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Panning in Mono? Try The Straight-Line Method.

Got a question from Peter regarding my ultimate guide to starting your mix that’s adapted from my Step By Step Mixing book.

“You start your mixing in mono and go stereo on step 8. In step 3 you do levels and panning. Do you change from mono to stereo so early in the mix? Or do you go back and forth between mono and stereo? I just don´t check this. Or how do you pan in mono?”

People often think that there’s some trick to panning in mono but there isn’t.

You simply switch your speakers into mono, either on your interface or in your DAW (I do it on my monitor controller).

And then you do your basic rough levels and panning that way. When you pan in mono, things don’t move from one side to the other like they do in stereo.

Instead, think of the mix like they’re in one straight line down the middle, and by panning you move the tracks around two-dimensionally inside that straight line.

Imagine you have a long line of checkers going straight down the board. They represent your tracks. When you pan in mono you are effectively switching the checker pieces around and making them jump closer to you or further away, while staying in that same straight line.

Because you’re limited to this straight line, you force yourself to really listen to the separation that happens between the tracks as you’re panning them down the middle.

When you’re satisfied with the separation in mono, you can check your mix in stereo to make sure things aren’t too heavy on either side. You still want a balanced mix from left to right so going back and forth is a good way to make sure things are as separate as possible while staying balanced across the stereo spectrum.

Mixing in mono is a great way to train your ears because your mix will never sound as good in mono as it will in stereo.

That doesn’t mean it can’t sound great in mono, it’ll just always pale in comparison to what happens when you click that stereo switch, and all of a sudden your mix becomes wide and amazing.

But if you can make your mix sound good in mono, chances are it’ll sound great in stereo, so spend some time in mono and you’ll train your ears faster.

I hope that was useful to both Peter and the rest of my readers. For my in-depth, comprehensive mixing guide, remember that you can get the audio version of my best-selling book, Step By Step Mixing, as a part of the Step By Step Mixing System this week for the low price of only $27.

Here’s what you get when you grab this offer:

  • Step By Step Mixing: How to Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins PDF/Kindle/AUDIO versions ($37)
  • Better Mixes in Less Time: Productivity Playbook for Mixing Engineers PDF/Kindle eBook ($7)
  • Mix Quickstart Masterclass: 2-Part Video Workshop To Make Awesome Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins ($49 Value)
  • Mix Translation Masterclass: Make Every Mix Sound Great on ANY Speaker ($27 Value)
  • Bonus Mastering Q&A: Interview With Veteran Mastering Engineer Ian Shepherd ($120 Value)
  • Bonus Masterclass: 70 Ways to Monetize Your Music Career Video ($97 Value)
  • Vocal Production Checklist: 47 Things to Do When Producing Vocals
  • Links to over 100 multi-tracks to practice your mixes
  • An in-depth EQ chart of the entire frequency spectrum so you can create separation between your instruments and balance in your mixes

Click this link to get the goods!

The price will go up at the end of the week so make sure you grab it now.

Have a great rest of your day,



If you’ve already got all that good stuff above and would like to get personal 1-on-1 coaching to help you get to the next level with your music business, hit reply and let me know.

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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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