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Drum panning

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Heabow, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Hey

    I've always panned drums as wider as possible which actually means OH and rooms at 100% LR. With a little bit more experience and more proper listening to pro mixes - in Metal genres at least - I realized that the drums in mixes I like the most are in general "not that wide" except maybe snare verb and the toms. For me, a good example of this is Mnemic 'Passenger' album, mixed by Tue Madsen. So I tried to do so and the result is that the drums sound more focused and there is more space for rhythm guitars. I feel it can give a nice 3D perception when it's well done. Also, I used to play a lot with stereo room mics but, in the same idea, I tend to give more and more advantage of mono room track and keep stereo room to give some "texture" or "pump" to the OH.

    Sure, there is no good or bad rules as it depends on what we want to achieve but I'd be curious to know your thoughts/tastes about that and your usual methods.
     
  2. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Remember mic placement also gives you width. An XY overhead setup panned hard right and left probably wont sound as wide as a spaced pair panned hard. I generally pan my overheads around the 80%-90% mark to and pan my guitars %100. It really does depend though.
     
  3. J.L.BeelerMusic

    J.L.BeelerMusic Professionally Amateur

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    I've recently came to a similar conclusion. Previously i panned everything out as wide as I could, but noticed that it made the mix sound smaller. As well as certain things would sound out of place. So fairly recently I decided to mix everything, not just the drums, from the perspective of the drummer.

    Meaning I would still have the cymbals a touch wider than the toms, but the only things that were panned out completely were the guitars on either side. I also ended up only using mono room mics as well, which with the drums all being a bit closer to the center, achieved all the glue I needed. And to my surprise the mix sounded wider.

    Now this being said I mainly record rock artists that use two, maybe three toms. But I can still get pretty decent tom rolls even with it being more center driven. Just have to find a good balance.
     
  4. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    I personally prefer to have the toms wider than the cymbals in this case. And it's the same for the bass actually. I usually mix basses with the chorus widening trick more or less depending on the material but I think I won't use this on my next mixes (black metal and death metal mainly)
     
  5. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    I always go 100 L/R. The most recent mix I did though the band asked for about 80 L/R and the only difference i noticed is a bit more focused drums and a tad smaller stereo image on the whole mix. Nothing game changing but I prefer to have them 100 L/R
     
  6. texisthebest

    texisthebest Member

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    What do you think about recording bass in dual track in spite of using a chorus fx for widening the high end of the bass?

    Any more ideas about the drums? Using only mono room sounds a good idea but maybe I prefer stereo room but not hard panned.

    There are persons that like to pan only in mono or hard pan. Opinions?
     
  7. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    How would you mix the two bass tracks then? Could you develop please?
    I used to use the chorus trick for the low end actually...
     
  8. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Back to the drums, I always find difficult to "extract" the guitars from the cymbals high end and the whole drum low end when the drums are 100% panned. It works better for me when the wider drum elements are max 70% panned. This way, there is a better separation between guitars and drums.
     
  9. texisthebest

    texisthebest Member

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    From my view lows must be mono and mids and highs stereo so you have a more open mix. Anyway I am not an engineer. For the bass and subbass I use only one take. But for the 500hz-5Khz part of the bass or something like this I use stereo takes with nice distortions as TSE BOD, R47, Ignite amps bass amp and this kind of distortion mixed. Cheers!
     
  10. Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Member

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    I usually go for 100%.But 100% on cymbals is not exactly 100% if you know what i mean, for example it's not the same like guitar panning.
    Maybe you might achieve what you want with room mice
     
  11. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    Yeah a band i recently did wanted me to take the OH's in to about 80 L/R instead of 100 L/R which I usually do. I guess they read that in some book or something, dunno why haha. But Yeah the mix got a bit smaller and the drums a bit punchier and more dominating, ofc you can solve that with some leveling balance but I will keep on doing 100 L/R. I Feel it sounds more open and wider.
     
  12. mstone564

    mstone564 Member

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    I feel like panning overheads anything other than 100% left and right would just introduce problems. The mic position you choose determines how much width you do or don't want.
     
  13. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    If your overheads are "in phase" before starting to record it should be fine.
    Lets all remember that a pan knob is essentially nothing more than a left and right volume knob, if you allow a little bit of the left into the right speaker it narrows the image. Most people i see tracking dont even have the overheads on 2 mono tracks, usually just a stereo track. I personally use 2 mono tracks because i will check them in mono to check overhead phase issues. No rules, in my own experience if i pan the drums around 85% or so my guitars seem wider hard panned. This could also be achieved be getting levels right.
     
  14. Ataraxia2320

    Ataraxia2320 Member

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    #14 Ataraxia2320, Dec 27, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  15. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    I do like this:

    Tom 1- 65
    Tom 2- L 50 R
    Tom 3- 70 R.

    And I've started to change the panning when the drummer use all 3 toms in one fill. Like 65 L ,0C ,70R to make it go all over the stereo image.
     

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