[ardour-dev] The new pan paradigm

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Aug 23 18:46:21 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. 

possibly correct. i'd be pretty interested to know if PT's panning
system tries to compensate for this. the manual says absolutely
nothing about it, and i suspect not.

>	   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 

this is easily achievable in ardour, but it can't be done inline in a
single mixer strip, just like it can't be done on a single strip on
that 1/2M$ Neve console either.

leave the track with 1 in, 2 outs. you will have a single panner. send
the outputs to a bus with the reverb plugin preset as in insert, or an
independent JACK client running the reverb, or an external h/w
reverb. voila.

>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 

"send" is the key here. you were using the reverb as an insert, you
need to use it as with a "send" topology.

>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".

the panning code rebuild was because real engineers want to position
audio within the stereo field, and that includes a width component as
well as a position. having a single panner for a stereo track
(2in,2out) makes that impossible - you cannot control the width.


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