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For anyone who plays video or computer games a joystick is a common household word. In audio and music production it is a controlling device that can move along two different axes simultaneously. Similar in concept and purpose to a modulation wheel (or other continuous controller) and a fader or pan pot, a joystick divides one input signal among four output channels. Some keyboards have had joysticks instead of separate modulation and pitch bend wheels (or sliders) to allow the user access to both controllers simultaneously via one mechanical interface. In modern audio production the joystick is starting to become a replacement for the pan pot. This is because the proper positioning of sounds in a 5.1 mix (for example) requires more than just left to right pan positioning. It requires, at minimum, a combination of left/right and front/rear positioning, which is most easily done with a joystick. Most software dealing with surround sound will offer some type of graphical interface based on the two axes provided by a typical joystick. This usually takes the form of a virtual grid where each sound can be positioned anywhere along either axis.

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