Movement is a very important component when it comes to creating a dynamic mix. Sometimes static panning doesn’t fit the mood and vibe that you may be looking for. In this production tip I will show you how you can use auto panning in order to add movement to tracks. I will be using the Cableguys Pancake 2 plugin, but you can use any auto panning plugin that you’d like.
The first thing you will want to do is select the LFO pattern. For the first sound I will be selecting a sine wave. This will give the sound a nice wavy feeling as it slowly moves from left to right. After you have selected the LFO that works best for your track you will want to adjust the timing. The default tempo synced 2 bars (8/4) pattern grooves very nicely with this song. Last, you will want to adjust the mix knob. For this track I want the auto panning effect to be pretty up front, but not 100% mixed in, so I turned the mix knob down to 75%.
For the second sound I selected a triangle wave for the LFO. This will give the sound a hard left & right/back & forth feeling. This feeling is similar to the ping pong delay that is on the track, so this will complement it well. And finally the tempo of the LFO is adjusted to a half note and the mix knob is left at 100%.
And that is it! This is a very simple technique that you can add to your productions and it will make a world of difference in the vibe of the track. I like to use auto panning on everything from leads and pads to hi hats and percussion. Sometimes I will even add it to a bass! The key to doing that is to split up the frequencies into lows, mids, and highs and subtly add it to the high frequencies. This can create a little more width and depth in your bass tracks.
Stay creative, stay encouraged, stay inspired, and stay motivated.