#1December 28th, 2011 · 01:37 AM
5 threads / 1 songs
21 posts
Hi there!

Is there a general practice for where to pan what instrument and how far? For example, bass slightly right, guitar left, singer down the middle? Are there general rules or interesting arrangements you have found? Please share, always interested in the opinions and expertise of fellow musicians.

Iím new here but looking to get involved in the community.

I apologize if this topic is already out there, but I looked for it and couldnít find one.
#2December 28th, 2011 · 01:49 AM
30 threads / 5 songs
757 posts
Hi alex welcome to the amp , Ithink you've got it .
Sometimes I pan mulitrack guitars & vox hard l/r but really its what the song needs .

think 3d
#3December 28th, 2011 · 05:25 AM
5 threads / 1 songs
21 posts
Thank you! That site seems like a treasure trove of information.
Thank you and Good Day to you sir
#4December 28th, 2011 · 06:41 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,394 posts
United Kingdom
General Panning
This is basic, once you have all your tracks down, start with the basics below, then tweak it until it sounds right.


Bass Drum & Snare - Middle
Hi-Hat - left or right about 40%
Toms - Left, middle, and right - Experiment with it until it sound natural
Overheads - Stereo pair panned hard left and right

Bass - Middle

Guitars - About 30% left or right or stereo miced

Lead vocal - middle
Harmony vocal - 10% left or right or stereo miced


Piano - Stereo miced
Electronic keyboard - Anywhere depending on the effect or if it's lead somewhere in the middle
#5December 28th, 2011 · 07:12 PM
5 threads / 1 songs
21 posts
Okay, so bass is always down middle (I guess since itís usually in the background you want it to be omni-present right?) and the rest all makes perfect sense if you think about it. Thank you Denis!
#6January 12th, 2012 · 03:50 AM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
Bass is usually center, unless you have let's say a synth lead (think Heart Magic Man) that heads down into the low freq.  then you might want to automate your panning to slightly shift the bass over a one side or other to keep separation, so they don't mask each other.  Some engineers now days like to offset the lead vox by between dead center and 5% left or right,  If the vox are punching through dead center.

 There is no hard set of rules.  It's more about what pleases you within your mix.

 I have really been working on  three dimensional instrument placement in the field, and lots of automation in volumes, panning, and especially EQ and Effects.  These things can take a mediocre mix and really make them shine.

 remember you  can move your panning around some as the sequence progresses

 The best thing you can do is get references songs that sound like what you want. and study were they placed the instruments, the EQ settings, effects, mix changes ect.
#7May 15th, 2012 · 08:38 PM
4 threads / 1 songs
8 posts
United States of America
I pan the bass,kick,snare,and lead vocal at center.Using 2 guitars,one at 9:00 and the other at 3:00.I try to keep things simple and not confuse myself when I move to the next mix...I mic the hi-hat separately but send them into the same channel and that channel is panned at center also.

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