Paninng difference?

Today I was talking to some musician friends and couple of them unanimously agreed that when panning vocals, backvocals, instruments and … to the right they feel farther away and when doing the opposite(pan to the left) they hear and feel(perceive) closer to the listener .
I never felt this way and obviously I’ve always thought that panning certain sounds to left and right has nothing to do with them getting closer or farther away . Also I found absolutely nothing on Internet to scientifically support their weird idea .
Your thoughts please?

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Always sort of figured was something like this:

Left (Loud) = Left (Close)
Left (Quiet) = Left (Far)
Left (Loud Dark) = Left (Close Behind)
Left (Quiet Dark) = Left (Far Behind)

What about right?

Same really:

Right (Loud) = Right (Close)
Right (Quiet) = Right (Far)
Right (Loud Dark) = Right (Close Behind)
Right (Quiet Dark) = Right (Far Behind)

So if you start a sound panned full right or left and make it quieter it seems to move further away.

That’s exactly how I always thought .
Anyone having different experience regarding panning?


Never heard anything like that. I also notice no difference.

It may be a psychologic effect, a group behavior thing. Maybe one person in the group actually hears that way and influenced the others to perceive it differently or simply think they do… I dunno.

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Example below adds a reverb and bandpass and may sound like the bee travels from far front left
to center, then to the far rear right.

bee2.xrns (91.2 KB)

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Maybe your friends have hearing loss in their right ears :upside_down_face:

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Maybe you accidentily swapped the phase of one speaker? Check if both speakers are connected the exact same way and not one has flipped cable cores.

Btw. Renoise uses a +3dB panning law, which means that hard panned left or right stuff will appear quieter when mixed down in mono.

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I’m sure there is no measurable difference between left and right. But a lot of insttruments feel louder (not closer) on the left, or let’s say more prominent. Personally I like to pan background stuff that should also get recognized in the full mix slightly to the left.

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Well that’s exactly what my friends claim and I’ve yet to come to an explanation for this .
So how come that there is no measurable difference between panning sounds to left or right BUT you still prefer dominant elements to be panned to left instead of right?
I’m just trying to understand this after 25 years of serious music production :slight_smile:
So if it is just some sort of taste or …

From a hearing aid website lol… Makes some sense, though

"Is it normal to hear better in one ear? Is there a dominant ear?

The right and left ears are not the same. They have distinct hearing abilities: in fact, they reflect the functional asymmetry of our brains. The brain hemispheres are connected to the ears and located on the opposite side: sounds coming from the right ear are processed by the left cerebral hemisphere and vice versa.

As the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for processing non-verbal information of sound, such as pitch, intensity and timbre, there is usually a preponderance of the left ear in listening to music and ambient sounds.

On the other hand, since the left cerebral hemisphere is responsible for the development of language and part of memory, verbal information will be more effective if transmitted through the right ear."

For whatever it’s worth :upside_down_face:


this explains alot
As it says non-verbal instruments( everything musical )percieves better if played on the left side.
Maybe this is the case here?:slight_smile:

Reminds of this panning test I did