Panning imported stereo files in Pro Tools... help!

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Member Since: Jun 07, 2009

thank god for the internet and forums like this one!!! :)
recently i encountered a problem that i think someone more experienced could probably easily answer, but before i get to the question, a little background info first:

I use Ableton Live to sequence my background tracks before taking them into PT to add Vox. I use a lot of soft synth instruments from Native Instruments but as I like to be able to mix both Vox & my background instruments at the same time, I import all my background tracks into PT.

My problem is this... when the stereo files are imported into PT and I'm panning with both the R & L faders... it sounds so 'thin'... anything less than 100%R and 100%L leaves me with a 'thin' sound, unlike when I pan those tracks in Ableton Live. I know there is a very simple explanation for this, but I'm not sound engineer and my brain is fried at the moment. Can someone explain how I am to pan my instruments properly in PT so they sound 'full' like they do in Live? what's going on here?

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Since: Jun 07, 2009

Jun 07, 2009 04:00 pm

as i was playing around in ableton live (trying to import the vox into live instead) i realized that there is actually no difference between panning the stereo samples in live and panning them in PT... in both programs the sound becomes thin if not panned hard right and left...
i guess that's just how stereo samples are... i think i was hearing mono samples in my head and how easily they are to position anywhere in the sonic space

oh well, maybe this post will help some other newb down the line : /

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jun 07, 2009 07:21 pm

Glad you got yourself sorted then.

I'm a bit at odds as to why your stereo track get thin sounding though.

I don't ever see that issue in Sonar or Project 5 when swapping tracks around. It would seem a bit odd as to how it is panning them.

I wonder if it is a setting in your audio option's in Ableton that might be doing something odd.

Since: Jun 07, 2009

Jun 08, 2009 05:01 am

you know what is sounds like? it basically sounds like a volume control. both are initially panned hard L and hard R. when i set the L channel to center, then the volume of that side decreases and of course then the instrument sounds like it's coming more from the R, but then this sounds like a thinning of the sound to me. unlike when i'm panning stuff in mono, where wherever I position it, that's where it sounds like it's coming from without a loss of the width of the instrument. i guess all stereo panning is like this, no?

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jun 08, 2009 02:05 pm

Yes, if it is a pair of tracks panned hard left and hard right, then using your level fader would be the better option to adjust were it sits in the mix. If you want it to sound more left then simply bring the right fader down a little instead of using the pan knob.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Jun 08, 2009 02:35 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that you don't really pan stereo sound files. You pan mono files in the stereo field. A stereo file will already have panning encoded into it. Like Noize said, you can try splitting the stereo file into 2 mono files and pan them hard L and R. Then use the track faders to adjust L and R individually.

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