[ardour-dev] The new pan paradigm

Matt Walker studio at divasive.com
Wed Aug 25 16:53:39 PDT 2004

Jeez, it wasn't my intention to start a 'pedant-fest', but I suppose I walked 
into it. My point was, with the old setup I could kinda model what I had with 
my analog 8 track, Mackie 8*bus, and outboard reverb. Can I hook a PLUGIN to 
a SEND without a JACK routing spaghetti bowl? What's the point of having all 
the "outboard gear" your box can handle if you have to drag out the real 
thing just to work in the traditional way. This stuff was supposed to make 
life EASIER, not harder. 

BTW, is the Ardour interface so close to current PT that buying a PT book 
would be more enlightening than confusing? I don't mind doing it, I'm just 
afraid (having never used PT) that it would be like using a 3 versions old 
users manual.

Matt Walker

> On Mon, Aug 23, 2004 at 08:35:06PM -0500, Matt Walker wrote:
> > 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.
> This is wrong. If you calculate the signals _at the ears_ that result from
> playing an amplitude panned (sin/cos) signal through stereo speakers, you
> will find that there is a phase difference between the sounds reaching the
> ears, and at low frequencies there will hardly be any amplitude difference.
> The only thing that's wrong with amplitude panning between pairs of
> speakers is that the ratio of amplitudes of the pressure and velocity waves
> is not correct. This is because the first add as scalars, and the second
> as vectors. The only way to get this right is to use more speakers. Phase
> differences between the speaker signals will only make things worse.
> What *is* completely unnatural is to listen to panpotted stereo with
> headphones. To solve this, convert to sum and difference, high-pass the
> difference (first order, around 800 Hz) and convert back to L and R.
> This will at low frequencies translate an amplitude difference into a
> phase difference, as required by the ears.

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