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Panning Mono Toms and Cymbal Swells [Automation Tip]

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Automation Mix Tip: Panning Mono Toms and Cymbal Swells
Automation Mix Tip: Panning Mono Toms and Cymbal Swells - youtube Video
Hey, what’s up guys? David Glenn of and We’re continuing on with automation this month and today I’ve got a panning automation tip for you. So, we’ve got a tom track that was sent to me that was just in mono.

We’ve got beat production going on and I wanted to create some movement as if it was kind of like a drum kit, live drum kit. I prefer drummer’s perspective whenever I’m mixing drums, so that’s how I’ve mixed this from left to right on the rack tom, second rack, floor, floor, but we’re going to cover that and we’re also going to cover some cymbal swell automations. Kind of give some movement from left to right. I’m going to hit play and then we’re going to take a look at what I’ve done, bypass the automation and then get a feel for what it’s doing to the song.

So you heard that kind of an 80’s tom sound. Really digging the track. This song is called Hope is Alive from Brandon Kampor. He’s from New York and a buddy of mine out of Orlando here, local to me, co- produced, co-wrote this. His name is Steven Ivy, so shout out to those guys. Great song, great track.


This pan automation you can see, actually let me show you this too. I took that sound and used a little verify on it. You can hear the automation going on with that as well, but let’s pull open that automation and there you go. You’ll see that first sound we’re swelling. This is for those of you who maybe aren’t familiar. You’ve got the left side, the right side on a Mono track it’ll look like this and that is left to right movement. This is going to be something cool I did here was I started it where we had there about 31 off center to the left and then I move it because it had some reverb on the file, on the actual tone in the track. So, I slowly shift that to the left as if it’s moving away and then it hits left to right movement from there. So, let’s listen one more time soloed.

Sweet. Now I’m going to turn off the automation and let’s get a feel for what it’s doing. Cool, so it’s still not bad and depending upon your tastes, you may prefer to leave it in the middle. But for me, I wanted to create some movement, so let’s hear that in the track both with this is going to be without automation. Cool, so yeah it’s not bad. Let’s see what it sounds like with it. So, for me, I prefer that. You be the judge however you want to vibe off of that, but let’s move onto the cymbal swell.


I’ve done these a couple times. You can see it a couple times throughout the track specifically in sections where I want to create movement, where I want to create something exciting. I’m not going to sit here and do automation for every cymbal swell or everything. Sometimes I might I guess, but for the most part I’m going to listen to what the song’s calling for and it may speak to me at a certain part where I want to give it a little character and just do it at that section. So, let’s listen to what this is doing. This is with the automation.

Let’s turn it off and see what it sounded like before. I just had it on the left and even better let’s hear it in the traffic. Cool and then back with the movement we created. Nice, so just another way to give the track some life and kind of create some movement so things just don’t sit at the same spot all the time and be sure any time you get these mono files, create some vibe with it. Take these and move them left and then maybe right.

A good thing to try out also would be to have something start on the left and then when the chorus comes, throw it to the right. Kind of freak the ear out a little bit and kind of bring some attention to it. So, just another tip, panning automation. Up next will be something else maybe some saturation or distortion, but we’ll catch you guys in the next one.


David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at