So i am trying to record full arrangements (drums, bass, 2 guitars and vocals) and i want to know if there is any advice on how to pan them since i am having some trouble getting each part to stand out well. From what i hear when listening to music I can tell the guitars are usually panned left and right. I am using programmed drums so they are already panned out to their repective positions. Vocals seems to always be centered unless having a pan effect or something of the sort. However i cant figure out where to put the bass.
Bass can be anywhere. If it's playing a simple on-the-beat pattern you might want to stick it dead centre.

There's more to separation than panning though - look up 3D mixing. There's panning, depth and frequency. You can EQ things to keep them out of each other's way (kick drum and bass are the usual culprits); also using reverb and volume or low-pass filters you can send stuff "back" in the mix and keep the main parts "at the front" of the mix. Google some more.
When I'm mixing, I usually keep the bass center panned. However, I have heard of bass parts being recorded similar to how rhythym guitars are recorded, i.e double tracked and then the two tracks panned hard left and hard right.
Bass usually goes in the middle, it also helps if you have the riddim following the bass drum as opposed to following the guitar riff. If I do pan it off to one side (say if i have a bass synth part as well) it won't be by much (up to 25)

I also tend to do some heavy (audible) compression on it and not use verb at all.

Try to think of it as the way a band sets up on stage:

Drums Mid,

Bass Mid (the bass amp is usually next to the drums)

Vocals Mid

Guitars/Keyboards off to the side

Backing Vox - off to the side

Then as Union Of V said, there is more to be done with EQ and FX to separate them further, though generally, If I have got good signals to begin with I dont really need to faff too much afterwards with eq etc other than low cut for the guitars.

You shoulnd't really have to do much to the eq beacuse the reason guitar bass and drums sound good together is because they dont mess up each other's frequencies too much.

If things do get cluttered though, i generally try to cut the overlapping frequencies from one of the offending instruments
The EQing ive done is very minimal, cuts here and there a slight boosts in some places. Ill try playing around with it some more.

Also, is there some kind of plugin i can use to see my the song once its put together to make sure there isnt one frequency that is extremely high due to overlapping?
Last edited by Chaosinborn at Jul 13, 2009,
bass right dead in the ****ing middle. this were 90% of your recordings body is gonna come from, so keep it in the middle. guitars 100 L 100 R hard panned. drums, snare center, kick center, overhead l 100 overhead right 100 (or mix that to taste) toms, i usually go with drummers pov so

tom 1 80% L
tom 2 30% R
tom 3 50%R

highhat, on the left