Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Mono Mic in a Stereo Jack
- October 21, 2009 at 6:23 PM #41717smokinglizardParticipant
Hi folks…I’m new around here, so please forgive me if I sound like a newb. I’m sure this question has been asked and answered before, but I can’t find the answer.
If I put a mono microphone (which most are) into the stereo mic jack on a camcorder, won’t sound only be recorded on one channel (i.e., come out of one ear when played back)? If that’s correct, how do I correct that? I know Radio Shack and other stores sell mono-to-stereo adapters. Would that work or is there a better solution?
- October 21, 2009 at 8:42 PM #176573composite1Member
Dude you’re only going to get one channel. It is highly likely that you may have to ‘pull’ the plug until your mini connects with the channel you’re able to use. Unfortunately, this varies from camera to camera so you may be able to stick the plug all the way in and it will ‘connect’ or you may have to pull it out until it does. Same thing will apply to mono to stereo adapters. So if you plug in your mic and don’t get any sound try this before you decide something’s broken.
- October 21, 2009 at 10:02 PM #176574smokinglizardParticipant
OK, but how do I fix it so that I get sound out of both speakers?
- October 22, 2009 at 1:14 AM #176575composite1Member
Up front you don’t. However, a work around (a ghetto workaround that is) would be to get a stereo mini male to dual mini female ‘Y’ adapter. Plug the stereo adapter into the camcorder and your two mono plugs into the mini female receptors. Again, you’ll have to do the ‘plug pulling thing’ to get your right and left channnels to connect. The reason I say this workaround is ‘ghetto’ comes from the prospect of your ‘pulled plug’ not being in the receptor securely as the one that is fully connected. One minor tug and out it will come. Also, it won’t have the full insulation as there will be bare metal exposed so if the metal on a zipper, belt buckle, whatever contacts it there will be a wondrous ‘buzz’ amongst your recorded sound.
Stereo mini plugs are fine to work with, but they work best plugged in stereo to stereo. Now a while back I ran across dedicated R-L mono-mini plugs (red, white or black, white connection stripes) that were spaced so you could avoid the whole ‘pulling plug thing’. That was at least 11 years ago. You can dig around Radio Shack to see if they have them, but it’s been that long since I’ve seen them.
An audio post work around that I use regularly, is to just ‘mirror’ the recorded channel in your editing software. So if you only have ‘channel 1’ audio or ‘L’, then you copy the track and paste it into channel 2 or the ‘R’ channel. Ideally, you want to have your recorded sound in stereo but it’s the nature of the beast to record different audio sources on different channels.
- October 22, 2009 at 3:28 AM #176576XTR-91Participant
Like composite said, the plug-in and “pull-plug” will probably work depending on the type of connection you have (e.g. shape of adapter).The possibility of getting it to workalso varies among different types of audio jacks. Depending on the camcorder, it might be hard finding the sweet spot in order to get a clean signal.
Just to let everyone hear, I’ve also been able to use this method by plugging headphones into the camcorder’s A/V jack. After a few tries of adjusting the plug correctly, I get a perfectly crisp signal (left and right) and the audio levels are fine. The headphone plug seems to make proper contact with the audio portion of the camera’s A/V output. Of course, if your A/V jack is the oddly shaped half circle, then this shortcut won’t be viable. Not to say that this type of jack is bad. The half circle-shaped jack is actually known to prevent interference, resulting in a higher quality display on TVs.
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