2013-07-10

LCR Mixing

I, like many home recordists, track a pile of music and audio recording sites, blogs, podcasts, etc. And now, having done this for a few years, I am starting to notice that there are some subjects that keep coming up in peoples questions of the experts. Recently, on The Home Recording Show, somebody asked about LCR mixing. Now for those that don't know, LCR mixing is a technique where the mixer will pan things either hard Left, Center, or hard Right. No half measures here! Now my personal opinion is that anything applied that dogmatically is retarded. But people keep asking if that's what they should be doing.

To me, to LCR or not to LCR is not the question.

 To whit, here are a couple of tracks that have (by today's standards) weird panning:

Now, the intro seems relatively normal.  But then the left side just kind of drops out, rhythm section on the right, then Nancy starts singing (in the centre).  Eventually, the horns come back in the left.

Clearly, some extreme LCR but some interesting choices about where each element is placed in the stereo field (as though you're sitting somewhere in the middle of the band, rather than in the audience facing the band).

Here's another:

Here you have rhythm section occupying the left.  Guitar solo on the right.  But some twists.  The reverb and delay returns are sent to the opposite channel (at the two minute mark, it's pretty obvious).
As the track progresses, there are other games played but this was the first time I heard a dry signal in one speaker and a full wet signal in the other.

To sum up, your pan knobs are creative tools.  Use them.

1 comment:

Songwriter's Diary said...

There is so much undiscovered music. Good music!