Audio pictured above

Dave Knop from QuickFX pointed out to me that some of the lower price editing programs like iMovie and Windows Movie maker don’t have much in the form of audio control. This isn’t to much of a problem if you’re using the in camera microphone but can be a real hassle if you’re using an unbalanced audio source like the Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier.

If your plug looks something like this, then it is unbalanced. When you plug this into the microphone input jack on your camera, the audio that you record will only playback in the left or right speaker. If you’re using a more advanced editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can simply use the plugin “fill right” or “fill left” and the audio from that channel will play back in both speakers. If you are using an editing program that doesn’t have this option, don’t worry, there is a cheap hardware solution.

If you feel like doing a little bit of cable making, then you could probably dissect an old pair of ear buds and wire them up to a mono plug.  Connect the largest parts together and wire the tip of the unbalanced plug to the tip and ring of the stereo plug.  If that sounds like to much of a hassle, then consider an off the shelf solution.

The cheapest option I’ve seen can be found at Radio shack for $2.69, it’s called an 1/8″ Stereo Plug to 1/8″ Mono Plug Adapter. I’m not sure why Radio Shack chose to leave male and female out of the title, but it’s cheap and it works. The Radio Shack part number is 274-374, but what if you don’t live near a Radio Shack? Well then prepare to feel just a little ripped off. Amazon carries the 3.5mm Stereo Male to 3.5mm Mono Female Adapter (same as the Radio shack part) for $1.50, your probably thinking “Why is that a rip off?”.  You’ll find out once you add it to your cart that the shipping charges are around $6 for something the size of a beer cap.

Either adapter will solve your problem, just remember that the shoulders on the adapter are a bit big. So make sure you have enough room on your microphone input to accommodate it.

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