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An Automated Quadraphonic Positioning/Panning System

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One of the major responsibilities of creative design engineering and automation is that of furthering user convenience. Whether in the most simple of studios, or in the partial or fully automated ones, the key words of simplicity of operation should be an important consideration in the selection and design of equipment. In the field of Quad and its semi-confused state, the design engineer should be even more concerned with this fact due to the "almost need that automation for this one" attitude created by the complexities of modern pop/rock recordings. This is especially true when related to Quad panning. Present methods include the now well known "joystick" and X-Y control pots. These are usually automation-compatible, and work quite well when not limiting the user by requiring a multiplicity of mechanical movements or by not limiting the number of input channels to be controlled. Multiple channel panning as well as a large number of inputs to be positioned in a Quad mixing situation, have taxed the user by crating long set-up times for input "placement" and limiting the amount of panning possible at one time. Using digital techniques, the recording engineer need not be limited to complex panning and positioning in only a fully automated situation; he must be able to accomplish this in a "live" situation also. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the operational and design characteristics of a system which enables the user to select various digitally-generated patterns of quad panning, select a position for each input channel, and allow for the simultaneous stereo/quad mix without major board modifications.

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