Which type of panner do you use in Cubase for orchestral / film / tv work?

Which type of panner do you use in Cubase and templates for orchestral / film / tv work using sample libraries ?

Stereo Balanced Panner or Stereo Combined Panner ?

Both…depending on whether I want to adjust stereo width and pinpoint location or not.

Cubase defaults to the balanced panner… are there any guidelines or norms for pan law for orchestral work using sample libraries?

The balanced panner is way more useful for setting the exact position of a stereo source within the stereo field.

Which pan law you use makes no difference - they all simply handle the volume level changes you’ll get when moving a signal around the stereo field slightly differently.

Choose Equal Power and forget about it, unless there’s a specific reason for using a particular one - I can only think this would be if you were try to match the panning on a particular analogue console brand for some reason.

Agree with Vinylizor…

Use Equal Power unless you wanna match the panning with a specific console.

This is confusing, I have some people telling me -3dB is the standard, and then on this forum, others say to use Equal Power.

Equal power is also -3db. The difference between the -3db setting and the Equal power is the curve it use. -3db use a linear curve while Equal power does not. Also there are more to it, but Google it if you wanna read more about it.

When they say -3db is standard it is because they are referring to how most analogue desks works.

I thought a balance panner merely reduces the volume of each channel to simulate a different position? This would means it’s the obvious choice for MONO signals, but wouldn’t it be the worse choice for stereo signals - particularly stereo signals that are recorded off the center axis, like many of Spitfires Instruments? If an instrument was record “to the right” of the stereo mic, for example, and you used a balance panner to pan the instrument left, wouldn’t you effectively be “turning down” the “direct” signal from the instrument and “turning up” the hall sound?

I’m afraid this is a problem with room tone that’s baked into samples - no panner can help you with this problem, you’d need dual mono faders with separate pans to fudge a fix. The combined panner certainly isn’t helping you in this situation!

Sometimes with dry signals you don’t want the position in the stereo field that’s baked into a stereo file - stereo keyboards from VSTi’s can be given a much more realistic mono-ish position in the stereo field by ‘pulling in’ the L & R panners. You can’t do this with the combined panner.

In fact I’d go so far as to say the combined panner should be removed as it serves no real useful purpose - it’s a simplistic tool that just bloats the program. You’d never find such a panner on an analogue console for this very reason.

Confused by that last reply, did it mean the balanced panner?

Sorry yes - Combined Panner good, Balanced Panner bad!


If you had a mono recording - say an electric guitar recorded mono - how would you place that somewhere in the stereo field in Cubase?

Mono tracks just have a standard panner - you can put them where you want.

By using the standard panner on a mono track.

In saying what I did, I’m obviously assuming the mono track is routed to a stereo track like a stereo group or stereo bus.

So does the balanced panner work differently on a mono track? If so, how?

Once the signal has reached a stereo channel, like a group, is there any benefit to using the combined panner on the stereo group channel over using the balanced panner on the source mono track?