Panners and routing refresher help?

I’ve been using ‘stereo combined panners’ on my tracks and busses. Probably mostly because they look cool … but also with some vague idea that, for example, a horn section should have a wider presence in the sound field than a more localized sax solo. I don’t know if my recent experience is linked to 'stereo combined panners specifically, or would apply to any pan setting.

Anyway, I imported a friend’s project via OMF (which apparently doesn’t carry panning info.)

He had done left and right mono tracks of most of his guitar tracks … but a few leads were just mono.

I routed the mono lead track into a stereo group buss with lead fx and then to a ‘guitars’ stereo buss.

mono>stereo buss>stereo buss>main stereo

The two busses were each panned all the way wide (I wanted to route different lead sections with different panning to the lead fx buss, so I assumed I needed the full sound field to do this).

With this, the panner on the mono track didn’t seem to have any effect … the sound always came through centered. I could only move it by narrowing and moving the combined panner on the fx lead buss.

So, I thought, ‘ahah!,’ I’ll just change the fx lead buss to mono (forgetting for the moment that I wanted to be able to send other lead tracks to the buss). Voila! The panner in my guitar track disappeared and while I could now move my lead, I no longer could use that set up for additional placement through the lead fx buss.

Anyway, I was disconcerted to recogniize that there was an awful lot more to routing and panning than I thought I knew.

Here’s my questions.

Is any of the above a product of the type of panner, i.e., stereo combined, I’ve chosen? Or would the result of inability to hear the panning adjustments made on the mono track be the same, regardless?

Along similar lines, is there any practical/ pragmatic difference between using the different panners … or is it basically a work flow preference?

IF there are practical differences, would there be any specific type of application for each panner, such that you might want to mix them up on a track by track or buss by buss basis?

Is my inability to pan from the track to a full stereo field (fsf) buss routed to another fsf buss, due to the track being mono, or would the result be the same with a stereo track?

Finally, is it the case that when you route from a fsf buss 1 to fsf buss 2, all panning of tracks going into fsf buss 1 will be lost coming out of fsf buss 2?

Thanks in advance, Gurus.


Then you did something wrong… Were you sending the tracks to the buss, or routing the outputs? My guess you were using sends. If so you should link the send panning to the channel fader panning. There´s a prefrerence for that, or do it manually in the channel editor window.

If I understand the question correct, that´s what I wrote above.

There is a difference, and it´s explained quite well in the manual. Since we all here know, that I´m an unhelpful guy, I leave it to you to look it up, instead of looking it up myself and copying it… :wink:

It´s explained in the manual too…

As explained above, it´s quite surely operator error / a wrong setting somewhere

No, as long as the panners of a stereo bus are untouched, the pannings are preserved.

TY Thinking Cap … that was a lot of work for an ‘unhelpful guy.’ I’ll now do my homework. Now that I’ve read this section, I don’t see anything about the effect of successive panning via channel output routing?

FWIW, I was routing the outputs, not using sends in my ‘mono track> stereo buss> stereo buss> master buss.’

‘User error’ is high on the list of ‘usual suspects’ in my own case. I infer from what you said that it should work as expected. (EDIT) I am also thinking that you have put me on the right track, so to speak. I was also sending to a reverb buss without checking on the send panner link.(EDIT)

(EDIT … The sends to a group cannot be a problem. The manual says track/ group panning is preserved in the group buss or fx track by default. The purpose of the send panning is to change the pannning of the track in the send group/ buss from what the panning is in the channel.)

Finally, to push my luck a little with a lazy question with my above routing, imagine I had mono track panned hard left> 1st stereo buss panned L45 to R45> 2nd stereo buss at full stereo field. With no other routing or track sends, then I should hear mono track at L45, correct?

In other words, the panning of the mono track will appear ‘relatively’ within what ever stereo range each successive buss permits. Yes?


Yes, but only after the panner. I.e. all the inserts in stereo - group 1 see the signal in your above example fully left, only after the output of group 1 (in the above case at the input of stereo group 2), the stereo base is reduced by the L45 / R45 setting of group 1.

I think I got you … but to be crystal clear.

From my example the ‘reduced stereo field’ of stereo buss 1 (L45 to R45) inserted into stereo buss 2 would be preserved for anything routed to stereo buss 1 … but stereo buss 2’s full field stereo itself would remain unaffected, correct?

In other words, considering a 3rd stereo buss with different ‘reduced stereo field’ (R45 to R90 for an example) also routed to stereo buss 2, again assuming stereo buss 2 is ‘full field stereo,’ then the new reduced stereo field of stereo buss 3 would similarly be preserved in stereo buss 2.

When I put on my ‘thinking cap,’ it appears this must be the case. Else there would be no way to adjust pan fields in tracks or groups to properly be preserved at the master buss.


This is geting complicated, but - yes.

Everything routed through stereo group 1 to group 2 will not be any wider in stereo group 2 than L45 R 45 (from stereo group 1). Everything routed through stereo group 3 to group 2 will not be any wider than R45 R 90 (in the stereo group 2). Everything routed directly to group 2 will have L 100 R 100.

The skull is penetrated.

Thanks for your prodigious help, ‘unhelpful guy!’ :wink: