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what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono

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Ayan Banerjee
what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Aug 20, 2017 at 5:37:45 pm

I have a project with a huge number of stereo clips . These clips were recorded with a Zoom H1, and many of them has either a stronger left or a stronger right channel. It is not possible to detect all those clips and select the stronger channel, now that the project is almost complete. While playing, there is a varying level of sound output from left and right speakers. So I was thinking if I export the stereo files as mono then the problem would be solved as both speaker would give the same output. Is that the right thing to do?

Also what happens if I export a stereo clip as mono? Are either the left or right channel exported, or both channels are mixed and put together as a mono track?


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Robert Withers
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Aug 22, 2017 at 4:29:17 pm

I'm interested too. Wonder if going through Audition clip-by-clip I could convert clips recorded with a stereo mic imported from FCP7 into Pr CC sequence from dual mono to mono or stereo clips.
Thanks.

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Simon Billington
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Aug 30, 2017 at 11:55:50 am

It combines both the left side and right side of stereo audio together so everything will come out sounding as if it's in the middle.


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Ayan Banerjee
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Aug 31, 2017 at 8:05:03 am

Thanks Simon.


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Simon Billington
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Sep 1, 2017 at 12:30:35 am

No probs.


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Bret Hampton
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Sep 16, 2017 at 11:40:57 pm

Ayan

Sounds like you found a solution.

For next time may I suggest you listen to each channel and pick the best one, then set your project to use that channel exclusively. Keeping a project with two 'mono' channels of varying volume might be distracting to the audience. If it's mainly dialog then using one channel alone will work best as we're used to dialog coming from the center channel just as in theatres. You can still add stereo music, however each track selection in Premiere should be set for what kind of audio you want.


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Ayan Banerjee
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Sep 17, 2017 at 8:32:06 am
Last Edited By Ayan Banerjee on Sep 17, 2017 at 8:36:06 am

Thanks Bret. You are absolutely right about picking the best channel and using it exclusively. I would just want to add something about using this exclusive channel, which I have learned the hard way. Probably someone reading this in future could find it useful. Don't forget to correct me if I am wrong.

There are two ways of using this exclusive channel.
1) Use it on a mono track.
2) Using on a stereo track by applying fill left/fill right effect and convert to a stereo file with 2 identical channels.

Most people blindly suggest, method 1 is the correct one. However I think that is not always right. If the master track of the sequence is already set to stereo, I think method 2 is preferable, since most NLEs in this case would apply Pan law and attenuate the mono track's volume by 3db. So for a sequence with a Stereo Master Track, using stereo tracks EVEN FOR VOICE (with identical channels of course) is more preferable.

If the master track is set as Mono or Multichannel, then without question, method 1.


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Simon Billington
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Sep 23, 2017 at 12:34:27 am

Not specifically. A mono track and left and right wont sound the same way as if it's stereo.

If the information is the same, and it usually is which is why it's mono, it will just collapse into the centre which is the same way TV and computers handle mono and dialogue tracks. This is what they commonly refer to as the "phantom centre". It will still come out the centre dialogue channel if you're working with surround. Since it's in the middle it will be interpreted by the post production facilities as being in the centre channel and will get written that way when rendering out.

This is of course different if the two sides aren't the same. I think many prefer it because the audio is perceivably more loud, which has the psychoacoustic effect of sounding better, but that's just an illusion.

There is no guarantees that both sides will be the same, one might be more subject to noise induced by camera electronics than another, for example. So it shouldn't be assumed that is in fact dual mono. If there was enough phase variance on one channel it will have this negative impact when played alongside the other. It could make it sound more weak over all. However this is quite rare, but still something to keep in mind. it's because of this, though, that it's usually more wise to pick one, disable the other, pan it to the centre and increase its volume by either 3 or 6db to compensate. I forget which, but i believe it's the latter.


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