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What' sup with the panning?


E_S_D

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Hi,

 

Not really a problem here, just a question about something that's a bit of a mystery to me. It doesn't really make much of a difference, but how come you can pan -64 to the left, but only +63 to the right on the mixer within Logic?

 

Normal?

 

Cheers

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Yes, it's normal.

 

The pan controls in Logic, like the faders and most other controls, are based on 128 steps of resolution --- the same as MIDI controllers. So for pan there are 128 possible positions, including the center position.

 

But 128 is an even number, and if you slice it down the middle so that you have two even amounts for each side (64 and 64) you now have 64 values to define the left pan position, 64 for right pan position. But what about the center position? By dividing 128 into two equal parts we haven't provided for a value to mean "center".

 

So the solution is to take one value somewhere around the middle of this quantity of 128 values and assign one of those numbers to mean "center". Let's say we use the value of 65 to mean center. OK, but there will be an uneven number of values on either side of center now. Like this:

 

1 - 64 = left (64 values)

65 = center (1 value)

66 - 128 = right (63 values)

 

But in MIDI, we don't talk about values from 1 - 128. Instead we talk about them as values of 0 - 127 (unlike what you learned in grade school, zero is considered a number here). So now I'm going to repeat the same list above, but reflect the numbers as MIDI values:

 

0 - 63 = left (64 values)

64 = center (1 value)

65 - 127 = right (63 values)

 

Now... for panning values to have more intuitive meaning we use negative numbers for left, zero for center, and positive values for right. It wouldn't be very intuitive to think that a signal that's panned to the left would have a value of "23". But if it was expressed as "-23" you'd know it was panned to the left because of the negative sign. So now I'll translate those values into more meaningful pan-position values:

 

-64 to -1 = left (64 values)

0 = center (1 value)

1 to 63 = right (63 values)

 

This is a display thing only. A pan value of zero sent via a MIDI controller (CC#10 = 0) really means "all the way left"). You will see the pan position on the screen show a value of -64 in response. And the value shown in hyperdraw will show a value of -64 as well. But if you recorded some panning moves in automation, say, from full left to full right, you'd see the values in the automation event list show a sweep of values from zero through 127.

 

So yes, there's one more degree of resolution for pan position when panning things to the left.

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  • 2 years later...

So yes, there's one more degree of resolution for pan position when panning things to the left.

 

AWESOME explanations Ski !

 

So does this means that if we pan some region hard left (-64) we will have 1 increment of loudness more than if we pan it to hard right (+63) ?

 

Of course I ask this just for learning and understanding sake, and I bet no one could actually hear that one point of resolution (or increment, percent, however) coming louder through monitor or headphones from hard left panned audio than from same audio panned hard right. Maybe if he was following some meters to tell him. But by our human hearing....I doubt.

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So does this means that if we pan some region hard left (-64) we will have 1 increment of loudness more than if we pan it to hard right (+63) ?

 

No. -64 is exactly the symmetrical opposite of +63. The difference lies in the resolution between left-center (64 values) and between right-center (63 values).

 

Okay so basically this is just DISPLAY thing. If there would't be numbers on each side it would be still total left=100 % sound left, total right=100 % sound right, middle=equal sound on each side, 50%-50%.

Am I right ?

 

If yes, than they could just put -64 left and +64 right to avoid confusing people and have that 0 at the center as ultimate 50-50 sound level on each side.

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Okay so basically this is just DISPLAY thing. If there would't be numbers on each side it would be still total left=100 % sound left, total right=100 % sound right, middle=equal sound on each side, 50%-50%.

Am I right ?

No, and yes. You're wrong when you're saying it's a display thing. It's a resolution thing. Resolution means the number of values you can use to describe a position. In Logic, you have a bit more resolution on one side. You're right for the extreme settings. Left is left, right is right, and center is center. It's for the in-between values that you have more resolution on the left vs on the right.

 

If yes, than they could just put -64 left and +64 right to avoid confusing people and have that 0 at the center as ultimate 50-50 sound level on each side.

 

If you could figure out how to put 129 values in 7 bits, you could do that. :lol: in reality, that would be a violation of the MIDI standard.

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If yes, than they could just put -64 left and +64 right to avoid confusing people

 

Yep. And for the MIDI control folks, good luck finding a MIDI controller that can send a CC value of 129... ;)

 

Edit: damn, David beat me to it by seconds... :D

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Okay so basically this is just DISPLAY thing. If there would't be numbers on each side it would be still total left=100 % sound left, total right=100 % sound right, middle=equal sound on each side, 50%-50%.

Am I right ?

No, and yes. You're wrong when you're saying it's a display thing. It's a resolution thing. Resolution means the number of values you can use to describe a position. In Logic, you have a bit more resolution on one side. You're right for the extreme settings. Left is left, right is right, and center is center. It's for the in-between values that you have more resolution on the left vs on the right.

 

If yes, than they could just put -64 left and +64 right to avoid confusing people and have that 0 at the center as ultimate 50-50 sound level on each side.

 

If you could figure out how to put 129 values in 7 bits, you could do that. :lol: in reality, that would be a violation of the MIDI standard.

 

 

Why in 7 bits ? It's 18.4....

And does -15 and +15 sound identical in level ? Or it should be -15 and +16 to be identical :shock:

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A true story...

 

There was a time when there were no digital mixers or DAWS. Just analog hardware, like mixing boards. Real ones, with knobs. Panning knobs. And they had an infinite amount of control between center and L or R, not a fixed number of steps like we have on digital gear. And there were no stereo channels... every stereo signal took up two channels on the board, each with its own pan pot. So if an engineer wanted to reduce the width of a stereo signal he'd have to pan the left channel towards the center and the right channel towards the center -- separately.

 

So how did the engineer know if the panning was equally pushed towards the center on these two channels? Were there numbers silkscreened on the channels? No. Was there an LED indicator? No. Did he use a goniometer? Rarely. Extremely rarely. So how did he figure out if their setting were correct?

 

He used his ears.

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There you go again, Ski, using your dirty tricks with all that logic, reason and good sense stuff.

 

How are we supposed to go up against that?

 

We need... SuperNinjaForumMan* to fight that...

 

 

 

 

 

 

* C'mon, there's gotta be a cartoon in there...

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Why in 7 bits ?

 

That's the MIDI specification. http://www.midi.org/techspecs/midimessages.php

 

And does -15 and +15 sound identical in level ? Or it should be -15 and +16 to be identical :shock:

What do they sound like to you?

 

Thanks on info. How does it sounds to me ? Well the SAME. Even -15 and +18 sounds the same, loudness level vise. It's just to small difference to be noticed by human ear. That's why one side could have one value less than another and no one could know if there is a real difference. Because they KNOW there isn't but they DON'T HEAR that there isn't.

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There IS a difference. Every single increment changes the panning. But once again, you should use the numbers as a guide and your ears as the final judge. And if your room isn't acoustically good then you might want to make your judgements based on a few listening passes through headphones as well.

 

Sometimes a signal HAS to be panned unevenly (according to the numbers) because the signal itself might be slightly louder or softer on one side. This factor alone proves that you can't go just by the numbers because perception of panning is influenced by the level of the signal.

 

:shock:

 

Yup.

 

Think about when the stereo phonograph record was invented (and if you don't know, look it up). From that point until the advent of digital music making, recording engineers making records used their ears as the final judge for things like panning. I'm not talking about mastering here, just making records in the studio.

 

If nothing else, having increments for things like pan values gives people like you the false impression that they CAN mix by the numbers. And while the equipment we make music on has changed over the years, acoustics have not. Neither have ears.

 

So if you want to continue to mix by the numbers then go ahead and make yourself nuts trying to justify the numbers. Or, you could take my (ahem) sagely advice (ahem) and use the numbers as a guide and then use your ears as the final judge.

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A true story...

 

There was a time when there were no digital mixers or DAWS. Just analog hardware, like mixing boards. Real ones, with knobs. Panning knobs. And they had an infinite amount of control between center and L or R, not a fixed number of steps like we have on digital gear. And there were no stereo channels... every stereo signal took up two channels on the board, each with its own pan pot. So if an engineer wanted to reduce the width of a stereo signal he'd have to pan the left channel towards the center and the right channel towards the center -- separately.

 

So how did the engineer know if the panning was equally pushed towards the center on these two channels? Were there numbers silkscreened on the channels? No. Was there an LED indicator? No. Did he use a goniometer? Rarely. Extremely rarely. So how did he figure out if their setting were correct?

 

He used his ears.

 

True story: one of my ears is about 3mm lower than my other ear! :shock: This is no BS. (I'm lucky that it is not 3mm MORE FORWARD than the other ear, otherwise I'd have phasing problems ALL the time in my recordings... as if an accordion is not hard enough to record in the FIRST place! :? )

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A true story...

 

Once upon a time I got soooo drunk that I could barely see straight .... ooops wrong story. :oops:

He used his ears.

 

Unless the audio engineer was a careless woodworker, he should have had an equal # of digits on each hand, and thusly and equal number of digits for each pan pot.:mrgreen:

 

0 to 127 equates to 128 items in total. Half of 128 = 64.

 

Turn the pan knob one way and you are working with 0 to 63, or 64 items.

Turn the pan knob another way and you are working with 1 to 64, or 64 items.

 

To avoid confusion, '0' was not displayed as a value because it actually represents the value of '1'

 

Dead center is not represented with a number because the values would all have to be shown as +/- 63.5. That would make as much sense as some of the posts we see on this forum.

 

If you don't believe me, then watch this ....

 

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How are we supposed to go up against that?

 

We need... SuperNinjaForumMan* to fight that...

 

Hang on - I'm just getting into my tights. (damn - I hate being called out so soon after Thanksgiving dinner... :( )

 

beej said SuperNinjaForumMan NOT SuperBallerinaForumMan.

 

No no NO! My SuperNINJA tights. :roll: I know, you all see us NINJAS wearing those baggy black silk pants, but believe me when you are fighting for your life you DO NOT want your onions swaying in the breeze... :oops: So we ALL wear black tights under the baggy pants. Trust me, if I just had to get into the baggy pants I'd be there already. But 3 servings of TURKEY DINNER and one "small & svelt" pair of tights do not mix together so well.... :?

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Once upon a time I ran out of heroin. It was Christmas and everyone was at home. That made it really tough to follow my usual routine of breaking into people's houses unnoticed, stealing their stuff, and pawning it for smack money.

 

Oops, wrong story...

 

:wink:

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Once upon a time I ran out of heroin. It was Christmas and everyone was at home. That made it really tough to follow my usual routine of breaking into people's houses unnoticed, stealing their stuff, and pawning it for smack money.

 

Oops, wrong story...

 

:wink:

 

Na, nothing is impossible for an Urban Ninja ... ;)

 

 

>

 

 

'Cept when I got my ass kicked by Chloe Bruce ... :(

 

 

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