Where You Should Pan Your Instruments and Vocals

Sound engineer

This article is part of our FAQ series, published on our blog. Click here to view the blog archives.

Question: Where should I pan the tracks in my mix?

I get so many questions like this!

Truthfully, and I swear this isn’t a cop-out, there are no hard and fast rules with panning. There are typical panning decisions people make (like bass and kick drum panned dead center), but that doesn’t mean you always have to make them.

Still, I wanted to talk about what panning really is, and offer up a sample panning chart in the video below, which is a sample from The Ultimate Mixing Crash Course.

Key Takeaways

  • Panning is used to help shape the space in a mix and create an audio picture.
  • Use panning charts to get an idea of where to start… but be creative.
  • There are no hard and fast rules with panning… and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
  • Imagine your recording were being performed live on stage, where would the instruments be located? This can be a helpful starting point.

Learn More

  • Scott H
  • December 13, 2017

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