Concert Band Panning/Mixing

• Jun 26, 2022 - 07:09

I've been looking around for a bit, but I can't seem to find any forums discussing how to pan/mix the instruments for a concert band. There are plenty for orchestra, though.

All I need is a list of values for each instrument's panning so I can tune them to their stage positions. This also includes instruments not included in Musescore's concert band template, namely the contrabass clarinet and english horn.

Please, and thank you.


Is there a standard layout for concert band? I have played in many bands over several decades. Each MD has their own ideas about seating and those ideas are very varied. Also consider that concert bands play in many different types of setting: stage, park band stand etc. with their individual constraints. When I dep in a new band, my first question is where do I sit? So, I think first you need to decide what layout you want. Then you can play with the mixer settings to get the effect you want.

Orchestras are slightly more standardised. Most I have played in have violins on the left, cellos and basses on the right with violas behind. But some have the violins split 1st on the left, 2nds on the right with cellos and basses behind 1st violins and violas behind 2nd violins. And then there are differences in where the brass go. Woodwind seems fairly settled in the centre.

I found a layout on the Internet and placed the Pan numbers (L:0, C:64, R:128) used by the Musescore software on it. I set the pan numbers in two different ways, in the center of the stage (linear) and relative to where the Conductor is standing (semi-exponential).

According to center of the stage:

In terms of Conductor's hearing angle:

You can place the Contrabass Clarinet on the right side of the Bass Clarinet and the English Horn on the right side of the Oboe.
If there are keyboards and bass guitar in the group, think of them as percussions and place them accordingly (Near the drum-set.)

Attachment Size
Concert_Band-Seats.png 195.7 KB
Concert_Band-conductors_hearing.png 228.68 KB

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