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How is it possible to pan a track more than 100% L or R?

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How is it possible to pan a track more than 100% L or R?

Postby armans » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:58 pm

Can someone please explain something to me

I imported a reference track into my DAW but I did this as two mono channels not a stereo channel and I then panned them hard left & right. I then put a vectorscope plugin on the main stereo bus and noticed something odd. When soloing the L or R channel, the vectorscope line shifts past the 45degree point which essentially means that each of the channels in the stereo file are actually panned past 100%. Could someplease explain what is happening?
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Re: How is it possible to pan a track more than 100% L or R?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:06 pm

Either your scope, or, more likely your pan/monitoring routing signal path is broken! ;)

A standard pan obviously cannot go beyond fully left, and that's always shown as a 45 degree line on a vectorscope.

To go beyond that, towards the horizontal, means there has to be a degree of out-of-phase-ness between the signals in the two channels feeding the vectorscope. This is not unusual in a stereo mix, of course... but it should be impossible if you solo a single channel.

Which logically implies that your soloing function isn't doing what you think it is. You're clearly not sending a signal only on the left channel; some inverted polarity signal is also leaking through to the right-hand channel too. There is no other reason for the symptom you describe

Have you got a stereo width enhancing plugin or effect somewhere in the metering signal chain?
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Re: How is it possible to pan a track more than 100% L or R?

Postby armans » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:33 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:To go beyond that, towards the horizontal, means there has to be a degree of out-of-phase-ness between the signals in the two channels feeding the vectorscope. This is not unusual in a stereo mix, of course...
Can you please explain a bit more why there would be some out-of-phaseness? And how this is used on the stereo mix?

Hugh Robjohns wrote:but it should be impossible if you solo a single channel
Impossible even if I solo a channel while panning it hard left or right?
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Re: How is it possible to pan a track more than 100% L or R?

Postby BenWilesMusic » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:17 pm

As I understand it - please correct me if I'm wrong! On a please scope, an in phase mono signal (or stereo signal where R=L) panned centre will show as a vertical line. A completely out of phase stereo signal (i.e. R=-L) will show as a horizontal line. A signal with no phase correlation, which in practicality means a mono signal panned hard left or right, will show as a line at 45°. For the angle to be greater than that, there must be some phase inverted signal mixed in, as there must be some degree of out-of-phaseness to get to that point. There's a particular confusion here, as a hard-panned signal must be mono - it's only routed through one channel - so the other channel should be silent, meaning that there can be no phase correlation and the displayed angle must be 45°. The only reason why that would not happen is if there is some processing between the channel pan and the scope (e.g. a plugin on a bus) which is 'widening' the signal by introducing out-of-phase signal from each track to the other. Or because the scope is faulty. Or because 6 the channel pan is creating the effect itself, but I don't know why anyone would program a channel pan to do that.

To find out if your signal is truly hard panned, turn off the speaker it is panned to. If nothing is coming out of the other speaker, the pan is working properly. If you can hear something from the other speaker, either the pan is less than 'hard', or something is adding out-of-phase signal to that channel, which would explain the greater than 45° angle.
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