Dubstep Mixing Guide – Panning Sounds

Panning your sounds in dubstep

Initially you might not see panning as an important factor in mixing a track when you have such a wealth of highly dynamic and interesting effects at hand, but with out it you face a daunting task. You should mix to create a 3D sound stage and pan plays a very important part. Generally the kick and the bass should remain in or very close to the center (some producers pan the kick +2 and the bass -2, providing very slight separation with out effecting the punchyness).

This keeps them focused at the front. Leads are best kept near the center, around +/-12, if you have 2 leads pan one +12 to the right, and the other -12 top the left. That is a fairly standard practice, and using this theory you can assign your sounds in groups of 2 and pan them roughly the same amount apart in opposite directions. So if you have 2 high hats, open and closed, pan one to the right and one to the left. This keeps the track balanced, while still creating enough space to the track breath.

Subtle placement generally works better than extreme left and right settings. Power Tip: When using pan creatively on FX swooshes and the like, a good tips to make the sound like its doing a figure-of-eight around your head (best appreciated with headphones) is to pan right and also increase the volume slightly, then decrease the volume as you bring the sound back to the center, and do the same but to the left.

You can use a doubling effect by having 2 copies of your lead and panning them apart, try using chorus or a phaser on one of the 2 parts to create interesting effect. Another great way to separate a delayed sound is to use the stereo delay.

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