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Cheap Advice On Live Sound
48 Tips To Make Your Band Sound Better
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Mini-Tip: Use Micro-panning In Your Mixes

6:00 am Home Recording

Most mixes, whether simple or complex, end up with some of the sounds coming from the exact center of the stereo field. It is conventional, for example, to have the lead vocal positioned dead center, along with the kick drum, the bass, and (usually) the snare. The reason for this is fairly obvious: these easily heard parts carry most of the power and message of the song, and to have them be off to one side or the other would seem arbitrary and distracting.

Even under the scrutiny made possible by headphones, though, it is not necessary to have all of these centered sounds be exactly centered and thus exactly right on top of each other! You can give each of these parts a little micro-position of its own by panning one of them a tiny bit to the left, another a tiny bit to the right, and so on. The idea is to give the parts a little breathing room without anyone but you being the wiser.

[An expanded version of this Mini-Tip appears in my eBook, Cheap Advice On Home Recording.]

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