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Old 02-07-2020, 05:24 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
You already got your answer on this, but... If it was just plain changed, it would technically "break" backward compatibility, at least for certain things panned certain ways, but the difference is tenths of db at worst, so nobody would probably notice unless they tried a null test.
Thanks for your help in this ashcat_lt!

Though not sure no one would notice. If there are a lot of tracks panned (orchestral micing -- which is what I'm dealing with) things get compounded. It's quite an ugly thing. Curious what the AA Translator folks would think. When I adjust a pan knob, I don't want to have to adjust the fader too. Hence the Reaper 3.x at 0dB Pan Law choice I use.

I think as the dust settles on this.. it will be taken care of... hopefully. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't on drugs. For now my default setting is the Reaper 3.x balanced (deprecated) at 0dB.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:07 PM   #122
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It actually LOOKS a lot like that problem with ReaComp folding over at the knee, but I think that's a bit of a different mechanism. You've got me curious though. What do you think is wrong with the new behavior? It doesn't fold over anymore, and I'm quite happy with the nice predictable curve that it's got now.
My brain is a little shot. I'll show you tomorrow. Here or in a new thread?

Peace.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:17 PM   #123
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My brain is a little shot. I'll show you tomorrow. Here or in a new thread?

Peace.
Up to you... feel free to post wherever. You've been a great help.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:41 PM   #124
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Does anybody want to set up cubase/nuendo with a +0dB pan law, stereo tone signal, automate the pan to a full left/right sweep, and put a stereo image visualizer plugin on it (like schope in phase mode)? I suspect that this is what you'll see.

This is awesome!!!! I didnt know that plug could do something this cool
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:34 AM   #125
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Just sharing how cakewalk deals with this.
https://youtu.be/7Qm_KTbR3sA
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:22 AM   #126
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Just sharing how cakewalk deals with this.
Thanks, that's useful from a terminology perspective: "linear taper" vs "equal power."
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:45 AM   #127
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TBH, I always thought pan and pan law were two separate processes. The pan itself just attenuated whichever channel you’re panning away from and then the pan law attenuates both as it moves toward center. Use whichever curve you want for either of those as long as it doesn’t fold over! Is this not how it works, and if not, why?
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:54 AM   #128
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Pan law - only used when panning mono signals to stereo. Otherwise it's just a balancer (stereo to stereo), and no pan law applies. That's my understanding.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:58 AM   #129
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Pan law - only used when panning mono signals to stereo. Otherwise it's just a balancer (stereo to stereo), and no pan law applies. That's my understanding.
I get this but somehow it confuses me even more.
Given that Reaper always has an even number of track channels (unless manipulating the I/O pins) how does pan law even apply here?
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:12 AM   #130
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...how does pan law even apply here?
In Reaper it does. I don’t think it does anything to “sense” whether it was originally “mono” or not. It just does what it does at the end of the FX chain. I think the “stereo balance” thing is just to make it obvious that it never crossmixes the two channels, just turns one or the other down.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:23 AM   #131
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I get this but somehow it confuses me even more.
Given that Reaper always has an even number of track channels (unless manipulating the I/O pins) how does pan law even apply here?
That is a very good question nofish.

My gain-staging anomalies led me to look at the Pan Law, but I don't necessarily want to get caught up in semantics here. Let's call it L-R gain staging. The results were the same with Mono and Stereo.

I'm dealing with a lot of mics (32)... some are combined into Decca Tree busses and then routed somewhere else and combined with surround mics and array mics and close mics etc. Then I run these to submix busses to better manage levels etc. There may be reverb and time-align plugns on other busses. It gets complicated fast.

I was noticing a signal loss (I was at -3dB Pal Law) and my faders started to "look" wrong where they should have all been at unity. I use sine waves to check stuff so I'd fix as I'd go along. I've been battling Reaper's gain staging but use my ears (imagine that LOL)... but it would be nice to not have to adjust faders when things should be at unity. Anyway... this led me to look at the pan law and dig deeper. I'm really happy we are having this discussion. And am even happier the devs are participating.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:46 PM   #132
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Pan law - only used when panning mono signals to stereo. Otherwise it's just a balancer (stereo to stereo), and no pan law applies. That's my understanding.
Also true stereo panning, where left and right are panned, rather than simply attenuating one channel.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:12 AM   #133
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If the conclusion of this whole thread is that we should rename the 3.x mode “linear image” or something, that would be just fine.
While it would seem that 3.x mode combined with 0.0 dB has its use, 3.x mode with any other value seems to produce kinda weird results. So IMHO it was rightfully deprecated...
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:55 AM   #134
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Also true stereo panning, where left and right are panned, rather than simply attenuating one channel.
Pretty sure this is false also. ALL of Reaper’s pan Modes follow the pan Law.

Also the Width knob has something like its own built in -6db pan law built in which is on top of the other and cannot be overridden.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:26 PM   #135
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Pretty sure this is false also. ALL of Reaper’s pan Modes follow the pan Law.
Oh, I was talking about general pan laws as they should be, not what happens in REAPER.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:31 PM   #136
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While it would seem that 3.x mode combined with 0.0 dB has its use, 3.x mode with any other value seems to produce kinda weird results. So IMHO it was rightfully deprecated...
To me this just underlines the anomalies with Reapers Pan Laws. If Cockos did indeed deprecate Reaper 3.x there would be no way to get a pan mode that did not either boost or attenuate the panned signal. That would be bad.

This is aside from the strong feeling I have that other things are wrong with other settings.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:21 PM   #137
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Oh, I was talking about general pan laws as they should be, not what happens in REAPER.
I guess I can't imagine why you'd think it "should be" any different anywhere.


The problem with Reaper's way of doing things is only the fact that it gives gain when it shouldn't (0db law) and attenuation when it shouldn't (any other) and (maybe) the taper is a little funny. That is, the curve is wrong, but the implementation is fine and logical and natural and expected.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:25 PM   #138
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I guess I can't imagine why you'd think it "should be" any different anywhere.
I'm not able to parse that sentence, sorry.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:24 PM   #139
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Sheesh... this pan law thing tripped me up again.

I opened an older project and needed to do some mic phase alignment. I exported the corrections and decided to do a null test to make sure there were no problems on export. When the null test failed I thought I'd look at the Pan Law... and sure enough it was set to default -3dB in which Reaper's case will export mono stuff panned center at a lower dB. So of course my null test failed.

I had to also set this project to Reaper 3.x 0dB to get it to export and so the nul test worked.

anyway... stay vigilant.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:04 AM   #140
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I'm not able to parse that sentence, sorry.
Wasn't really important anyway.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:30 PM   #141
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v6.03+dev0212 - February 12 2020
+ Pan: add option to limit taper to linear above -3dB pan law [t=231241]

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Old 02-12-2020, 06:45 PM   #142
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v6.03+dev0212 - February 12 2020
+ Pan: add option to limit taper to linear above -3dB pan law [t=231241]

I saw that. I will have to test it to understand what they did.

But not today!

I have to say.... Cockos rocks. No other company listens to their users and turn around updates as fast.

Thanks Devs!!!

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Old 02-13-2020, 01:11 AM   #143
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v6.03+dev0212 - February 12 2020
+ Pan: add option to limit taper to linear above -3dB pan law [t=231241]

Wow, impressive!

I wonder if the 0dB anomaly will be addressed...
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:24 AM   #144
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I see this video coming in handy

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Old 05-07-2021, 04:31 AM   #145
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I decided to try and figure out what's going on with the Reaper pan law options as I need to be certain my mixes will translate between Reaper/Pro Tools/Cubase without any issues.

Here are my findings which may be of interest to those that are going between these DAWs -

The source of the confusion with the Reaper pan laws comes down to the fact that Reaper doesn't have real mono tracks, only stereo. In the other DAWs I tested (Cubase/Pro Tools) the pan law is only implemented on mono tracks and not on stereo tracks. Therefore the fact Reaper has a pan law for it's stereo tracks doesn't line up.

I tested a mono sine wave in Reaper, Cubase and Pro Tools with a 3db pan law and they all acted the same - center position is 3db lower than hard left or right. This makes sense as the 3db pan law means a mono signal is attenuated when panned to the center to compensate for it coming out of both channels of the stereo buss it's routed to.

For a stereo track in Reaper to act the same as a mono track in Cubase/Pro Tools with a default 3db pan law (or equal power), it needs to be set to -

1. -3.00db
2. Pan mode - Stereo balance / mono pan

As mentioned before - the projects pan law setting is not implemented on stereo tracks in Cubase or Pro Tools. Cubase uses a 'Stereo Balance Panner' or 'Stereo Combined Panner', not the pan law, while Pro Tools uses a 'Dual Mono Panner (same as the Cubase Stereo Combined Panner) for the left/right signals and not the pan law. This is why Reaper having a pan law on it's only track type (stereo) has never worked as expected when coming from these other DAWs, as pan laws are used only for mono tracks with mono signals going into stereo busses.

For a stereo track/buss in Reaper to act like a Stereo Balance Panner for a stereo track/buss in Cubase it needs to be set to -

1. 0.00db
2. 'linear scale above 3db' ticked
3. Pan mode - stereo balance

For a stereo track/buss in Reaper to act like a Stereo Combined Panner for a stereo track/buss in Cubase it needs to be set to -

1. -3.00db
2. 'linear scale above 3db' ticked
3. Pan mode - dual pan

For a stereo track/buss in Reaper to act like the Dual Mono Panner on stereo tracks/busses in Pro Tools it needs to be set to -

1. -3.00db
2. 'linear scale above 3db' ticked
3. Pan mode - dual pan

If all tracks that are supposed to act like mono tracks in Cubase/Pro Tools are set in the above configuration, and all tracks that are supposed to act like stereo tracks/busses in Cubase/Pro Tools are also set in the above configurations, the panning/gain staging should translate correctly between the DAWs.

There also isn't a need to use the 'Gain compensation (boost pans)' setting either, as a panned 'mono' Reaper track will always be routed into a 'stereo' Reaper buss which will therefore compensate for this (obviously there's no point routing a true mono track to another true mono track as it would defeat the pan). This setting kind of helped fix the issue of confusing 'stereo' configured tracks with 'mono' configured tracks and the subsequent gain loss when bussing them to eachother. So in the end, having a default project pan law that affects both perceived mono tracks (where you have mono audio on a stereo track) and the actual stereo tracks in Reaper won't give you the same pan law or gainstaging in a traditional sense.

I think the simplest way around this is to create track templates for 'mono tracks' and the two types of 'stereo tracks'. This will allow anyone to easily build stereo mix sessions while ensuring mix compatibility with Cubase/Pro Tools.
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Old 08-20-2021, 09:45 AM   #146
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I've been somewhat ambivalent on this pan law issue before, but it really surprised me as I was editing 7.1 files and forgot having -3dB pan law in the project settings.

Of course what it does to 7.1 is this. The left and right channels go down by the pan law amount when rendering at unity gain. Which... doesn't make any sense!

I know it makes _technical_ sense, given that Reaper has no mono tracks, so pan law has to be implemented differently. But I feel this option is quite dangerous for how mundane it seems. Should it even exist in the project settings? It seems it would be safer to leave it squarely for the track-specific options. I imagine mostly people would ever want it on when dealing with mono sources.
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Old 04-04-2023, 07:15 AM   #147
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I've read that the pan law for an SSL console is "-4.5dB, -3dB for constant power" and that for Neve it's "-4.5dB, -6dB for constant gain". So how do I transform Reaper into a pseudo SSL or Neve board?
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Old 04-04-2023, 07:55 AM   #148
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I dont understand all of the posts in this thread but what I do know is that when I compare my mix in mono to a commercial mix in mono my hard panned elements sound MUCH quieter than the commerical mix (I'm using the default 0db pan law). In the commercial mix the hard panned elements seem to be equal volume in mono or stereo whereas mine get quieter in mono.

Can anyone tell me what the correct pan law setting for equal volume in mono should be?
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Old 04-04-2023, 08:32 AM   #149
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[deleted while i reconsider my dumb thoughts]
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Old 04-04-2023, 09:13 AM   #150
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I dont understand all of the posts in this thread but what I do know is that when I compare my mix in mono to a commercial mix in mono my hard panned elements sound MUCH quieter than the commerical mix (I'm using the default 0db pan law). In the commercial mix the hard panned elements seem to be equal volume in mono or stereo whereas mine get quieter in mono.

Can anyone tell me what the correct pan law setting for equal volume in mono should be?
You can't compare to someone else's mix. You don't know how they managed their phase correlation between left and right tracks, and the arrangement of a commercial song tends to be very meticulous such that low frequencies are not masking each other as much as an "amateur" composition. If you collapse your mix and their mix to mono, it's not a comparison that has anything to do with pan laws.
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Old 04-04-2023, 10:04 AM   #151
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So, there is no "right answer" re: pan law, because it depends on the listening environment. Generally a 3 to 6dB drop for center-panned sounds is suggested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law

I'm not sure what to think of what you (Magicbuss) report because using a 0dB pan law would guide a mixer to make hard-panned sources louder (since the center-panned sources are not attenuated), and thus they would sound louder in general when the mix is collapsed to mono, but you're reporting the opposite.

Typically when things get unexpectedly quieter upon collapse to mono, you can suspect phase issues. This happens e.g. with stereo mic'ing methods that have antiphase content (they all do to some extent, but some more than others), or e.g. when mixing with mid/side and turning the "side" up too much, etc., but again you seem to be describing hard-panned mono sources as opposed to an instrument that is off to the side in a stereo field, so I'm not sure if that explains what you're seeing.

Generally, as Fergler pointed out, pro mixes are made with all this in mind so they are less likely to suffer when collapsed to mono, but without examples of your mix and a pro mix to compare, it's hard to know what's going on.
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Old 04-04-2023, 10:35 AM   #152
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I've read that the pan law for an SSL console is "-4.5dB, -3dB for constant power" and that for Neve it's "-4.5dB, -6dB for constant gain". So how do I transform Reaper into a pseudo SSL or Neve board?
I'm not sure of the value. In a perfect monitoring environment the difference would be 6.02 dB between panned to one speaker vs center with both speakers. But there isn't really perfect monitoring environment for all intents and purposes.

SSL for example chose 4.5 dB (IIRC) because the studios they are typically used in are likely to have monitoring environments good enough to at least reach 4.5 dB. In the rest of our more average to not so great monitoring environments comparatively, 3dB in assumed to be closer to the norm. I suppose this is an extended explanation of Clepsydrae's first paragraph.

I've never worried about pan law unless I have elements that contain automated panning as part of the final mix. Otherwise the biggest issue is usually during mixing where one has a meticulous level set, they change the panning or similar and the volume changes based on where it is in the stereo image. Pan law is/was about maintaining that volume across the sound stage when the panning position is modified. AKA you may not desire to need to fix the relative level every time you move the pan knob.

Maybe I'm wrong but I've always considered the pan law someone wants is generally the one that keeps the relative level the same when panning across the sound stage; or not if that's what you need.
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Old 04-04-2023, 12:19 PM   #153
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So, there is no "right answer" re: pan law, because it depends on the listening environment. Generally a 3 to 6dB drop for center-panned sounds is suggested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law

I'm not sure what to think of what you (Magicbuss) report because using a 0dB pan law would guide a mixer to make hard-panned sources louder (since the center-panned sources are not attenuated), and thus they would sound louder in general when the mix is collapsed to mono, but you're reporting the opposite.

Typically when things get unexpectedly quieter upon collapse to mono, you can suspect phase issues. This happens e.g. with stereo mic'ing methods that have antiphase content (they all do to some extent, but some more than others), or e.g. when mixing with mid/side and turning the "side" up too much, etc., but again you seem to be describing hard-panned mono sources as opposed to an instrument that is off to the side in a stereo field, so I'm not sure if that explains what you're seeing.

Generally, as Fergler pointed out, pro mixes are made with all this in mind so they are less likely to suffer when collapsed to mono, but without examples of your mix and a pro mix to compare, it's hard to know what's going on.
I'm a rock guy. Its usually mono guitar tracks hard panned left and right - or electric guitar and acoustic guitar. There is no M/S processing or stereo widening. Even the Overhead drum mic is mono in this project.
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Old 04-04-2023, 12:29 PM   #154
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I'm a rock guy. Its usually mono guitar tracks hard panned left and right - or electric guitar and acoustic guitar. There is no M/S processing or stereo widening. Even the Overhead drum mic is mono in this project.
Yeah I'm not sure what would explain what you're hearing; if you can post a snippet (and post or refer to a commercial mix that doesn't do what you describe) folks could take a look.
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Old 04-04-2023, 01:57 PM   #155
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I'm a rock guy. Its usually mono guitar tracks hard panned left and right - or electric guitar and acoustic guitar. There is no M/S processing or stereo widening. Even the Overhead drum mic is mono in this project.
If the guitar tracks are sounding quiet when collapsed to mono, I wouldn't be surprised. Double tracked guitars are going to have phase issues all over the place and not in a consistent way. The best way I've found to tackle this is to choose one of them for phase in the low end, say the left channel, and remove those frequencies from the right (usually up to 500 hz at most). Then pan that part of the frequency range (3-band splitter and joiner JS effects are useful for doing this on one track) of the left track to the middle.

If phase issues continue to be a nuisance in the mid range, you can try doing narrow EQ boosts and cuts in opposite. Make one, with 5-10 boosts/cuts between 500hz and 3k, and copy this to the right channel but flip the gains around. This should maintain a balanced centred image but you've changed the relationship of gain in the frequency range such that when you collapse to mono, more of one or the other channel will take precedence and mask the other one.
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Old 04-04-2023, 02:19 PM   #156
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Typically when things get unexpectedly quieter upon collapse to mono, you can suspect phase issues. This happens e.g. with stereo mic'ing methods that have antiphase content (they all do to some extent, but some more than others), or e.g. when mixing with mid/side and turning the "side" up too much, etc., but again you seem to be describing hard-panned mono sources as opposed to an instrument that is off to the side in a stereo field, so I'm not sure if that explains what you're seeing.
OK, so it gets weirder.


Just got home from work and ran some tests. I disabled all plugins on the mix but that had no effect on the loss of volume from the hard panned elements when I hit the mono button on the master fader.

BUT when I put the master channel back to stereo and panned the individual hard L & R tracks to the center NOW they sound correct!

It appears that the master mono button is not doing what I expect. Why would the mono button on the master fader behave like this? All I want to do is EASILY check my mix in mono without any weird balance issues that aren't there in the stereo mix. But apparently the only way I can do this is to pan all instruments to the center manually which is a bit inconvenient.

I know this is probably not related to pan law but its weird and basically makes the master mono button useless to me.
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Old 04-04-2023, 02:26 PM   #157
/AND/
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Call me unenlightened, but I fail to see the importance of different pan laws. Basically, as with anything audio, you should use your ears and mix till it sounds good. If it sounds good - it is good (given proper equipment), regardless of applied pan law. Or am I wrong here?

(For the record I use -3dB pan law but I fail to see why a 0dB or a -4.5/-6 etc would make a difference. If things are louder / quieter than necessary, I will fix them with automation or mixing)
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Old 04-04-2023, 02:35 PM   #158
domzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
All I want to do is EASILY check my mix in mono without any weird balance issues that aren't there in the stereo mix. But apparently the only way I can do this is to pan all instruments to the center manually which is a bit inconvenient.
The point of the mono button is to easily check how your (stereo) mix would sound on mono equipment.
Panning everything centre is not the same the same thing, this would result in a mono mix.
Mixing is a compromise, you need to get the balance right for when it's played on either stereo or mono gear.
It can be tricky but it's probably not the mono button's fault.
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Old 04-04-2023, 04:46 PM   #159
ashcat_lt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbuss View Post
I know this is probably not related to pan law but its weird and basically makes the master mono button useless to me.
It's not weird. Unless your tracks use 6db pan law, panning to center actually makes them louder than pressing the mono button does. That is, it changes the balance in the mix in a way the mono button doesn't.

Your overall problem is not pan law. It is that you have mixed it in such a way that it doesn't collapse to mono the way you think you want.
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Old 04-04-2023, 05:53 PM   #160
Malandro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by /AND/ View Post
Call me unenlightened, but I fail to see the importance of different pan laws. Basically, as with anything audio, you should use your ears and mix till it sounds good. If it sounds good - it is good (given proper equipment), regardless of applied pan law. Or am I wrong here?

(For the record I use -3dB pan law but I fail to see why a 0dB or a -4.5/-6 etc would make a difference. If things are louder / quieter than necessary, I will fix them with automation or mixing)
You’re right, it’s not very important. If you’re automating a pan, it can be helpful to set the pan law for that track so that the volume reacts the way you want to the pan automation (so that you’re less likely to have to do volume automation as well), but that’s about as complicated as it gets.
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