[ardour-dev] The new pan paradigm

Matt Walker studio at divasive.com
Mon Aug 23 18:35:06 PDT 2004

Panning is really a pretty "artificial" concept. In the real world, a sound 
source exists in a stereo sound stage, and we "locate it" (the eyes do this 
much better than the ears) by virtue of the amplitude AND phase at each ear. 
Reading Phillip Newell's monitoring book really drove this home. When you 
turn a pan pot, your are ONLY locating the amplitude.

When I have a mono guitar channel, and add a TAP Reverberator (2 in, 2 out), I 
get a pan control for each side of the stereo. This makes no sense! You 
completely step on the phase information by manipulating the stereo field 
this way. To more closely model a real acoustic space, the system should have 
a single L-R pan of the input to the reverb, and the reverb CREATES the 
appropriate phase and amplitude differences between left and right, depending 
on the reverb parameters (this might involve a new layer of reverb code). 
It's been a really long time since my brief experience on a 1/2 M$ Neve 
console, and I've never seen a 5.1 setup, but on the traditional analog 
board, the guitar would be placed on the sound stage using the pan pot 
(amplitude only), and the stereo output of the reverb (derived from the 
usually mono reverb send) would be summed to the output bus. I don't see how 
the new Ardour panning paradigm relates to either one of these. Does it have 
some advantages I'm missing? I don't remember much discussion, just Paul's 
"the panning code was hosed, so I gutted it and rebuilt it from scratch".


Matt Walker

p.s. Otherwise, what an AWESOME thing you guys have done!!!


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