Pan depth/pan law

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Pan depth/pan law

Postby duuuhhh » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi guys,
So in the last versions of Pro Tools you can set the pan depth (law), which took me to some Google time. In the end, what I understood is that every setup (room and monitoring) will ask for a different option, and in practice all you need to do is play something (a mono channel with pink noise), pan hard left, hard right and dead center and choose the depth that gives you the closest level in those 3 positions. So I did this and got the -6dB pan depth, which was surprising cause for some reason I always thought the -3dB was pretty much standard except for large rooms with big SSL's or sorts with specific (esoteric?) pan depths. So, I've been doing stuff with -3dB since forever and I wanna know what actually changes if I start doing with -6dB, my concern is in regards to how the mixes will sound in other systems (I'm aware of the issues with exchanging projects in DAWs with different depths). Should that give me any benefits or is it more about personal taste?
Also, how do you choose pan depth when you're in a 5.1 setup?
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Re: Pan depth/pan law

Postby gigpiglet » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:11 pm

im pretty sure that PT is pretty famous for its bad panning...
lots of convos if you wanted to search and read.

panning with a pan pot on a console is a lovely thing... like swinging a gain pot.
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Re: Pan depth/pan law

Postby rob » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:48 pm

the theory is that as you pan from left, through mono to right the acoustic level in the room remains constant. A perfect room with perfect speaker and listener placement will result in a 3dB dip at the mono position compared to the full left or right position.
SSL thought that in a real room 4.5dB worked better.

In practice when you mix you pan and set level as you push a mix into shape so the pan law is ultimately irrelevent. The mix is the mix and will be the same to all listeners / environments ... well everything else being equal that is...
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