Groove Agent Sound Panning Issues

Hello Guys,

I am having issues with getting the sounds panned properly in Groove Agent, when I pan a sound of each instrument to the sides I get some strange results the sound just gets quiet, normally we expect to hear the sound only on the left without loosing volume. it doesn’t do that.

Anyone knows how to fix this please?

Which kit?

Keep in mind that some GA kits have multiple ‘virtual’ mics, plus routing to stereo effects such as stereo reverb.

The idea is to emulate how a kit might behave on a real world stage, in an open studio, or even in an isolated ‘drum cave’. You get to control how much stuff those Ambiant mics pick up, plus it’s possible to use sends to emulate other types of bleeding across various mics.

There’s more. Some kits have deep scripting in the virtual mics that can trigger or ‘gate in/out’ extra layers for special effects like…pounding a kick drum or tom might also stir up enough air in the room to make the snare strings ‘vibrate’ against the bottom snare head. Tambourine clappers might tinkle/shake a bit if you really pound hard on a kit. Foot pedals might squeak, creak, or click. Etc.

On a real kit you’d hear something like that extraneous snare vibration through the bottom snare mic during a tom riff in the least, even though you never hit the snare directly! So, some kits might require more experimentation and fiddling to see what all ‘goodies’ they might be hiding that can be worked into, or out-of a mix.

A kit will typically have at least one mic directly on each drum. Some kit pieces might have a pair of mics (one for each head). Or, various options on how the snare, kick-drum, and hi-hats are miced up. It’s even conceivable that some GA kits might give you ‘options’ on the brand/make/type/positioning of individual pieces and microphones (typically selected by right clicking a kit piece in the kit macro editor tab)!

Direct kit piece mics might have some effects on them like gates, saturation, compression, or dynamic envelope shapers.

Add to these direct kit-piece mics, one or more overhead mic for cymbals and stuff. Plus other room mics or shell configurations intended to introduce ‘natural’ reverb or extreme ‘damping’ effects.

Each of these ‘mic channels’ might then go to various ‘groups’ which can have even more mixed effect chains on them that might spread, ping-pong, or add ‘chorus/reverb’ effects across the entire stereo feed of the kit’s main outputs.

So, if you need extreme panning precision, you have some options.

You can go through the plugin and remove sends to virtual overhead mics and such. Adjust the various group routings to exclude the kit piece you want isolated, and correct things from there.

Simple Example:
I’ve loaded a kit called “Isolated” from “The Kit SE” library.

I’ll click on the center of bass drum in the instrument macro. I can see right away that this bass drum is set to send signal to the room and overhead mics.

Because of this, no matter where I pan the drums, those other two virtual mics are also going to pick it up! So, even if I pan the kick drum hard left in the mixer tab, tapping the kick drum pad (or the drum in the macro editor) is going to bleed over both speakers!

So the first thing I’ll need to do if I want true isolated panning for this bass drum is turn those two ambient mic sends all the way down to zero.

Next I’ll go to the Mixer/Agent tab, and pan that kick drum hard left.

No more bleed! Kick drum ONLY comes from the left channel.

It’s possible build up a fancy mic set in a new group, or even a new output for the kick drum. Or you can just make a chain of isolated effects just for that drum to give it ambiance again. You could also use sends to bleed room or overhead signals back into that kick drum channel. Options galore.

If you right click the kit slot you’ll find that there are also options to extract a GA kit across the Cubase mixing console.

This provides an alternate way to view and work with kit routing and effects.

Instead of fiddling with the mix and effects from the plugin UI, you can work with it directly in the Cubase mixing console. Just be advised that it can unfurl a LOT of channels to your Cubase mixer! The good news is that Cubase gives you something like 3 consoles to work with (hide and display thigs for 3 instant workflows), plus you can store even more variations as ‘Work Spaces’.

Also be aware that in the initial GA UI mode you can activate new ‘outputs’ for GA,

and isolate a pad’s output to any output or group you desire.

Be aware that if you want to unfold this across the Cubase mixer as describe above you should save a copy of the kit with your changes first.

There’s more yet…
Don’t forget that you can automate pretty much every control in GA in real time using VST automation lanes, or learned MIDI CC events. (Right click a control in GA, and assign to automation for a VST lane, or learn a CC if you want to use something like an external MIDI controller directly).

Right click the Room Send encoder pot and Assign to New Automation.

Right click the pot again and Show “Kick.Room” Automation Track.

And now you’ve got a visible VST automation lane in Cubase to draw in whatever tweaks you might want to apply to this control as part of your sequence.

The kit I am using is “Move it” from the Pop Rock Toobox

Are you attempting to pan the full kit, or just one particular pad from it?

I suspect you’re getting stereo bleed from effects.

This kit hosts two different Reverbs in Aux 1 and Aux 2.

Aux effects can easily be ‘shared’ by different pads by adjusting their S1-4 levels.

I.E. The snare pad sends to the Aux Bus 2 reverb shown above.

If I want to get rid of that stereo bleed I could pull this S2 (Aux Send 2) slider on the snare channel to zero.

Then go to edit for the snare pad, and pan it where I want it to be.

If I want a unique reverb on the snare that is also panned, add it directly instead of using that shared one on the Aux bus. Note, most reverbs are going to add some kind of bleed to the other channel by nature. One can tighten the field a bit by narrowing the width and tweaking some other things.

Just individual pads

Yeah, you’re probably hearing the reverb, so even with a hard pan, you still hear it in both speakers.

If you hard pan the GA output (and/or that of other plugins) in the Cubase mixer is that working (panning the entire kit)?

If not, make sure you have Cubase itself setup up for stereo output. Be careful that you don’t have any ‘mono’ plugins on the mains, etc.

You also get some choices in how panning behaves from the Mixing console (right click the panner…Stereo Combined, or Volume Balanced). Also in Project Settings, you can adjust Pan Law settings. I think the standard for that is Equal Power +6db.

If you use the Control Room, there’s more stuff…like instant swapping from Stereo/Mono/Surround mixes.

I have bypassed all plugins and reverbs but it still does’t pan properly, no sure though. I have paned GA output and if I pan it to the left there is no sound at all. I have to mention that I am using Voicemeter Banana currently to run my Audio through internal soundcard.


Is this exclusive to GA, or do other tracks and instruments suffer too?

Panned center you get sound from both speakers, but if you go one way or the other the signal goes away?

Assuming you’re on Windows? Sounds like it might be some routing issues…

Could also be some VB setup options. I don’t use that one so can’t be too much help on that front. My guess is VB takes control of your Audio card, possibly with ASIO4ALL in the chain (often required if your audio interface doesn’t have native ASIO drivers), and then routes everything in and out of some kind of ASIO backend.

Tap F4 and put up a screen shot of your Cubase Outputs?

If you use the Control room, show that tab too?

Do the meters look correct on the Cubase mixer when panning GA (see the proper channel meters bounce, but no sound)?

If you do a quick mixdown of a sequence to wav or mp3, then play it back in something else does it sound more like expected?

I just checked and it looks like everything is affected other instruments and even audio samples

I see.

It’s most likely your VB setup.

I personally don’t use that one so I can’t help much.

What audio interface do you use? Does it have true ASIO drivers with it?

I’d give Cubase a try without VB. Confirm that it’s working with direct access to your audio device. Once that’s good…

Go through the steps to install and test VB. Go through the manuals/instructions/FAQ stuff for VB.

Yes it is most likey VB setup. trying to change the stting once I get the pan to work the overal sound is breaking :/so I am not sure how to set it up. I am using laptops internal reltek soundcard.

Using generic driver solved the issue. However, it is now more complicated if I need to listen anything outside of Cubase. The release driver function doen’t work very well and browsers crash.

It’s usually ‘easier’ if you can use a dedicated audio interface that ships with proper ASIO drivers. When you have no choice but to use the generic audio chipsets that come on motherboards without proper ASIO drivers an ASIO backend of some sort is necessary. Over the years, I’ve had good luck with ASIO4ALL (wdm <> ASIO) for situations where I needed to use a Generic driver.

Solid generic options do exist. They typically do the same thing as a proper ASIO driver that ships with a soundcard. The catch is, it’s not tweaked and optimized for your system out of the box, so you’ll need to be patient and make adjustments to find the best performance/stability balance for your system.

  1. Establish a wdm, wasapi, or mme <> ASIO backend.

  2. Get Cubase stable.

  3. Setup VB to use the ASIO backend of choice. I.E. Using ASIO4ALL and Cubase for a while without VB to make sure it’s stable and performing well. THEN, set up VB to use the ASIO4ALL backend by default.

  4. Workout how to use VB and Cubase together. Most people treat it like a kind of ‘patch bay/router and mixer’ that always runs as Windows starts up. From there, other apps hook into the VB console. Note, there will be endless ‘options’ on how to set that thing up! The workflow you desire may be quite different from what others are doing, so take your time to really learn the app, how it works, and what all it can do!

Once you know you can get Cubase running stable by itself…In general…you’d first get VB up and running. It should offer new audio devices in an app like Cubase that can be chosen to route audio into, and out-of Cubase (Studio Setup to select the main driver/backend, tap F4 for a panel to route devices in the Cubase mixing matrix).

You might give these a try. They are alternatives to the Generic ASIO driver that ships with Steinberg hosts. The major difference is that you’ll get access to more of the settings and options for the drivers than you do with Steinberg’s generic driver. This is good in that you can make many subtle adjustments until you find optimal settings for your hardware (balance performance and stability). For some users it’s bad, because…you might need (and probably should) be patient and take time optimize the settings/options. It might take a week or two of fiddling to find the perfect balance for your system, but once you do, it should be quite good.

WDM > ASIO option:
Download – ASIO4ALL Official Home
The website has a bunch of ads so be careful what you download and install. Scroll down to the bottom. You’ll see lots of national flags. Find the language you want.

Choose among WDM/WASAPI/MME > ASIO:


When it comes to routing/mixing audio among different apps on a system: There are also alternatives to VB. Note, VB is supposedly very good, and has nice custom UI for streaming and broadcasting, so use it if you can get it working :slight_smile:

I personally use ASIO Link Pro. It’s free now, and has a similar purpose to several of the VB products. It’s quite good and very flexible/powerful, but the learning curve to get it up and running is probably steeper than most of those VB products. The UI isn’t as pretty. It’s certainly worth having a look if you can’t get VB to behave as you’d like.

Yet another alternative to VB is jack2. This one is also free and opensource.