08 PM   #52
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True. -3 dB seems to be correct in Reaper, but 0 dB is definitely not. 0 dB is correct in 3.x balance mode.

DC signal, pan from left to right:
That is quite definitely not what I expect from the 0db Pan Law. The channel I'm panning toward shouldn't change at all as long as the pan law is on its side of center. It makes absolutely no sense that the left side would louder halfway left than all the way left. It IS wrong. Sorry.

In fact it really doesn't make sense with any pan law that the one side would not be at its loudest when panned all the way to its side, but since I don't ever use the others, I'd be happy if you'd just fix the 0db one.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:22 PM   #53
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That is quite definitely not what I expect from the 0db Pan Law. The channel I'm panning toward shouldn't change at all as long as the pan law is on its side of center.
YES. Thank you. I've been planning a bug report, but this thread popped up first, so.

Last edited by ErBird; 02-06-2020 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:23 AM   #54
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True. -3 dB seems to be correct in Reaper, but 0 dB is definitely not. 0 dB is correct in 3.x balance mode.

DC signal, pan from left to right:
That does look funky.

Hopefully Schwa or Justin can chime in on this.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:25 AM   #55
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I'm fine with reading white papers when I have time.
It's not a white paper, it's a short blog post with a bunch of plots you can scan over in about a minute.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:50 AM   #56
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This is where I disagree. And this is precisely the point I'm trying to make. It seems the de facto standard in the industry is to have an even gain behavior of -3dB pan law. I just checked confirmed on Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and even Kontakt:

Kontakt default pan law with sine wave:

That is a balance control on Kontakt's stereo out. You can test yourself by looping a mono sound, pan hard left, centre and right in the instrument's mixer, then pan the instrument header pan hard left, centre and right. There is no pan law applied, the level stays constant until you set the instrument header balance to the opposite side, at which point there is no signal.

You also have to remember that in Logic, only mono tracks have pan law applied. It does not apply to stereo tracks, busses or aux tracks.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:24 AM   #57
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That does look funky.

Hopefully Schwa or Justin can chime in on this.
Fuckin right it looks funky. I don’t care about other DAWs and I don’t actually care much about hardware emulation. This behavior is wrong. Honestly it’s not huge, and never actually impacts my mixes, but it’s wrong and I wish it could be even recognized by the devs.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:25 AM   #58
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Default Panning in Cubase and REAPER

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Originally Posted by Thonex View Post
Here is Nuendo's default -3dB Pan Law in action with a Sine Wave at -12dB:



That is the way I would expect Reaper's -3dB to work globally. Not having to use a deprecated preset buried in some menu.
You do not interpret your observation correctly. What we see in your GIF image is a 0dB stereo balance, not a -3dB pan law.

The panning behavior in REAPER is correct, or at least consistent with Cubase/Nuendo.

Cubase has dedicated mono and stereo tracks, and panning behavior is different for these two types of tracks.

In Cubase, you can use [Project] > [Project Setup...] in order to set up various project settings.
Here you can also set the "Stereo Pan Law" for your project.

Possible settings are: 0dB, -3dB, -4.5dB, -6dB, Equal Power.
(Equal Power is very similar to the -3dB setting).

NOTE:
In Cubase, project settings for the pan law only affect mono tracks.

Stereo tracks always use a stereo balance with 0dB attenuation at center position, no matter what kind of pan law you specify in your project settings.

Mono tracks use a mono panner based on the pan law specified in the project settings. The mono panner in Cubase behaves exactly as the panner built into REAPER if the latter one is set to "Stereo balance / mono pan", uses the same center attenuation, and has gain compensation disabled.

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Old 02-07-2020, 10:09 AM   #59
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True. -3 dB seems to be correct in Reaper, but 0 dB is definitely not. 0 dB is correct in 3.x balance mode.

DC signal, pan from left to right:
Can we go back to this part? Because it sure seems broken at 0dB and a bug of some kind.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:29 AM   #60
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I hope this doesn't come off snippy but I just close my eyes and listen when I pan, when it's where I think it should be, I let go of the mouse button.

Just pointing to the simpler message because as much as I like me some meters and visuals, they seem to cause far more trouble than anything they actually solve.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #61
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You do not interpret your observation correctly. What we see in your GIF image is a 0dB stereo balance, not a -3dB pan law.

The panning behavior in REAPER is correct, or at least consistent with Cubase/Nuendo.

Cubase has dedicated mono and stereo tracks, and panning behavior is different for these two types of tracks.

In Cubase, you can use [Project] > [Project Setup...] in order to set up various project settings.
Here you can also set the "Stereo Pan Law" for your project.

Possible settings are: 0dB, -3dB, -4.5dB, -6dB, Equal Power.
(Equal Power is very similar to the -3dB setting).

NOTE:
In Cubase, project settings for the pan law only affect mono tracks.

Stereo tracks always use a stereo balance with 0dB attenuation at center position, no matter what kind of pan law you specify in your project settings.

Mono tracks use a mono panner based on the pan law specified in the project settings. The mono panner in Cubase behaves exactly as the panner built into REAPER if the latter one is set to "Stereo balance / mono pan", uses the same center attenuation, and has gain compensation disabled.
Thanks for chiming in Heart Doctor!

Unfortunately, what I displayed IS Nuendo at -3dB Pan Law. Which could be interpreted as -3dB at center position when signals are combined resulting in no gain change when when combined.

But I keep going back to my main question after testing on Nuendo, Cubase, Kontakt, Logic... if THEY all have the same behavior, why is Reaper's different by default??... with the only way to achieve this in Reaper is with a deprecated setting using a 0dB pan law setting?

This is really what is making me scratch my head.

Another thing people may not be aware of is the cumulative affect of Reaper's default Pan Law settings on gain-staging... especially when there is panning. Check out these test tone screen shots where thetone is sent serially from bus 1 -> Bus 2 -> Bus 3 -> bus 4... you tell me if this is what you'd expect. The only way I was able to get a predictable behavior was to use the Reaper 3.x deprecated setting at 0dB Pan Law:

0dB Pan Law with NO panning Stereo Balanced Stereo Test tone (seems right although this is what I'd expect from an industry standard -3dB Pan Law):
HOWEVER!! 0dB Pan Law WITH panning Stereo Balanced Stereo Test tone (Notice the gain increase):
-3dB Pan Law NO panning Stereo Balanced Stereo Test tone (Notice the decrease in gain):
-3dB Pan Law WITH panning Stereo Balanced Stereo Test tone (Notice the decrease of both left and right??):

And Finally the only way I was able to get a predictable result:

-0dB Pan Law Reaper 3.x Deprecated setting WITH panning Stereo Balanced Stereo Test tone (Notice the the left channel stays at unity... not boosted or attenuated):

So... to recap, the only way I was able to get rid of unwanted gain or loss of unity (which is what the other DAWs seem to do by default) was using the deprecated Reaper 3.x setting set to 0dB.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:00 AM   #62
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But how could it be -3 dB pan law in Cubase when it's on a stereo track (there are two meters)? Pan law is never applied on stereo tracks, in any DAW.

The thing with Reaper is that it has no mono tracks.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:01 AM   #63
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Andrew, I just wanted to express my respect and gratitude for the work you are putting in describing this issue.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:01 AM   #64
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I hope this doesn't come off snippy but I just close my eyes and listen when I pan, when it's where I think it should be, I let go of the mouse button.

Just pointing to the simpler message because as much as I like me some meters and visuals, they seem to cause far more trouble than anything they actually solve.
That's fine, but as you so often tell me, what works for you may not work for others.

For example, I was trying to make a script for someone last week that exactly transfers the track pan setting to a JS panner. That's why I started investigating and discovered the error. In this case, I can't ignore the meters, because I'm trying to exactly match what they're doing. But, like you say, in general use it's not a huge deal.

AFAICT, the calculation is similar to this:
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/hoq8jx35gz

-3 dB is perfect, below that is OK, but above is erroneous.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:26 AM   #65
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That's fine, but as you so often tell me, what works for you may not work for others.
Of course and I agree - it's as much a reminder for myself as anyone - being old as dirt and growing up in analog where having any meters at all beyond a master meter or proverbial PFL was a luxury - But again, it's just a somewhat philosophical point to keep in our or at least my back pocket.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:18 PM   #66
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But how could it be -3 dB pan law in Cubase when it's on a stereo track (there are two meters)? Pan law is never applied on stereo tracks, in any DAW.

The thing with Reaper is that it has no mono tracks.
I didn't code Nuendo. But I tested both MONO and Stereo. I can tell you in both cases of MONO & STEREO Kontakt, Cubase, Nuendo, (I'm guessing ProTool) behave similarly... but not Reaper... UNLESS you use the Reaper 3.x balance (deprecated) option combined with a 0dB Pan Law.

Hence... this thread.

I've done my testing. I now know that you can come across gain-stage buildup that result in clipping in certain scenarios... but if I stick with Reaper 3.x balance (deprecated), I get predictable results.

I'd LOVE for someone to correct me. Believe me. What I want in the end is to be sure I know what the signal path is doing. Don't we all?
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:26 PM   #67
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Justin and Schwa,

I humbly submit new pan law equations that will solve the current crisis.

Coefficients were solved numerically so that the level at center pan is exact using the 10^(dB/20) system. The equations can be simplified further.

https://www.desmos.com/calculator/tjxyeb3qyf


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Old 02-07-2020, 01:14 PM   #68
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(Notice the gain increase):
Shouldn’t happen!
Quote:
Notice the decrease of both left and right??):
Also shouldn’t happen!

Again it doesn’t really matter what anybody else does, and THAT part of this discussion seems to be just muddying the waters. These behaviors are unexpected, inappropriate, and just plain wrong. There are absolutely zero valid arguments. You can shrug your shoulders and admit you don’t really care and aren’t going to fix it, but you’re not going to convince me that it makes any sense.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:16 PM   #69
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Shouldn’t happen!

Also shouldn’t happen!

Again it doesn’t really matter what anybody else does, and THAT part of this discussion seems to be just muddying the waters. These behaviors are unexpected, inappropriate, and just plain wrong. There are absolutely zero valid arguments. You can shrug your shoulders and admit you don’t really care and aren’t going to fix it, but you’re not going to convince me that it makes any sense.
Thank you!
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:13 PM   #70
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No dog in this fight whatsoever but an honest question...

Does this proposed change warrant any backwards compatibility concerns with the devs and users? Like old projects etc, and/or do we end up with multiple additional pan laws?
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:19 PM   #71
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No dog in this fight whatsoever but an honest question...

Does this proposed change warrant any backwards compatibility concerns with the devs and users? Like old projects etc, and/or do we end up with multiple additional pan laws?
Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's have the discussion first.

Also, ErBird should win some kind of medal...
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:22 PM   #72
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Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's have the discussion first.
I'd like someone who actually knows to answer the question as it's a valid part of the discussion.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:29 PM   #73
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I'd like someone who actually knows to answer the question as it's a valid part of the discussion.
The developers haven't even commented yet. So literally, hold your horses lol. With everything the devs do they ALWAYS keep backwards compatibility in mind. Let's get back to the math part of this and focus on that first.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:31 PM   #74
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The developers haven't even commented yet. So literally, hold your horses lol. With everything the devs do they ALWAYS keep backwards compatibility in mind. Let's get back to the math part of this and focus on that first.
I'm not trying to be a pain, it's just going to be "the thing" that the devs will care the most about in my 11 years of experience here (and as a developer) - I'm only asking... of those who know the most about it technically what they think about it, it may not be an issue but it may - I think that's fair or you guys could spend way more time on this only for that to be the big roadblock.

Either way, I'm sure someone will answer. Ashcat?
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:33 PM   #75
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I'm not trying to be a pain, it's just going to be "the thing" that the devs will care the most about in my 11 years of experience here (and as a developer) - I'm only asking... of those who know the most about it technically what they think about it, it may not be an issue but it may - I think that's fair or you guys could spend way more time on this only for that to be the big roadblock.

Either way, I'm sure someone will answer.
So until someone does can we get back to the math now? Thonex and ErBird have put a LOT of work into this so let's focus on that right now.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:34 PM   #76
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So until someone does can we get back to the math now? Thonex and ErBird have put a LOT of work into this so let's focus on that right now.
I'm not stopping anything you guys are doing sir - there is literally nothing preventing you guys from continuing your technical part - had you left my single reply alone (if you don't know the answer which is basically yes or no) there would be multiple additional posts that didn't need to occur.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:36 PM   #77
_Stevie_
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@Karbo: is there really a need to discuss this before there is a solution to the problem. I mean REALLY?
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:37 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
No dog in this fight whatsoever but an honest question...

Does this proposed change warrant any backwards compatibility concerns with the devs and users? Like old projects etc, and/or do we end up with multiple additional pan laws?
My guess would be there would be an additional Pan Law setting to choose from ensuring backwards compatibility. But I'm not a Cockos dev... so it's only a 100% guess.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:38 PM   #79
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My guess would be there would be an additional Pan Law setting to choose from ensuring backwards compatibility. But I'm not a Cockos dev... so it's only a 100% guess.
All good, that sounds reasonable - thanks for taking the time to answer.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:39 PM   #80
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