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Old February 11th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #1
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General Stereo Sound Problem - Please Help

Hi friends.

I have a question concerning stereo sound. Iím fairly new in the sound-editing business, so please forgive my naivety.

I have been filming with the Canon GL2 camcorder and the Azden SGM-2X shotgun microphone with a stereo cable to connect the two.

Because of filming this way, my sound is recorded in stereo, and I edit it the footage in Premiere Pro. Everything works out nicely, except when I play back the recording on my camcorder or on certain television/VCR sets.

The sound seems to play fine on mono sound systems (with only yellow and white A/V inputs), or on systems with a good stereo setup. However, I canít hear the microphone sounds when I play it back on my camcorder, or on systems that have red/yellow/white A/V inputs but are not set up for stereo sound. In order to get around this on television sets, I simply have to unplug the red A/V jack, and it seems to fool the TV into playing the sound because it treats it like a mono sound system.

This is all fine, except for it is unprofessional for me to tell clients that if they arenít able to hear the sound, they simply need to unplug the red A/V input jack. It would be nice to hear the sound on my camcorder, as well.

Is there any way I can fix this problem in editing, such as ďfillingĒ the sound in where it is missing, but still having it play in stereo? I edit in Premiere Pro, and I have Adobe Audition as well (though Iím not completely familiar with it, yet). If anyone understands what my problem is or how it could be fixed, I would really appreciate the input.

Thanks so much. Have a great day. : )

Jolie
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Old February 11th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #2
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First of all, you're not recording in stereo with a monaural microphone like the Azden SGM-2X. You are recording the same thing on two audio tracks.

What kind of stereo cable are you using? Are you using an XLR adapter such as a Beachtek? I'm not too familiar with your microphone, but I think it has an XLR out, not 3.5mm stereo mini as on your GL2. Unitl I know more about how your microphone is connected to your camcorder, I can't offer any solutions.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 10:25 AM   #3
 
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you sure your stereo cable is wired correctly? It may be that you've got a phasing issue, where one channel cancels out the other. I wasn't clear as to whether you mean the camera mic is on one channel, and the Azden on the other?
One thing to try immediately, is to create the audio file in Audition as a mono file, reimported to Premiere. Premiere will still output a stereo file, as this is the DV spec, but it's matched dual channels. If the problem is in your cable or adaptor, this would be a first indicator.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #4
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I think your mic cable is creating a phase cancellation problem. The Azden is a mono mic. You can split it to the two channels of the camera, but this isn't stereo, it's two-channel mono. If this split isn't accomplished with a properly wired cable, then the two tracks can be out of phase and will cancel each other when mixed together.
The other thing to consider is that some Azden mics, while they are impedence balanced and use an XLR connector, only put out signal on pin 2. If your cable is wired for sending a regular balanced mic to two channels, this may be causing your problem.
Remember, for true "stereo", you must record definite signals that relate specifically to left and right in the environment. Otherwise simply think of the two channels as two channels.
These two channels are often called left and right, but if you didn't record in true stereo, then it's up to you in the editing process to place the correct signal into the two channels to accomplish something that sounds right regardless of the system it's played back on.
There are a variety of ways in your editing software to use these two channels, either panned apart, panned together or with one or the other channel from your camera duplicated or pan centered. How much flexibility you have with this depends on your editing software, your understanding of how you recorded the signal originally and how to control the placement of those tracks.
It can be very confusing, just remember that you have two audio channels and what you do with them is up to you.
For your specific situation, I'd try a different adapter cable from your mic to the camera. If you can't do that, then try using just one track from the camera during editing. Either duplicate this one track to make two in-phase copies, or use the single track "pan-centered" so it comes out of both channels during playback.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate it. I know it's probably frustrating to have a newbie bug you about questions like this, so I appreciate your patience. I'm fairly young and do not have experience in sound technology (aside from music recordings), so thanks again.

My apologies for the lack of information on my first post. Yes, I'm using a cable that goes from the XLR jack to the 3.5mm, and the cable is in stereo. I was aware that the mic was in mono, so I bought the cable to split/duplicate the sound as you explained (which may have been foolish). The cable is by Markertek, and it was frustrating to obtain through their numerous order mistakes, and I rather not order through them again.

Funds are not very abundant for me, as I am a student, so if there's any way I could fix this problem using the means I have, that would be very helpful.

I was curious if it was phase cancellation problem, but I wasn't sure. The microphone is used for independent films, with a few theater productions on the side. Should I re-think my entire audio process before I attempt the editing? Thanks for your time on the issue. I really appreciate it.

And Douglas, looks like you're from my neck of the woods. Maybe I'll see you in Sundance one of these festivals. : )

Thanks again, everyone. If you have any further advice, I'd more than appreciate it!
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Old February 11th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #6
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Try just using one of your recorded channels, but set your editing software so it plays evenly in both output channels. How you accomplish this depends on your editing software. You'll have to read about the details in your software manual or help files and then experiment.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 10:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for your help, Jay. I'll give it a shot. I appreciate it.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 11:06 AM   #8
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Jay,

Thank you so much for your suggestions! I filled one channel with the other, and it solved my problem. I'm very grateful for your willingness to help an audio amateur like me. Thanks again.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 03:31 PM   #9
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Glad that I could be of help!
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