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Fixing Sound That Only Plays In One Speaker/Side of a Headphone


On this video, photographer Curtis Judd takes a look at a really annoying but pretty easy to fix problem when recording sound for a video.

If you ever tried to record a video with external sound there is a good chance you encountered this problem – you were trying to edit the video when you realize that the sound is only coming from one side. Now the first tip that we have for you even before we talk about fixing this problem is to edit any video with a good set of monitoring headphones (large earphones that cover your entire ear, not tiny in ear ones – we have been using the good old Sony MDR7506 for this task).

Now that you have a good set of earphones and you can actually hear where the sound is coming from, let’s talk about how you can fix the problem of only hearing sound on one side. The first thing you need to realize that the camera/recorder recorded a stereo track but only got audio from one channel (typically left channel). This is easy to solve in most audio editing software (even the free Audacity). Judd uses Adobe Audition CC and what he does is choose extract channels in mono files and you get 3 files – the original, one mono file with the sound and another file with a blank channel and no sound.

What many people might not understand (Judd – and to be honest us as well at first) is that a mono file does not mean a file that plays on only one speaker/headphone – it means that it will play the exact same thing on both speakers/headphones.

Now the only thing you need is to sync the audio with your video – if you do not know how to do this – the bonus video below (also by Judd) shows you how to do that with Premiere Pro CC.

Bonus video – How to Sync Audio and Video Premiere Pro CC

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On LensVid we have a very extensive section devoted to sound recording for video productions which covers both equipment and techniques here on LensVid.

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