THE PAN LAW Confusion

Guys, what pan law setting do you guys used?
and Can Anyone explain pan law compensation on stereo balancers?

I open up a free multitrack project from slate digital and it’s clipping


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Didn’t know what it was either, but its seems to be something not to stress about :smiley:

Pan law is really just a way that you set how the L/R channels interact. the adjustments between the modes wont alter much but it can throw off your mix if you are switching between them in mid session…

basically: summing 2 coherent sources gives a 6 dB increase in gain. And that is what you’re doing if you’re routing the same signal equally to a LR bus, compared to just hard panning to the L or R individually. In the analog world, you have to design pan pots so the signal is 3dB quieter in the middle (pan law: -3dB). DAWs can compensate for this digitally.

So all these setting really do is affect how you are hearing your panning, I don’t think it really does anything to the mix, but may be more suited to how you/ your room hears the panning.

thanks for your explanation.
but the meter shows different reading when I switch between apply pan law compensation to stereo balancers.
I just don’t get it. I even talk to some people on the slate digital forums, they mention that 32bit clipping is okay, that makes more confusing

well, the meters are going to change based on the pan law, based on what I stated above…

32bit floating bit clipping in my opinion is still not ok, but it doesn’t have the same issues as 24bit and lower rates. With floating point processing, even though the clipping light is red (level is going past 0 on the meter), the audio file is actually not clipping.
Floating point processing essentially gives you an infinite amount of headroom, as long as the audio stays inside the digital realm, similar to that of an analog source, where as if you go over a bit it doesn’t sound bad. however, once the digital signal leaves the digital world and travels to converters it is a different story and you may hear the effects of digital distortion, because those devices are working at lower bit rates… so what am I saying? lets say you have an audio track going to a bus and its peaking 3db over 0 (this would be considered clipping) and in a DAW setup with lower bit rates you would hear the distortion caused by that. In floating point the top of the signal is not cutoff so the distortion is not there. From the bus the signal goes to the stereo out, if you leave the signal unchanged the converter trying to convert that signal to analog is clipping and you will hear the distortion, but if you pull the level down on the stereo out to under 0 or if you use a limiter so that 0 can not be exceeded you may lose dynamics in your signal but there wont be digital distortion. so someone saying that floating point clipping is ok, means that there is no clipping occurring within this digital path until you send it out of the DAW, as it is no longer floating point. This however, also applies to some plugins, even sending to high of a signal to some plugins the input or output can distort because the plugin was not designed for level you are sending.