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Topic: Orchestral panning in sequencers

  1. #1

    Orchestral panning in sequencers

    I\'m curious as to how you guys pan your orchestral instruments in your sequencer. I can\'t seem to get a very full sterio spread, but if I start panning things to much hard left or right, the instruments obviously sound like they\'re coming from one speaker. Any suggestions for creating a wider sterio spread? I believe spatial placement is a KEY ingredient to creating a good orchestral mockup.
    Any tips VERY much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    I don\'t know that panning is that important - if you got a real orchestral recording and messed around with the panning I think it would still sound perfectly real.

    Its possibly more to do with your reverb than anything if you\'re having problems but I can\'t hear anything wrong with your stuff in that respect. A reverb can add the necessary width and presence to the instrument.

    My advice is to just pan everything in the correct direction and only do a hard pan if you\'re using a reverb that places the instruments in a room or hall like trueverb or alitverb. Otherwise its just a hard pan which can be equally hard on the ears. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers


    Try using delays. If you want a sound to take up more space between the speakers pan the delayed signal away from the sound source. EX: You got a French horn at 10:00 pan a delayed signal at 1:00 at about 25ms. Actually use your ear for how wide you want it to sound. Engineers use this triack all the time to make something seem wider.

  4. #4

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    Esteven\'s \'trick\' works very well, but I also like to use audio gain rather than pan sometimes. Keep the pan pot centered, lower the gain on the channel you want to pan away from. (Do this in the mix, NOT while tracking...) Couple this with the delay, and you get very believable positioning.


  5. #5

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    Thanks for your replies and input guys but what are your pan settings in your sequencer? ex. vlns-35, celli-90, etc.

  6. #6

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers


    Here\'s my basic sequencer panning setup:

    Piccolo -L12
    Flutes -L6
    Oboes -R7
    Eng Hrn -R13
    Bass Cl -L12
    Bassoons -R10
    Contra Bn-R13
    Frnch Hrn-Center
    Trumpets -R10
    Tuba -R45
    Timpani -L24
    Bass Drum-L26
    Snare Drm-L28
    Piano -L56
    Harp -L72
    Violins -range from L90-65 (1st & 2nd)
    Violas -R38
    Cellos -R65
    Basses -R89

    This is just a starting point that allows me to get a basic orchestral spread while composing. Hope that helps!

  7. #7

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    I just pan it so it sounds like its in the right sort of place when compared with a real orchestra. Its probably around 30 or 40 but it varies. the 1st will be nearer 40 and 2nd nearer 30. The celli wil be panned pretty much opposite with basses probably being a bit wider.

    Everything else just goes on its side but won\'t be as wide as the basses and violins. Percussion can be virtually anywhere. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    Hey Lance,

    Thanks for posting that, but if you\'re setting up an orchestra in a typical seating arrangement, it would be more like this (according to Mediaventures recording setups courtesy of Jeff Rona\'s \"The Reel World\" book):


    Strings-1st level
    1st and 2nd Vlns to the left
    Violas in the middle
    Celli and Bass to the right

    Woodwinds-2nd level
    Slightly left and right (section in the middle)

    Brass-3rd level
    Slightly left and right (section in the middle)
    French horns to the right, but the bells shoot to the left

    Percussion-4th level
    left to right (section in the middle as well)

  9. #9

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    Yep, I have Mr. Rona\'s book as well and have another template based off that seating arrangement as well.

    The one above is based off an old LA Phil seating chart. I\'m also in the process of making a template for a new Boston Pops seating chart I just received which is completely different from the other two.

    The reason I posted the LA Phil one is that I seem to get better results with it as a base. When I start adding reverb, delays, etc. I get a much more realistic stereo spread. I know that may not make much sense, but I\'ve found it easier to get instruments sounding natural...more concert hall-like in those positions. The bottom line is I\'m faster at making more realistic sounding mixes in this position and in my role as an assistant composer, it literally pays to be fast. My boss can get kinda poopy if I don\'t churn out the product.

    Send me your email address and I\'ll send over a copy of the Boston Pops seating chart. My address is lance840@pacbell.net

  10. #10

    Re: Orchestral panning in sequencers

    That is a good tip King, I\'ll have to try that - if I can. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Oh and Damon that\'s French Horns on the left.

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