I know there are certain rules that are commonly shared when it comes to panning. Letting the kick drum and bass sit in the center, for example.

I'm wondering though, do you believe there are "right values" that one should respect in order to get a perfect balance between a clean, but still powerful and crisp, mix?

I usually tend to respect these values in my mixes but I'm guessing it could be enhanced:

  • Kick drum, bass, bass instruments in the center
  • Lead instruments between +-5 and +-10
  • Background instruments between +-15 and +-30

Thanks for your time.

1 Answer 1


I'd argue there isn't simply because often effects end up impacting the stereo image. There may be relatively common selections for placement, but I don't think they are hard and fast rules and I don't think they always remain static at those settings.

In general, there aren't "rules" in art, there are sometimes "guidelines" but even that is loose since those guidelines need to be broken at times. Art is about understanding aesthetic and doing what you need to to make things work. Sometimes that is being predictable, sometimes it is being jarring and sometimes it is just being outright different.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.