A few years ago I published a three-part guide on orchestral instrument positioning over on the Wesnoth forums. There was a lot of people there who were struggling to get started with making music for the game and when I realized many of them were having the same problems and asking essentially the same questions, I got the idea of writing up a beginner’s guide. You know, a sticky thread with a bunch of tips that might come in handy. If nothing else, I could just link to that thread instead of typing the same responses over and over when people asked.
As usual when I get in my head to start some project, it immediately inflates beyond all sensible proportions (the project, not my head). I have never been able to make a long story short so soon I found myself sitting there with dozens upon dozens of jotted-down, semi-related, and very verbose paragraphs. I meant to connect everything into a sensible whole, I really did, but it all dragged out for so long that finally I decided to just organize the material I had into some semblance of order and publish it.
As you can understand I was never really happy with that guide, as it wasn’t what I had set out to write in the first place. It was a haphazard jumble of tips and thoughts and I’m not sure whether it was ever helpful to anyone. Also, even though all of it was well-meaning, some pieces of information were in retrospect a little misleading. I’m still learning and what I considered good advice two or three years ago might sound really dumb to me today.
Here I go again, making a long story even longer. Anyway. I’ve been trying to rewrite and update this guide for probably a year now and I sort of apprehensively present to you the first part: Orchestral Positioning: Panning. Apprehensively because I know that yet again some of my advice will make no sense to me a couple of years from now when I have even more experience, and I feel bad about offering what might turn out to be bad advice. But that’s a fact of life. If I’m going to wait until my knowledge is all-encompassing, I will go to my grave without having uttered a single word of advice to anyone.
And yes it’s still verbose, it still doesn’t have any really great structure, but this is at least a lot better then the original version.
Now back to working on the following parts…