Back when audio production was strictly an outboard, hardware affair, the use of pan in the stereo spectrum was quite an art form. From the late-60s onward, the stereo field has been widely used to create space within an audio recording, and often, to create intriguing special effects. In the plug-ins era the most remarkable examples have probably been the good old Waves Mondo Mod and the recent Soundtoys Panman. Audiodamage’s Panstation (AU/VST) is the latest entry, and as often happens with AD’s stuff, it has some peculiar features and design choices that should put it on the wishlist of many of us DAW users.
The cross-platform plug-in is a veritable assault weapon of auto-panning goodness, inspired by two renowned vintage units: the Drawmer M500 and the Audio & Design PanScan. The interface has everything you will need to create tempo or audio synchronous panning effects. In true Audiodamage form, the controls are simple, with a visually contrasting red/white/gray on black motif. Among the most interesting of the options presented in Panstation is the ability to assign a wave shape to the pan frequency and synch it to the host tempo or incoming audio. Add to that, controls for phase, depth, and rate of pan. These features let the user create much more than simple pans and sweeps across the stereo field, they allow the user to create mind-bending auto-pans and trembling tremolo-like effects. Panstation’s parameters are able to be automated from your VST/AU host, adding to the possibilities. The plug-in’s trigger source is also able to be linked to incoming MIDI pan CC, allowing Panstation to integrate smoothly with outboard MIDI synthesizers.
Conclusion Panstation is a panning super-weapon that brings the fun back to the stereo recording. The simple controls are intuitive and inspiring. The contrasting display is nice; however, it would be nice if the numeric values for each parameter were able to be clicked, so that the value could be manually entered. That minor hiccup aside, Panstation is a seriously stable plug that is light on resources and high on usefulness, making it a welcome addition to anyone’s plug-in arsenal.
Price $39 (no demo available, full refund policy, no questions asked)
…a veritable assault weapon of auto-panning goodness…
Panstation bares the distinction of being at the head of its class in terms of auto-panners. What’s not to love? If you’ve longed for more options in panning within your DAW, Panstation is the ultimate answer.
Needs the ability to manually enter values by clicking.
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About The Author
Founder & main editor here at ANR, 'non-musician' and music-tinkerer. His first keyboard was a cheesy Yamaha PSS-270. He still loves it.