MautoPan is one of those plugins people aren’t giving enough praise to; it’s literally one of the best panners/ panning plugins out and like Cableguys Pancake, it doesn’t cost a dime.
You can find it in the MFreeFxBundle along with 30+ other free effects. If you’re new to music production I’d highly suggest downloading it. Even if you’re not new, pull it down, there are some true gems in the package.
What is MAutoPan (Panning Plugin)
In a nutshell, it’s a panning plug-in that allows you to set panning parameters for any sound on any channel without the need to draw in automation. Load the plug-in on the channel of your choosing dial in-depth, rate, note value, pattern (via step sequencer), and let it work its magic.
MAutopan Features Worth Mentioning
- Great panning presets: and the ability to customize your own.
- Auto Gain Compensation: AGC (I wish all plugins had this).
- Tempo Sync: Clock lock with your DAW (Reaper, Logic X, Reason, Fl Studio, etc).
- Eye Candy: Change the color of the plugin using their presets or your own color scheme.
- Harmonics: Introduced and control harmonics of the panning signal.
- Surround Sound: …Surround Sound support…For Free? It has L/R and M/S as well.
- Crossfading: Control X-fading between panning shapes (make transitions smooth).
MAutoPan (Panning) Tips For Producers
The point of panning is to build width and depth in a mix. Auto panning, on the other hand, gives a movement.
Now, keep in mind panning movements can be done natively within your DAW all you’d have to do is automate the panning parameter. This is easy to do but a plugin like Mautopan makes this process a lot easier and allows you to get some very unique panning movements without drawing in a lot of automation.
First, figure out what you want to pan/give movement to. If you’re doing trap production, this is probably going to be your hi-hats, snares, and other percussion elements.
Now, don’t let those limit you as anything can be panned even frequencies of bass lines/low end but we’ll talk about that another day.
Second, load the plug-in onto your channel of choice, set up your depth, rate, and other creative parameters, and use your ears…listen.
Third, for control, you’ll want to use the step sequencer or automate the wet/dry knob (depth) as this will stop the creative movement from sounding stagnant.
This should be a ‘creative decision’ because there are times where elements in the mix can pan forever without sounding repetitive or stagnant.
Fourth, experiment with mid-side processing as opposed to left and right processing. Most people use left and right as it’s most common but the mid-side option can yield some very interesting results.
Lastly, experiment with settings because this is how you learn and grow, and… this is how you really find the sauce. If you’re looking for a panner that will give you more control go with the MultiBand version of the plugin MAutopanMB.
Advanced Panning Tips For Producers Using MAutoPanMB
With the multiband version of the Mautopan plugin, you open the door for more sound design and stereo imaging possibilities. Here are some of my panning tips and techniques using MAutopanMB.
Add Width to Bass & Basslines:
- Analyze your bass track. Does it have any mid-range or high-end frequencies? If so, go to skip step 2.
- Place a Saturator on the bass channel and introduce some harmonics (mid/high information).
- Insert the Auto Panner on the bass channel. Where you place it in the chain is up to you.
- Create a few bands you’d like to have control over.
- Solo the bands and listen closely to the information within each frequency band.
- Leave the low and low-mid frequencies of the bass MONO and set panning properties for the upper frequencies according to taste.
What you’ll end up with is a nice wide-sounding bass that still has its mono integrity intact.
If you’re interested in MAtuoPanMB, grab it during one of MeldaProduction’s sales, this will help you save some money.
MautoPan Pros & Cons
You can’t give a review and leave out the pros and cons, that would be incomplete.
- Simple: It doesn’t require a degree to use you can dial in good settings in seconds
- CPU friendly: One thing I hate are plugins that unnecessarily drain resources
- Feature Rich: Some might say there are too many features and possibilities
- Free: You can’t beat free
- GUI: I have to admit the GUI isn’t that attractive and I can see how that would turn some people off
- Coffee: If there really wanted to make people happy, they’d add this feature
Mautopan: What Can Be Improved
Pattern Sequencer: I really like the idea of the pattern sequencer, it’s very useful and it’s not a feature I’ve seen in other panning plugins. I do wish it was a little more intuitive and easier to use.
Stereo/Phase Meter: It would be nice to be able to visualize your imaging. This can be done with other tools of course, but having it built into the panner would be amazing. I could be missing some button right under my nose that displays this.
Custom Sample: this could be explained a little better because it seems quite interesting. From my understanding, you can load a custom wave file and MAutopan uses the analysis of the file as its panning parameters, I’ll have to experiment or reach out to Melda about this one.
WaveForm: It would be nice to be able to see the waveform as you can in Pancake. It’s not a must, but would be a nice visual to have. Maybe they’ll add it in the future.
- VST, VST3, AU, and AAX
- Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit) & Mac (64-bit only)
For more information about MAutoPan head over to MeldaProduction