[ardour-dev] playback levels

R Parker rtp405 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 25 09:17:04 PST 2004

--- Bill Gribble <grib at billgribble.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-02-25 at 10:01, Florian Schmidt wrote:
> > also i think that a stereo file even with enabled
> panner should be at no
> > less volume than with disabled panner..  I am
> aware of the fact that the
> > volume change is done to compensate the volume
> raise which happens when
> > panning [on one channel], probably to avoid
> clipping. 
> In my experience the purpose of the panning gain
> curve is to provide for
> perceptual "sameness" of volume throughout the
> panning range when
> putting a mono input on a multichannel bus. 
> Visualize a full-range mono
> signal panned left, then center, then right.  With
> no gain adjustment,
> the total signal has twice the amplitude when panned
> center as it does
> when panned hard right or left (that's a 6dB boost).
>  That's just wrong
> as far as I'm concerned, and the panner SHOULD
> adjust the gain to keep
> the volume of the signal consistent across the pan
> range.
> It's not so clear with multichannel inputs, though. 
> "panning" doesn't
> mean the same thing when number of inputs is as
> large as number of
> outputs; it's more like a "mix" operation than a pan
> (you're trimming
> either right or left while leaving the other alone, 
> rather than
> "positioning" a mono signal).

This sounds like Balance as opposed to Pan. I believe
Balance changes volume of right or left sides while
Pan changes position and uses a gain curve to maintain
"sameness of volume level. IOW, if Center = -6 then
pan to 10:00 AM = -6. Do I understand this?

  I would think that
> the default with
> multiple inputs should be not to apply the panning
> gain curve.  That is
> more in line with what real knobby mixers do, I
> believe.

Whatever the knobby mixers do, they have been doing
for a long time and it works. It seems all that can be
done with 2 in 2 out or stereo is Balance.

I'm not sure if I fully understand what Bill and
Florian are saying but we might be in agreement that
audio engineers expect Pan gain curves to be invsible.
 The distinction isn't entirely obvious but it's
critical. Which is understandable becaues they are
invisible in every soft and hard mixer that most of us
have been exposed to. I think Jesse is saying that the
default is intended to be disable pan on stereo

If what I understand about 2 in 2 out is at all
accurate then there shouldn't be any pan in those
busses. They could have balance.

It makes sense to me that stereo tracks should not
have Pan, could have Balance but that it should be
disabled by default. If you're sending 2 in to a 2 out
buss then set the balance to be eqaul on each side of
the field. The master buss for my digital mixers don't
have balance. The master buss for my analog mixer
(Solo Soundtracs) has distinct faders for Left and
Right which is balance.

Anyway, my initial response to this was to wonder if I
can trust Ardour. Obviously this isn't the response
that Ardour developers want to invoke. Print levels
are important but it's fairly simple to manage signal
to noise. However, mastering levels are hyper
critical. There is no room for mistakes because pop
mastering techniqes push levels to the absolute

Well, you guys probably understand all this better
than I do. I'm probably a typical audio engineer who
learns to use what's given to him.


BTW, disabling the Panner did produce the master
volumes that I had configured.

> b.g.
> _______________________________________________
> ardour-dev mailing list
> ardour-dev at lists.ardour.org

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