Why won't my tom pan?

Hello everyone. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

I have Cubase Artist 12, and in one song I have Groove Agent SE5 loaded, playing one of the Acoustic Agent kits called “Break Me Down”.

I actually have several instances of this kit open as an easy way to have a separate track for each element. I wanted to pan the toms track slightly right, but I notice that the pan has almost no effect.

I have used the pan on the mixing desk, I’ve tried the pan on Groove Agent’s “mixer agent” tab and the pan on Grove Agent’s aux tab, but noting will pan the toms. What am I missing here?

Many thanks.

@Alexandrasaurus I just set up a new project, added GA SE5, added Break Me Down, soloed Toms in the mixer agent tab and panned them left and right… and they panned fine, sorry! I was using Fill 3 just to get some toms in quickly.

Might be worth replicating just those steps in a new project to see if you still have an issue - and if not, it might help you to work out what’s different in your existing project?

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@Alexandrasaurus Depending on how you’re setting up the project and isolating the tracks, maybe you still have centred toms coming through from another drum track - try soloing toms in the mixer tab and also soloing the Toms project track?

As an aside, you may not need to have multiple instances to isolate the different drum tracks. If you click where it says “Kit Mix” at the top of track, you can select an output channel - I’ve chosen ‘Out 2’ for Toms in the snip below.

This automatically sets up a sub track for the Toms output only, and you can obviously do the same for snare, hihat, kick etc. You can then Mute the Master output (the track above Toms) and manage all of the drums tracks separately, but all from one instance of Groove Agent. Then anything you do to e.g. the overhead mic will impact all tracks, not just one. Plus you can guarantee you’re in sync.

If you can’t see those new tracks when you change the output, you need to select the “Show/Hide automation” toggle on the header track (see last screenshot).

Hope that helps!


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Thanks very much JP. I tried the thing of soloing on the mixer tab and project track at the same time and panning both, but it doesn’t work unfortunately, except to say if I pan one left and the other right (or vice versa) the tom gets quieter whilst staying in the centre.

But after fiddling some more, I think it’s to do with groups. I have all my percussion sitting in a group called “Beats” so I can mute or solo them all at the same time. When I create a new instance of the same kit etc outside of that group, I can pan the tom, but if I then move the kit to the Beats group, it stays centre, and I can only pan by panning all the instruments in Beats.

So I can move all the percussion instruments out of the Beats group, and pan as much as I like, but I won’t be able to solo or mute them altogether. Or is there a trick I don’t know?

The group is in mono?

I did wonder if I could replicate your issue @Alexandrasaurus but being honest, although I appreciate it’s a pain, it might be easier to set up the way I suggested above…

This took me two minutes from start to finish:

  • New Project
  • Add instrument track / Groove Agent
  • Add Break Me Down
  • Change all outputs to Out 2 through Out 9 (including Room and Overhead - see first snip), which automatically sets up the sub-tracks
  • Create a midi track by dragging across some of the patterns

Now you can work with the individual tracks (kick, toms and so on) in the MixConsole or the tracks view; so you can solo, mute, send to busses, pan etc - AND I’ve labelled the top level Beats, which you can mute, solo etc as before. See snip 2.

Hope this works for you, I can’t debug the groups issue I’m afraid!

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Hi Statherian, no it’s stereo.

Thanks JP. I think that would be a good solution if I was just starting the project, but this project has multiple instruments and audio tracks, and loads of automations - I’m just at the tweaking stage of mixing it.

I have found some forum threads where people have had similar issues, so I’ll keep messing around - see what I can find, but thanks very much for you help.

No worries, worth trying the different setup next time.

One final suggestion - do you have the room or (especially) overhead mic included in the mix, either deliberately or by mistake? I think the overhead could swamp the toms on their own if they’re still in at the original panning and levels.

I tried muting those but it didn’t make a difference. I think it’s probably related to something like this, but I haven’t quite managed to implement the solution yet.

Retain Individual Track Pans…

Sorry one more (final final) thought.

If you move the new instance to a folder track instead of a group, does it change anything? You should be able to mute / solo the folder as well, just wondering if it influences the audio behaviours less than a group track.

Do you perhaps have any mono inserts etc on the stereo track?