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Topic: Panning In GPO5

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  1. #1

    Panning In GPO5

    Hi folks, I am trying to get a handle on panning in the new GPO. I have traditionally tried to blend together all my sample libraries by setting them all to the same pan values. However, this is not necessarily the best approach. With EWSO, e.g. it is best to leave the ints's in their natural positions, as the reflections etc will create a more realistic sound. I have been with GPO since it was on the Kontakt Player. I know that library was also pre-panned. I'm assuming this one is as well. I'm thinking about just letting both libraries sit in their native positions, even if the pans don't agree 100%. That way, all inst's have their correct reflections and will sound as well as they can. This would be a major change from the way I have been doing things, and I was just wondering how others may feel about it. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Panning In GPO5

    Michael, while I can not comment on your question, because I am working in Sonar, making my own panning settings there, ignoring the preset panning in GPO, I have a question.
    Watching a lot of videos of various orchestral pieces, I came across first with Abado using the violas on the far right, used to be cellos, and having the cellos next to the violas to the left. After this, I observed it at several other conductors too.
    I wondered if this is prescribed by the composer or it is the preference of the conductor? Actually, I like this arrangement more, the "despised" violas have a better exposure, often backing up the cellos, and the cellos are not in front,as sometimes the are too much in the front.
    I hope there are signs of spring your way?
    I have three more weeks here in Mexico, the lost two weeks with miserable illness with fever while the temperature was around the 100-102 F.
    Ted


  3. #3

    Re: Panning In GPO5

    Thanks Ted, and here's hoping you're on the mend. As for Spring in Maine, well, todays it's 25 and light snow, a bitterly cold day. Just walking to mail box was nasty. But Spring is not far away. Your remarks are intriguing. I have at times switched the violins and violas. It depends on the piece. I have seen all kinds of seating arrangements, some with the cellos and basses on the left! For sampled libraries, my basic approach was the common one of violins on the left, violas center or just right of; and cellos and basses on the right. But I tend to have things too far out from center, which causes a loss of signal (keeping in mind that panning involves adjusting the signal in both channels, with one predominating). On my current project, I am changing things. I decided to reload all my strings, and leave them in their native positions. This turns out to be to be the common arrangement, as described above. By keeping them in their native positions, they retain all the room reflections and so on (that stuff is beyond me, but I know it's important). Now as for the other instruments, I'm using EW Symphonic Orch. Gold as my reference. You can see their actual pan values on the Play synth, and they can be applied to GPO and other libraries you are using. So, I re-panned the other GPO inst's, to agree with the EWSO inst's. Of course, this means you have to reload everything, and then adjust volumes and various knobs. I'm still working on it, to see if this new approach will be worth it. On the East West forum, the consensus is you don't pan, you trust the native panning. The problem arises if you mix libraries (of course, they will tell you to only use EW products). But just about everybody mixes libraries these days. The woodwinds in GPO are better than the ones in EWSO, with the exception of the EW bassoon, which is excellent. So, I blend. Which is where the problems arise. Ultimately, the ear is the final judge. Relying too closely on a system will only distort things eventually. I think a combination of system and intuition is the answer.

  4. #4

    Re: Panning In GPO5

    The traditional arrangement, before Stokowski, apparently used to be with the violins split left and right.
    If my memory serves me correctly, Barenboim did this at the promenade concerts in the UK when conducting all the Beethoven symphonies. The cellos were behind the 1st violins on the left and, as I recall, violas behind the 2nd violins.
    The double bases left, at the back. Woodwinds, brass and percussion were, as far as I remember, spread along the top row at the back. It's all a bit hazy now.
    Author of MIDI tutorials at http://midi-tutor.proboards.com/index.cgi

  5. #5

    Re: Panning In GPO5

    Ultimately, someone will probably come up with the perfect tool. It will analyze your music, and place everything in exactly the right spot. Until then, I guess we will have to use a mixture of reason and intuition, and of course the ear being the final arbiter. It will always be a "virtual" thing, because you are representing something that is three dimensional (the sound of an acoustic hall) in two dimensions. And with the strings, there is the problem of width. We locate "the violins" at a point, say 50% left. but in real life, the violins occupy a much larger footprint. And the second violins are often behind them, as the basses are behind the cellos. A vexing problem, especially in full orchestra music. Much easier with small ensembles.

  6. #6

    Re: Panning In GPO5

    I did a little experiment with GPO pans. I opened a dummy Sonar project and loaded up Aria with GPO4 and then GPO5 pans. No fiddling was done in Sonar with pans or anything else, so the pans were presumably native. And GPO5 DOES have native panning. In fact, very similar to GPO4. I can't see any way to get numerical values for the pans, so I used a magnifying glass and estimated them directly from the dials. With a little allowance for error, here they are:

    Note: when GPO5 differs from GPO4, the second entry is for GPO5.

    flute: 18 L
    oboe 2 R
    eng horn: 12 R
    clarinet: 20 L
    bassoon: 2 R
    fr. horn: 30 L
    Trumpet: 14L (20L)
    trombone: 20R
    tuba: 50R
    perc. 0
    timpani 0
    harp 50L
    vn 1 22L
    vn 2 18L (9L)
    viola 0
    cello 30R (34R)
    bass 50R (42R)

    This setup has the brighter instruments on the left ( violins, flutes, clarinets, horns, trumpets), and the darker ones on the right (eng horn, bassoon, trombones, tuba, cellos, basses). Oboes are basically centered. Violas in the middle. Percussion is centered, but the individual perc. instruments seem to have various pans. Comment: I think the bassoons should be farther right. Also, the oboes are too close to the violas. As for the strings, my current approach is not to pan them, regardless of the library, as they all seem to follow the standard modern arrangement, and it seems best to leave strings in their native positions. I have found doing so produces better results, with a fuller sound. Panning them causes signal loss, according to Alex Wallbank of Cinematic Strings.

    This arrangement differs greatly from EWSO Gold, which has flutes on the right, oboes on the left, with the eng horn, bassoon and trombones being much farther right. Also, the clarinet is much farther left. I have numerical values for those pans, taken from the mixer on Play. But I'm not sure they apply to my version, as I have only the basic one with one microphone. But the instruments do sound like they are panned to those values. To me, the woodwinds are very important, and GPO woods are of course superior to EWSO, except for the bassoon, which in EWSO is excellent. So I am going to re-pan EWSO to fit the GPO pan scheme, and see how that works.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Panning In GPO5

    Your post is a good example how we (I) gain from the knowledge of others.
    I had an ongoing problem understanding the relationships of panning of three different locations in my simple system; the panning in Aria, in Sonar MIDI tracks and in Sonar in the Audio tracks. Confessing of not to smart fiddling with all three, I have ended up with loosing good sound.
    As of yesterday, I set all my panning to 0 in Sonar's both set of tracks and let Aria settings dominate, I think I have a better sound.
    Thanks Michael and John too

    Ted

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