Home Beatmaking & Production How To Automate Panning In FL Studio

How To Automate Panning In FL Studio

by Stuart Charles Black
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Cover photo by Lukas

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

In your songs and mixes, panning is an incredibly important tool that must be utilized effectively.

We’ll get into some philosophy later, but for now, let’s dive into FL Studio and learn.

This guide will cover how to pan in FL Studio, how to automate panning in FL Studio, as well as recording in stereo vs. mono; an important aspect of panning that may cause some headaches if you’re unsure how to adjust certain settings inside the program.

By the end of this article, you should be much more comfortable navigating these elements and also better equipped to employ some of these tactics in your mixes.

With that, let’s dive in!

Channel Rack Method

When using the channel rack, you can pan instruments, drums, vocals, etc. this way.

Just hit F6 to bring it up, and head to the left.

From here simply adjust and pan the instruments, drums, etc. how you want.

To automate, right-click one of the knobs > Create automation clip.

Here you can see what we just made:

Now let’s adjust it to make a simple sweep from left to right. Keep in mind this is just a random beat/example for tutorial’s sake.

Double-click the green bar (above) to open it so we can see what we’re doing.

To pan from the left, drag the left-most point down.

From here you have a bevy of options:

  • To create a new point, right-click the line.
  • To shorten the automation clip for a quicker sweep, shift-click the point all the way to the right and drag in. Holding shift keeps the point in place.

  • To add tension, hover over a point until you see the up/down arrows and drag it around. Cntrl/Cmd dragging results in a more precise curve.

For the sweep from left to right and back to center, play around until you get something like this:

The possibilities are quite endless. You could have an instrument pan from any direction and stop in any place. You can shorten the time it stays to the right or left, etc.

Just track the value adjustment in the top left corner to get a precise placement of the sound:

And mess around with the curve until you’re satisfied! The above configuration sounded good with the beat I’m working on, so I kept it.


The same basic principles apply to the mixer.

When you’re ready to assign something to the mixer, have a look at the target mixer track to the right of the channel panning and volume knobs:

Now left-click one of the sliders and move it up or down to assign, and head over to your mixer by hitting F9. 

From here, the process is the same: right-click the panning knob > Create Automation clip.

Follow the same method of adjusting the curve as we did in the previous example!

Recording In Mono & Stereo In FL Studio

If you try to pan something and it’s not working, don’t … pan-ic.

I’ll see myself out. xD

I ran into this issue the other day and wanted to help others who may be having the same problem.

What probably happened is that the master track somehow got set to Mono.

To fix it, head over to the Stereo Separation knob. You’ll see a semi-circle colored purple. To change it back to stereo, turn the knob to the left until the semi-circle appears Cyan.

Now you can pan instruments correctly and be able to hear them shift in real time.

Why Panning Is So Important

As promised, panning is not only incredibly useful, it’s actually kind of mandatory. There are many reasons for this:

Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are perhaps the most important component in creating a stereo image with good Soundstage.

When positioned correctly, they make it much easier to decide which instruments go where. 

Create Depth and Space

Panning plays a crucial role by creating this spatial depth and separation between instruments and vocals. By placing sounds across the stereo field, panning enhances the clarity, resolution, and balance of a mix, allowing each element to occupy its own space and contribute to a cohesive sonic landscape.

Identify Mistakes

A good stereo image helps to pinpoint errors in the mix that need attention. If your instruments have room to breathe, it’s much easier to apply EQ and help certain sounds cut through the mix.

Creative Expression

Additionally, panning enables creative expression, allowing you to craft immersive listening experiences and emphasize certain instruments or effects within the mix.

Overall, effective panning techniques are essential for achieving professional-quality recordings and engaging listeners with dynamic and spatially rich music.

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how to pan in FL Studio and gained some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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What are you currently working on? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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