‘The problem with traditional panning is the loss of signal on one side when you pan to the other. To resolve this, some people choose to mix in mono, but this isn’t really a viable solution, especially for complex shows where you are dealing with anything from 80 to 100 channels. So, I started playing around with delay and seeing if I could achieve better results that way.’

Carsten Kummel and Hervé de CaroTonmeister and renowned classical sound engineer Carsten Kummel explains the thinking behind the latest enhancement to Innovason’s flagship Eclipse GT digital live sound console, Pandora panning.

‘I did a series of testing and taking measurements, and the results were astonishing – by using the tools available to us to reproduce the way in which the ear works naturally, we opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I had been achieving similar results by using the functions that were available to me on the Eclipse, but it was just a way of working, and not an integrated feature of the desk.

‘At this point, it was time to consult Hervé de Caro, the godfather of Eclipse. When I discussed my findings with him, he said straight away that it was something he wanted to incorporate properly into the console. After some initial experimentation, being the genius that he is, Hervé and his team had developed a working prototype algorithm with the function available on a single pan pot in just two days.’

‘This is an absolutely amazing function,’ says Hervé de Caro. ‘The world has been waiting for Pandora. Carsten has been developing the idea over the past three years and testing it in real-world situations in the work that he does daily with major symphony orchestras across the world.’

‘The difference it makes to the listener is amazing,’ ce continues. ‘We have finally found a way to pan a signal from full left to full right to create the feeling of a stereo image for the entire audience, no matter where you are sat, without losing any information for those sat at the extremes, and no loss of sound quality for those sat in the middle. On the contrary – because we are reproducing the natural function of the ear, it actually sounds better. In practice this means that if you are sat at the extreme left of the auditorium while the signal has been panned to the extreme right, you can still hear it from the left, even though the sound image has moved to the right, and vice-versa. With traditional panning, you would hear nothing from the left, and the sound from the right would sound very far away. In fact, you’d be losing half of the audio information. Even those in the middle would experience a loss of level and audio quality.

‘Pandora puts an end to all that – you can now hear everything all of the time and still benefit from a true stereo image. How cool is that?’

More: www.innovason.com

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