Musink Pro lets can supplement your music notation with custom MIDI instructions. The MIDI instructions are sent directly to your selected MIDI device as the score plays.

I have started using Pan to have my score play in stereo - for example a violin play through the left speaker and a cello through the right.

I've used Musink's presets for Pan which are

  • Command: Controller
  • Controller: 10
  • Value 0 (left), 64 (centre) 127 (right)

I've noticed Musink also provides equivalent presets for Balance which instead use Controller 8 (not 10)

What is the difference between Pan and Balance?

I'm not knowledgeable on MIDI so sorry if this distinction is a newbie question. I've tried to read up on the distinction but when I do it sounds like implementation detail to me, rather than any practical difference for the end sound.

Musink will play through any connected MIDI device so an answer that applies to MIDI in general would be great.

2 Answers 2


Balance [CC08] tends to be for stereo voices, Pan [CC10] for mono.

I'm not certain how this is implemented within a device, though if you compare it to a mixing console balance on a stereo channel will be able to retain some sense of width as you move the control.

I'd be tempted to stick to CC10, as some devices won't respond to CC08 & most ought to know how to deal with a stereo sample being panned anyway.
It seems that some Roland devices use CC08 in a non-standard way & use it to set the balance between two individual voices making up a patch. That would make me definitely stick to CC10 for L/R panning.

  • So, Balance would essentially set the volume for left vs right within a voice that is already in stereo, while Pan would move the entire voice towards one side? Do I understand you correctly?
    – mike1878
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 9:57
  • 1
    I think it would depend entirely on the specific device. I don't think you could generalise it. Try it & see what happens.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 10:00

For something like a violin, balance is not going to do a whole lot of good. Balance is for inherently stereophonic signals. This setting makes somewhat more sense for mixing live instruments than for MIDI: for example you'd use balance for managing the sound balance of an accordion player between treble and bass side of the accordion and pan to place the result within the total mix.

It's harder to come by for a sensible use in MIDI since in the accordion example, you'd be using different channels for left and right hand anyway (as they use different reeds). However, patches like "pizzicato strings" or "orchestra hit" inherently contain a bunch of instruments where you might want to emphasize one end of the patch, possibly while assembling a virtual sound stage where one side of the group is closer the listening point than the other.

In general, the kind of grouping you are talking about will be done using the pan control. Balance tends to be for more subtle things.

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