Description

Before you pan this plug-in, ask yourself, “Are my mixes leaning in the headphones even though they sound good in the monitors?” If the answer is “yes,” more than likely, traditional panning controls are the culprit. Variable pan controls were invented to overcome the limitations of L-C-R (left, center, right) panning, and Boz Digital’s Pan Knob was created to overcome the limitations of traditional panners. Since low frequencies pull a mix in their direction, Pan Knob uses a superior algorithm that keeps low frequencies in the center image while panning higher frequencies anywhere you choose in the stereo field. (Low frequencies behave omnidirectionally anyway, so why let them mess up your mix for no musical advantage?) The result is a balanced, harmonically and rhythmically interesting mix that doesn’t favor the bass-heavy instruments.

Pan Knob—Just the Facts:

  • Superior panning algorithm for all listening formats
  • Centers low frequencies to maintain left/right balance regardless of higher frequency positioning
  • Improves mix translation
  • Selectable pan laws
  • Switch between balance and pan
  • Pan anywhere in your signal chain

Pan Knob—Cracking the Code

At its core, panning is an illusion created by a volume balance between two speakers (otherwise known as the phantom image), which changes depending on where your listening position is in relation to them. In headphones, where 87% of all music is currently consumed, the balance negatively changes depending on which instrument has greater low-frequency information.

A recent trend by professional mixers to overcome the psychoacoustic limitations of standard pan controls is to avoid panning altogether. Many have adopted L-C-R (left-center-right) mixing, which was all we had in the ’60s. However, Boz Digital Labs doesn’t believe in fixating on the past as a solution to modern problems. Pan Knob addresses and solves the problems inherent in traditional panners (both hardware and software)by applying some in- and out-of-the-box thinking, plus some clever coding.

If you’ve worked on an analog desk, panning is more or less hit-or-miss. It creates an unstable image, further exacerbated as listener position changes. One complicated solution was precision panning, which used the console’s oscillator to send a signal to two channels and match level meters. That way you could ensure that a harmony placed mid-right channel was psychoacoustically opposite a voice panned mid-left—provided you were using headphones or didn’t stray from the sweet spot between the speakers.

However, precision panning alone is not sufficient to solve all creative issues. For example, when panning background vocals, alto and bass parts sometimes sound better in context of the ensemble when panned wide, and other times when close to the center. The same is true for soprano and alto voices. Figuring out which sounds better is a time suck. One trick that emerged to maintain a balanced vocal blend with traditional panning, was to filter out much of the bottom end to prevent the low frequencies from dominating (as they naturally do) and pulling the ensemble to one side. Of course, that meant thinning out the vocals, which may or may not be desirable in the sonic texture overall mix. Wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate that compromise? (Funny, that’s what Boz thought too.)

Pan Knob to the rescue

Pan Knob enables you to instantly swap pan positions of instruments, choose between Balance or Pan for stereo tracks, select pan laws, and even pan beyond 100% hard-left or right to mix outside the speakers. Best of all, Pan Knob lets you depart from standard panning schemes while still sounding natural, and doesn’t cause the balance problems common to ear-bud and headphone listening. Pan Knob enables you to experiment with panning without all the tail-chasing and tradeoffs that come with moving instruments and vocals around the stereo field using traditional panners. As an added benefit, Pan Knob speeds up your workflow, which is essential for both professional and aspiring mix engineers.

If you’ve been experiencing a pandemic in your headphone mixes, Pan Knob is the cure. Download Pan Knob now.

Reviews (6)

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6 reviews for Pan Knob

  1. Cormagic

    Always a fan of Boz stuff. I tried this out on hard panned electric guitars and I can’t go back now. It sounds like 2 guitars in a room, as opposed to 2 guitars jammed into your ears. Very natural sounding. At the intro price of 10 bucks this is a no brainer. This plugin makes life a lot easier.

  2. IBlack85

    Seeing this listed at such a low price, I just had to pick it up and check it out and needless to say I’m so glad I did. Such a great little plugin that’s definately not to be underestimated. Once you’re done stage panning everything out with this little beauty, your track will just sound so much more natural and bigger than if you were to just use a standard panner. 5 stars for the win!

  3. frnkfrkl

    Always something pertinent. Boz always seems to come up with solutions to things that have been bugging me for years. His plugins are like always having the perfect size socket wrench when you’re fixing your car. No more saying, “Jeez, I wish I could….”. Boz probably has a plugin that will do the job. No frills, just nuts and bolts and totally useful. Dig it.

  4. Karmoon

    Boz make some pretty audacious claims with this plugin. They manage to deliver.

    I am much happier with the results and control I get from this plugin compare to others. There are other plugins that can get the same results, to be sure. However, this plugin is something that fits right into your tool box.

    Efficiency and workflow are very important to musicians and engineers alike, and this plugin seems to have been made with that in mind. A real workhorse plugin.

    Highly recommended. Difficult to fault, really.

    Try the demo and see for yourself.

  5. jkuehlin

    This is stupid and redundant! Who the hell needs two panners?? Is this a joke? – Right? Actually… its anything but that. Its a HIGHLY functional and usable tool that someone should have invented ages ago. If you take the a quick second to watch the video demonstration, I think you will instantly be sold on a game-changing workflow plugin!!!

  6. rickskii

    What an amazing plugin who would of thought that something as simple as this is so effective. This has changed my workflow for the better. Its a big statement to make but honestly you can’t go wrong with boz plugins.

Education

Pan Knob Demonstration

12/11/2018
Pan Knob Demonstration

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