|Originally posted by Dj Dizzy |
not necessarily. i'm an ableton user and i've come to find out that the pan pots in ableton are actually l/r faders. so if you use ableton to pan left then you lose the right channel's audio info, you're just fading to the left. so to OP, if you're an ableton user then use "Utility", it's pan pots are faders too but you can mono the signal then use ableton's pan faders so you don't lose that opposite channel's audio info.
Nearly every DAW allows you to change the panning law in the preferences. I know for sure Logic and Cubase do, so I'd be amazed if ableton doesn't.
This is taken from the Logic forums:
|0dB is the default setting, it doesn't compensate anything, so the result is that if a signal is panned in the center, it stays at its nominal level (0dB of gain), and as you pan a signal to one side, the level drops (as you reach only one side, you only get one speaker playing your signal rather than two). |
-3dB is a first attempt at smoothing out the level of a signal as you pan it, by gradually reducing the gain of the signal as you bring it back to center, ending up at -3dB when panned dead center. Not an ideal solution, but the advantage is that the level remains fairly constant as you pan the signal across the stereo field.
-3dB compensated is the best of both world: using the -3dB setting but adding 3dB of gain to the whole signal. So it's pretty much raising the gain as you pan to a side, so that the level remains constant as you pan across the stereo field, but not losing -3dB when panned center. The level is consistent as you pan, although you'll see the level rise on the meters as you pan to a side.
About the only time when you'll actually HEAR a difference between pan laws is if you automate the pan of an instrument, having it go from left to center to right to center to left, etc... if you do this, both "-3dB compensated" and "-3dB" will sound the same, but they will both sound different from "0 dB" where the signal will drop in volume as it reaches one side or the other.
In any other situation, you'll automatically rectify the pan/volume manually while listening, using your ears, as you mix anyway, so pan laws don't make any difference.
PS: Many think (wrongly) that because they take an existing mix, change the pan law setting and get a wider/narrower image, that the pan law setting affects the perception of width in a mix. Really all they're doing is changing the volume of all their instruments depending on their panning position. Of course the width of the mix changes when you do that. But had you mixed with another pan law setting, for a given desired result, you'd have put the volume faders at another position yourself anyway, and gotten the same result in the end.