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Why are harmonies to the left?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by blackbull, May 8, 2012.

  1. blackbull

    blackbull Member

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    TO THE RIGHT*
    In every profesinall recording I've heard, the harmony-guitar is panned to the right. Why? To me it makes more sense if it was the opposite, as I consider my right ear to be my "main" ear.. but that might just be me.
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    Hmm, don't think there's any rule to this whatsoever. Just the bands/mixers preference I suppose?
     
  3. NoSoup4you22

    NoSoup4you22 Keep on blorpin'

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    Huh, I always do mine to the right. Since if it's being listened to in mono (yeah,) the main melody is the more important one.
     
  4. Nimvi

    Nimvi Member

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    I always put it in the spot where there is most room left. Since in metal a lot of things are symmetric, I usually go with the opposite side of the active drum elements in the stereo spectrum. So if, for example, the part is mainly guided by a hihat on the left, I pan the harmony to the right. If there is a tom riff that bounces between the middle and the right (I pan drummer-perspective), I put the harmony/synthlead/whatever to the left. It balances things out and makes both elements easier to comprehend.
     
  5. blackbull

    blackbull Member

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    Holy shit, I meant the opposite. Damnit lol. But the high-hat thing is a great tip, cool.
     
  6. JakeAC5253

    JakeAC5253 Frozen Sun Audio

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    It's actually biological. Your right brain hemisphere receives messages from your left ear and your left brain hemisphere receives messages from your right ear. Audio from the left ear can better connect with the melodic emotional centers of your brain, and audio from the right can better connect with the logical rhythmic centers of your brain. Also try whispering into a girls left ear.
     
  7. RedDog

    RedDog Humanoid typhoon

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    Sexayy. ;)
     
  8. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    I like van halen so always put lead left.
     
  9. dan weapon

    dan weapon Planet Smasher

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    But then finishing off in her right ear.

    She'll definitely hear you coming.
     
  10. Uros

    Uros Sonic Incision

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    coming, coming, comming...
     
  11. electricred

    electricred Member

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    You know, brain function lateralization is largely pseudoscience. I'm not sure where you read this, but it's simply not true.
     
  12. jENK

    jENK Producer. Engineer. Mixer

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    There are no rules in regards to this. Do what's best for the mix and the song.
     
  13. Rhys Llewellyn

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    I would take harmony guitar to mean guitars doubled up, like one playing root, the other playing minor 3rds or whatever... In which case I pan harmony guitars about 30% left and right or so usually if they are additional lead guitar harmonies over the rhythm guitars. If it's the rhythm guitars then just hard left and right.

    If you're just talking about one guitar playing "harmony" then isn't that just lead guitar or perhaps you meant "melody"?

    Either way, I'd just go for symmetry and look for those empty spaces to put them, as others have stated, except of course if it's lead guitar which belongs in the middle, in fact, when I'm shredding, mute all that drums and bass shit, I only wanna hear me :p
     
  14. Lipown

    Lipown Member

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    And one from me :D if i understand what harmony guitar is .... so i put them to the channel where i recordet it... never though about that :D so after reading about what brain perceving i will give a try :D
     
  15. Terminus

    Terminus Member

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    I always record the left side guitar first, regardless whether they are rhythms or leads so usually the higher harmony (if there is one) ends up to the right on my song recordings. Maybe it's because I'm a lefty? Never thought about it.
     
  16. Kohugaly

    Kohugaly Member

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    Now that you mention it... I always put direct monitoring to the left and previous take to the right (when using headphones), when I'm recording. maybe because when I'm sitting my computer is on the right and the guitar stand is on the left (I'm left-handed but play right-handed guitar). Helps me focus more on the take when is panned left compared to the right. So generally I record the first take, pan it right, pan monitoring to the left and record the second one. So I also usually end up having harmonies to the left.

    By the way handness and brain lateralization have minimal correlation. Brain centers are usually laterized the same way no mater how-handed you are.
     
  17. Terminus

    Terminus Member

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    It's got to be related to our dominant hand/brain hemisphere. Funny thing is I've always played drums righty, held my phone to my right ear but throw/kick and lead with my left foot. Weird stuff lol.
     
  18. ManFromMars

    ManFromMars Member

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    To an extent. It is true that the right hemisphere controls the left half of your body and vice versa (pretty much - as in, if you screw up the motor area in your right hemisphere it'll affect the left side of your body).

    However, it's not the case that music entering your left ear will primarily affect the right side of your brain, or that the right side of everyone's brain is the "emotional" side, as you say. There's this great big fuck-off bunch of wiring between the two hemispheres that allows information flow between them...
     
  19. Carnivorouschrysalis

    Carnivorouschrysalis Chuck Finley

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    Who would have thought a discussion on guitar panning would turn into a discussion on psychology. I pan my harmonies to the left. i have no idea why.
     
  20. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Harmonies are usually on the left because they are an ornate addition to the mix. In stereo, the left channel is your main and the right channel is the auxiliary so to speak. As to why the left channel is channel 1 and right is channel 2, we read from left to right plain and simple.
     

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