Panorama regulator

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A panorama controller (also known as a panorama potentiometer , or panpot for short ) regulates the volume distribution of an audio signal over two channels. The process itself is usually referred to as panning .


The stereo sound image is called a panorama. The panorama control on the input channel of the mixing console enables the mono signal to be placed in this stereo panorama . Each mono signal can be set as a phantom sound source on the stereo loudspeaker base by means of level differences Δ L between the two signal voltages U L and U R in each auditory event direction . Panpots are used in stereo mixing consoles for intensity stereophony for the arbitrary directional distribution of single-channel signals between left and right, whereby only the level difference of the voltage is generated by voltage dividers . The resulting localization effect is also known as the formation of phantom sound sources.

Mixing console manufacturers only take the intensity stereophony as given, as it is mainly used by radio because of its perfect mono compatibility and pop music because of the "robust" and simple mixing technology and the easy generation of stereo directions. Depending on the amplitude distribution of the signal voltage , the signal then appears aurally in a certain position - the direction of the auditory event - more or less far to the right or left of the stereo center. The mono input signal usually has to be divided by a voltage divider so that the sum of the two output levels always remains constant in terms of power. This means that the volume of the phantom sound source does not change when controlling the panpot. With the potentiometer in the middle, the attenuation between the input and the two output channels is usually (-) 3 dB. Different panorama controls can be compared in the positions L (left), C (center) and R (right). For an auditory event direction 100% L or R, i.e. the direction from a loudspeaker, a level difference of Δ L = 18 dB (16 to 20 dB) is required . Other intermediate controller values ​​may differ.

The term panpot control is sometimes incorrectly used for balance and crossfader controls. These serve to mix and select two signal sources, for example for guitar pickups. A stereo signal balance control cannot move a phantom source completely from side to side of the stereo panorama.

Also MIDI knows the pan-control (Controller # 10). In effect devices and synthesizers, special programming of LFOs or touch dynamics can also create panorama effects.

Directional mixer

The directional mixer is a device that can control the stereo direction of a source with a panorama controller, but also enables the image width to be changed on the stereo basis . For this purpose, M / S signals are processed internally , which are converted into an L / R signal for the output.

A controller enables the "base width" to be regulated from mono to stereo normal up to 200% over base . The other controller influences the “direction” from “mono from left” when fully left, through “stereo normal” in the middle position to “mono from right” when fully right. The input can be switched to M / S operation via a switch. The input channel for the left signal must then be operated with the middle signal instead and that for the right input signal with the side signal S instead.

Surround sound

With surround sound, i.e. with more than two channels, such an adjuster is used to distribute a single-channel or multi-channel recorded sound event or electronic signal that has to be distributed over a larger number of channels, e.g. five, six, seven or even more channels. The application of this method is based solely on the use of directional perception through level differences ΔL . It cannot be used with spatially extended sound sources.


  • Roland Enders: The home recording manual. 3rd edition, Carstensen Verlag, Munich, 2003, ISBN 3-910098-25-8
  • Thomas Görne: Sound engineering . 1st edition, Carl Hanser Verlag, Leipzig, 2006, ISBN 3-446-40198-9
  • Hubert Henle: The recording studio manual. 5th edition, GC Carstensen Verlag, Munich, 2001, ISBN 3-910098-19-3

Individual evidence

  1. Panpot: The rule and level differences , (PDF file; 210 kB)
  2. ToolMod Pro Audio M / S Stereo Directional Mixer TM130 ,
  3. Surround mastering MS directional mixer DIMENSIONS ,
  4. Stereo directional mixer for coincidence microphones , (PDF file; 200 kB)

See also

Stick stereophony | Localization sharpness

Web links