Toms Surround Panner

The surround panner I always wanted for Bitwig Studio

I do almost all my sound work in Bitwig Studio and in surround, but Bitwig Studio only has stereo tracks, so working in surround needs some clever routing tricks, but otherwise works very well.

Originally I had built a surround panner from Bitwig 1.x factory devices and while it worked okay, it was a bit of a cludge and not the easiest thing to use.

So after a while I wanted to finally create a surround panner that would deal with everything I typically need in one go: Manual panning with a big XY pad, LFO based rotation around the listener and random movements. All of them can be faded into each other gradually and mixed and matched to taste.
The desired centre speaker amount can be dialled in and the two outer front speakers are faded out when the cursor is in the centre in that case.
Also, the LFE amount can be set and a cutoff frequency for it is available.

The output follows the Windows surround pattern: L, R, C, LFE, LR, RR

In Bitwig Studio one only has to load the ensemble into a Reaktor 6 instance and create three output chains on the multi-output page of the Reaktor device, those then are Front, Center & LFE and Rear respektively.

It's built completely in Reaktor 6 Core (other than the GUI) so performance should be good.

Toms Surround Panner

Download the Reaktor 6 ensemble here:

Toms Surround Panner

Bitwig Studio 3 Panner

In the meantime I no longer use above panner - having that many instances of Reaktor 6 in a Bitwig project is quite a drag on the system even if they don't do much - so I created a surround panner in Bitwig Studio with the excellent modifiers:

Toms BWS 3 Surround Panner

The XY pad on the upper left (expanded in the screenshot) is the main control where you can manually pan your input signal.

The "Center" button below defines if the center speaker will be used. if yes, a position in the front mid will route the signal to the center speaker, if not, it will be panned between front left and right.

"Volume" is the overall volume regardless of the channel. I use this to adjust the general loudness of the track. This leaves the three output lane faders in the mixer for actual mixing.

"Mono-Stereo" is adjusting the Width parameter in the three Tool devices in the output lanes, basically allowing you to widen the stereo field of the input or make it mono for panning. The center position is neutral and leaves the signal as it comes in.

The "LFO" Knobs adjust the Rate, Depth, Form, secondary Depth and Phase of the two LFOs. This allows you to have circular motion (Depth=+-100, Form 100, Depth 2=0) or go square (Depth 2=100). Experiment :-)

The "Rnd" Knobs adjust the Rate, Depth and Smoothness of the two Random generators. It can also be interesting to set them manually to use Notes as input, so each incoming notes moves the panner to a random position...

The "Step" Knobs allow you to set the Rate, Depth, Smoothness and Phase of the two Step Generators. Set to taste :-)

The other three modulators are used internally and shouldn't be touched usually.

The three output layers show up in the mixer (unfold the Track!) and should be routed to your three Stereo Outputs for Front, Center and Rear.

Download the BWS 3 preset here:

P.S. I wrote a tutorial about how to do 4.0/5.1 Surround Sound in Bitwig Studio on KVR.


My Tool for NI Reaktor 6 to enable simple surround panning in Bitwig Studio