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Thread I need help with panning vocals and instruments...

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1 I need help with panning vocals and instruments...
I've been experimenting with my sound spectrum, and with different panning techniques, but everything I do is trial and error, because I have no formal training in recording. Ordinarilly, my songs are comprised of one lead and ten to twelve background vocals. The instruments (from my Roland Fantom) are often the same or similar, piano or EP, electric bass, organ, and drums (hi hat, snare, bass kick, cymbals, and drum rolls with toms) all pretty standard stuff.

I've figured out enough to pan all the separate components of the drums separately, but I'm not sure if All my back ground vocals should be 100% left and right, or somewhere in between, or whether my piano should be 100% left/right or somewhere in between, etc. It seems like unless I do a totally hard pan like that (100% in one direction or the other) everything begins to blend to much and there's not enough separation. I generally keep the lead dead center, and the bass line dead center, with the bass copied and the copy turned down some and panned hard left.

Are there any techniques you guys could offer to help me get maximum clarity based on the instruments I mentioned?? Sorry for the long post.

usually kick and bass are central.
everything that represents the backbone of the song should be central.

as for panning, there are no "rules", its up to your ears.

as long as it sounds right, then it is right.

visualize panning as a large cinema screen:
everything in the center attracts attention first, then you have to fill the sides of the screen with all the rest so you have a nice big, filled picture.