Does everybody use a -3dB pan depth?

2 Answers 2


I believe thats pretty much the standard according to the stereo pan law. I hear it translates into mono better as well.

I think some DAWs let you change the setting to others, but the only other setting I have seen/heard of is the -4.5 for SSL consoles.


Meant to respond to this sooner. -3dB is the default because of it's relation to power level and phantom imaging. If you want a full strength image centered between two sources, the crossing point of two "equal power" curves needs to be at -3dB. If it's lower, it will sound weaker as it moves through the center point of the image; higher, and it will sound stronger. -3dB just helps you maintain that even stereo field.

As such, I don't mess with it in my DAW's settings. ;)

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