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  • Pan settings in VE - how does it work?

    I'm almost afraid of asking this, because the level of discussion here seems very high and far beyond my understanding, but maybe someone is patient enough to help me out:

    I'm currently creating a composing and mixing template in Cubase and Vienna Ensemble, with Vienna Studio reverbs as a send effect in Cubase. I'm now tweaking volume and position of the different instrument(group)s, and now I've come to consider the pan settings. There is the regular panpot with a setting from 100L to 100R (which is the part that I understand) and there is also this "space" pan setting thing just above the panpot that also seems to alter the position of the sound in some kind. What exactly does that setting do with the signal and how does it do it?

    My understanding originally was that I can use it to limit the space of the instrument's reverb. But if that is so, then:

    1. How exactly does it work? Effects are applied after the sound leaves VE, right? If yes, how does the reverb unit know about the "limited space setting"? Or am I getting the architecture all wrong?

    2. Is it generally a good idea to use this to prevent instrument groups sound from washing into each other? From a realistic point of view, reverb bounces off from all directions, keeping it limited would therefore seem unnatural. So how is it intended to be used?

    3. By accident I positioned my Glockenspiel in a curious way: I set the regular pan to 30R and the "space thing" to 70L-30L. The result being that it sounded far more distant. In this case I liked the outcome, because Glockenspiel always sounds too close anyway. But what exactly did happen here, is it possible that I found another way of controlling the dry/wet-ratio? Is this supposed to happen in a good mix, or is this something I shouldn't do?

    Or am I completely wrong with my assumptions regarding this setting?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


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    Welcome!

    As you have Special Editions and Vienna Suite, I'd suggest to check out our Special Edition Tutorials, and study the sequencer projects provided in the Tutorials section.

    Does that help?

    Best,
    Paul


    Paul Kopf Product Manager VSL
  • Thanks, Paul, I'll do that eventually (actually I've done that years ago, but I guess much has changed). However my questions remain, for Tutorials and example projects are great to learn how thinks are done, but not so much why things are done. I had hoped someone could close that gap for me.


  • And, btw, I can't find any video on this particular subject. Maybe it's too basic?

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    Hi Quioloy,

    Sorry that you had to wait for a Sunday before I found the time to write the comprehensive answer your questions deserve.

    *******

    Panorama, stereo width and balance are important concepts in audio engineering, but once you got the hang of it you'll see that it's not about rocket science - so don't despair. Use your ears and some common sense, then you will succeed. 😊

    @Another User said:

    3. By accident I positioned my Glockenspiel in a curious way: I set the regular pan to 30R and the "space thing" to 70L-30L. The result being that it sounded far more distant. In this case I liked the outcome, because Glockenspiel always sounds too close anyway. But what exactly did happen here, is it possible that I found another way of controlling the dry/wet-ratio? Is this supposed to happen in a good mix, or is this something I shouldn't do?

    You have good ears which don't fool you. 😊 You have made a very important experience: The spatial impression of a mix is not just about left and right, but also about depth! Of course an instrument will sound "smaller" (i.e. "less stereo, more mono") when it's further away from you. Imagine a group of five string players standing in a row two steps away from you and point with your arms to the left- and rightmost players. Now go away from them another 20 steps or so and do the same: Obviously the apparent angle between your arms will be smaller. The same happens acoustically. Just remember not to narrow the reverb, but just the dry signal.

    Of course, increasing the level of the wet signal derived from a reverb will further enhance the impression of "distance" (but be aware that you will quickly run into the danger of muddying you mix). The same is true for a slight reduction of the high frequency range, which would happen in the real world due to the dampening effects of the air. 

    BTW: MIR Pro takes care for this all by itself. 😊 Spatialisation (which means panning and positioning) of instruments in a room or on a stage is the reason why it was invented in the first place.

    All the best,


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Sensational! Thanks for your elaborate answer, Dietz. I think I'll need to read it another 3 or 4 times to fully comprehend, but I have the feeling I'm on to some important matter which might improve my mixes a lot. Have a great week!


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    I have read your (@Dietz) answer quite a few times, and though I'm beginning to understand a thing or two, I'm not sure how to make of this newly acquired insight. Perhaps you or someone else might take a look at my VE instances (as depicted in my composer blog) and tell me if there's something wrong.

    My question is: I've got the feeling using a neutral balance makes those instruments somehow disappear in the mix, as opposed to when I set the balance in accordance with the panning. Is this merely a matter of volume and "pan law effect" or in other words: Would I just have to turn the volume of those channels up to compensate for the balance being neutral instead of being aligned with the panning? Or is there something different going on (wet/dry)?


  • As you describe it, it seems to be a matter of volume, mostly. But as I wrote before: Beware of the Balancer. Its use makes sense in very few situations only.

    Kind regards,


    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library