Panning Pans

Out of nowhere, it seems to have become a fad in podcasting to do really extreme pans. In some cases recently, I’ve heard interviews where one voice was 100% in the left and one 100% in the right. That’s a really bad idea because I for one often have only a single earbud in as I am walking around. When I hit one of those, I hit skip and move on. If I’m really pissed off about it I just delete it.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

8 thoughts on “Panning Pans”

  1. Kreg Steppe says:

    I usually have both ear buds in, however, I find it annoying when I hear someone on the extreme left and one on the extreme right. The last TWIT is an exmaple. As GOOD as the microphones sounded that they were using (Heil) that extreme threw me off.

  2. Tilted Edge says:

    That’s what the early stereo records were like. Unless they have music in their podcast, they should encode it as a mono mp3 file. That would make the podcast half the size. People are too stupid to do that.

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  4. Rob Usdin says:

    I agree – it’s really bad audio “form” to do this. People will experiment with this and hopefully move on as they discover there is no real advantage to having stereo in a talk show. It’s what you say – not how much “in stereo” you can be.

    If anyone doing this is reading this: just stop now. You don’t hear terrestrial radio shows with multiple voices doing this do you? That’s because radio figured this one out a long time ago.


  5. Chris C. says:

    I’ve always called that style of mixing “Beatles stereo”. RIP John.

  6. Paul says:

    i think for shows like This Week in Tech it works out pretty well…i don’t have any other experience with any other show. They have a lot of people in the room and it seems that they benefit from that kind of putting the listener in the “middle”…

  7. dave says:

    Paul, a 10 or 15% pan does that effect. A 50 or 100% pan leaves it unlistenable. TWiT is the one that stuck out, because I was listening with one earbud in and couldn’t understand why there were all these periods of silence.

    Until a few weeks ago, I drove a car where one of the speakers cut out intermittently and I usually listened to podcasts while I was in it. Any show that does this extreme pan thing could not have been listened to in that car. I think that’s a bad thing.

  8. Tilted Edge says:

    There is no need for stereo in TWIT period. I contend that making it mono will not effect your listening pleasure one iota. You can’t tell who is talking by the sound of their voices? Balderdash!

    There is the music at the end but quite frankly it’s not that good and doesn’t warrant making the file twice as large. I think TWIT thinks they are rock stars now.

    I hate the live sound because the noise of the audience and the ambient room sound is very distracting. If you want to hear clearly, you want a dry room like Dave has. As far as the myth of an audience energizing them, I don’t buy it because the pre-audience shows had the same content and jovial atmosphere. The chemistry between the people who are on mic is what matters.

    This need to perform live all goes back to the traveling minstrel tradition which we can’t seem to ditch. Unfortunately, it appears to be a part of our genetic makeup. Please someone do gene repair therapy on mankind to fix such childish flaws. Recording technology should have meant the end of live performances. Please let’s save some gasoline and stop trashing the environment! Are humans so self centered that we are the only life that matters on this planet?

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