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Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:09 am
by davros303
Hi all,

I've done quite a bit of searching on this topic and can't find an answer, however I'm looking for some simple techniques for placing individual notes from a synth pattern to different places in the stereo mix. It's an effect I hear used a lot and the workaround I've been using is automating the panning function in Ableton. The problem with this, is when notes are being played quickly in sequence - I can hear the harsh "steps" of the panning function moving the signal around dragging the release tail of the previous note with it. The effect I'm looking for is for each note to be played in various stereo positions - eg: note 1: Left 32, note 2: right 10, note 3: left 5 etc with the release of each note maintaining it's prescribed position in the stereo field.

The only way I can think of making this work, is having 3 or 4 separate instances running of the particular synth I'm using, and alternating the notes of the pattern between the instances. But this just seems wasteful from a resource perspective.

Cheers,
Davros

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:14 am
by golemus
davros303 wrote:Hi all,

I've done quite a bit of searching on this topic and can't find an answer, however I'm looking for some simple techniques for placing individual notes from a synth pattern to different places in the stereo mix. It's an effect I hear used a lot and the workaround I've been using is automating the panning function in Ableton. The problem with this, is when notes are being played quickly in sequence - I can hear the harsh "steps" of the panning function moving the signal around dragging the release tail of the previous note with it. The effect I'm looking for is for each note to be played in various stereo positions - eg: note 1: Left 32, note 2: right 10, note 3: left 5 etc with the release of each note maintaining it's prescribed position in the stereo field.

The only way I can think of making this work, is having 3 or 4 separate instances running of the particular synth I'm using, and alternating the notes of the pattern between the instances. But this just seems wasteful from a resource perspective.

Cheers,
Davros
When you find out please tell me also.

Although I am under the impression that you would have to do this inside a synth so that you map note value to panning. But I am not sure if it also changes the tail of the last note.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:22 am
by davros303
Hi Golemus,

Yeah I've looked for a function like that in the synth I'm using (Sylenth) and can't see it. There are panning options but it has the same effect as automating an external pan using Ableton.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:26 am
by JimmySlizz
i have no idea if theres an easier way but what about writing the music, then duplicating the instrument and assigning each one a different pan? then delete each note that doesn't belong in the desired area of the mix? would be tedious but would definitely get it done and you wouldn't have tails getting dragged around. kind of a primitive way to do it but why not

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:38 am
by davros303
Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for the suggestion, however it would be easier to simply run 3 or 4 instances of the synth, pan them accordingly and simply delete certain midi notes of the pattern from each instance.

This may actually be the correct / normal way to do it, I just wondered if there was a path of lesser resistance.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:16 am
by DangerousDave
This wouldn't really work for getting precise panning locations, but the autopan effect (audio effects) might be what you are looking for. You can set it to pan equally left or right and be quantized to the beat (1/4, 1/8 1/16, etc. etc. ) and there is also a random waveform that you can select, that will pan it to random locations. Same thing though, it is not perfectly precise, but you could set up a couple in series to get a similar effect.

Good luck

EDIT: just saw you wanted the release tails to be stationary in the mix, which autopan would not do, but at least the transitions will be smooth instead of harsh.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:50 pm
by garyboozy
you could rack up your synth, duplicate the chains, set their keyspans (a few on one note only), and pan the one-note chains.

or with the right synth, set its internal panning to respond to velocity (turn off the vel>vol).
operator and sampler can do this, and each note keeps its correct pan position when held/set to long release.
not sure about the other Suite synths, dont have em..

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:29 pm
by regretfullySaid
If your synth can't do it (I use Dune mostly so you can just set it in the modulation matrix)
then another way to do it is to
use the clip envelope.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:06 pm
by JimmySlizz
davros303 wrote:Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for the suggestion, however it would be easier to simply run 3 or 4 instances of the synth, pan them accordingly and simply delete certain midi notes of the pattern from each instance.

This may actually be the correct / normal way to do it, I just wondered if there was a path of lesser resistance.
i think we just said the same thing :lol:

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:18 am
by Machinate
Even Simpler in Live will happily do random panning per note. Sampler, operator and I believe Analog can do this as well.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:01 pm
by Valiumdupeuple
You can assign a keyboard range to the pan (of your synth or utility). In midi map mode select the pan button, then click the lowest note, don't release the key and then press your highest note. You're done! But you'll still have the problem with the notes tails. Maybe put a reverb after the pan.
If there's a "width" parameter on your synth, it should do what you're after, and it will be the best solution.

Re: Techniques for placing notes around the stereo mix

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:58 pm
by Per Boysen
I'm amazed that no one has yet mentioned using a percolating synth patch! Decide on a number of synth voices/tones/zones/samples (or whatever your particular instrument calls the function that makes a sound) and then set up each new MIDI Note On to be distributed to the next voice. Then set a unique panning/output for every voice. Now if you play the same note repeatedly you will hear it step through the voices. If playing a chord the notes will spread out over the voices. Except from stereo panning this type of percolating instrument can also be used to make fat pad or brass sounds; when different sound are used for the voices in the percolation circle a given chord will take on a new timbre for each new hit because the arrangement of voices in the chord will move around while you play.

I guess Sampler would let you make this easily in Live. The MIDI plugins could be used too (for example playing MIDI through a track that "percolates out" MIDI notes to other targeted MIDI Instrument track. I guess M4L can be used for this too but it feels kind of overkill for such a basic routing task.