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Topic: Panning for smaller ensembles?

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  1. #1

    Question Panning for smaller ensembles?

    Hey, I was just wondering how to pan various string instruments for a small ensemble. The default instrument pannings are for if instruments are placed on a stage in a full orchestra arrangement. So, if I have a string Quintet, with 1st and 2nd violins, a viola, a cello and a bass would it be better to pan all of them into the center? Or keep the same panning scheme but balance it more so that all fo the instruments don't sound like they are on one side?
    Tim

  2. #2

    Re: Panning for smaller ensembles?

    I'd say you have artistic freedom in how you pan them - unless you are trying to realistically represent any given seating position, then you can move them around at will to achieve a nice balance of sound, left to right, and front to back, in a way that makes sense for the piece. It would be quite unusual to pan all the instruments on top of each other in the center.

    Also, consider that you can use the overall width of the stereo sound image to represent the listener's closeness to the players. Nice wide image, you're closer to the players, and you'd expect to hear less reverb. Narrower image, you're further away, and you'd expect to hear relatively more reverb.

    Trond

  3. #3

    Re: Panning for smaller ensembles?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgfoo
    Hey, I was just wondering how to pan various string instruments for a small ensemble.
    I had a similar question in another thread. This (partial) response to me from Haydn in another thread is interesting also...the solos are pannable, but the ensembles are stereo images...panning the stereo voices is apparently not recommended.
    Bill

  4. #4

    Re: Panning for smaller ensembles?

    Thanks Trond and Bill. That's interesting what Haydn said. Didn't know it messed things up if you re-panned the already panned stereo ensembles. Guess I'll just fool around with the panning on the solo strings in my small ensemble till I find a mix that I like. Thanks
    Tim

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