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25 Jan 2021
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Need to Export Project with Stereo sound, but do not see Dual Mono option 02 Sep 2021 09:09 #116086

Esteemed editors,

I need to make sure my project is exported with stereo sound. The video project goes onto YouTube, and if I have a Mono track, it causes lots of audio issues for our audience (many of whom are teachers and see our vides in classrooms).

So, while editing in MultiCam, I have 3 tracks; camera 1, camera 2 and audio track. I click on the mono audio track, then look at the Audio Configurations (see screenshot) and click the drop down, hoping to find "Dual Mono" so I can set my mono track to both channels. But what I see is the option "Left, Right, Center, etc" which is for surround sound.

I used a Zoom F2 Lav and recorder, which records mono.

My scratch audio from my Sony Camera 1 records in stereo with a Lav connected... this is what I would typically use for my YouTube videos and it works well with no sound issues. When I've tried to upgrade to nicer lavs or mics for better sound quality, I've run into the same problem... they all seem to be mono and that causes my audio issues.... in other words, my videos are exported with mono audio.

Hopefully, this is an easy and obvious problem... I've only been editing in FCPX for 1.2 years and not very well versed with audio/ audio equipment, so I know I'm missing something obvious... but researching all over this site and Google haven't helped with this particular issue.

Any clues/ tips/ "this is what you're doing wrong" ideas?

Thanks for reading!
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Need to Export Project with Stereo sound, but do not see Dual Mono option 02 Sep 2021 10:40 #116088

Welcome to the forums!

This actually should not matter because your project is always exported as stereo (or surround if you have chosen this option in the project settings), no matter if any of the original audio channels in the project are mono. Export your multicam project, import it in FCP again and you will see the audio is stereo.

The exceptions would be if you were to export your project as a multitrack QT movie, as separate audio files, or as MXF. Only in those cases can you set the exported audio channels to Mono or Stereo in the export Roles settings. But I don't think this is the case for you.

If you find that your audio is someway wrong when you use a mono audio channel in your project, you can select the mono clip in the Browser or on the Timeline and in the Inspector > Audio tab set the Pan Mode to Stereo Left/Right and see if this helps.

Of course, it would be useful to know what exactly you mean with "it causes a lot of audio issues for my audience". Is the audio distorted, do they hear the mono channel only in left or right speakers, is it too low or too loud...? This would help us find an exact solution to your problem.

- Ronny

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Need to Export Project with Stereo sound, but do not see Dual Mono option 02 Sep 2021 19:10 #116095

Thank you, Ronny!!! Maybe I'm creating a problem where there is no problem... or at least misidentifying the problem. Quick comments/ answers:

- The audio issues our teachers had were the audio was too low. This didn't affect everyone. I could hear it fine on iPad and iPhone, but SOME teachers using PC's with plugged in speakers in classrooms couldn't raise the volume enough.

- In the past, when I had the above audio issue, I had used a Sony ECM lav mic.... BUT, maybe the problem was with how I connected it to the camera. It's an XLR connection with an AA battery, BUT I connected it to a 3.5mm input into my Sony camera... so maybe that's the culprit in messing up the audio... maybe somehow it didn't allow the mic to get the power it needed. This is the same mic that I used when I've had issues, so this is probably the culprit... and I got paranoid when I saw a mono track in FCPX, thinking incorrectly that was my problem.

- To your point (See screenshot), once I get out of Multicam view and back to the main timeline, I DO SEE 2 channels of audio (even though my "lav" audio track is selected and has a "1" speaker icon, I have 2 meters for Left and Right... which is not what I see in Multicam). Does this mean FCPX automatically duplicates the track to both channels for the main timeline?

- ALSO to your point, I exported the project and reimported into FCPX and sure enough, it has 2 stereo audio channels.

- So, it exporting and reimporting the project the ultimate test I can do for audio? In other words, I want to be able to test before we start cranking out videos with the new lav setup and want to ensure that no matter what device or crappy speakers a user might have in classrooms, that our audio still works fine. That is probably to vague a question... but thought I'd ask! ;-)

Many thanks... you've eased my concerns tremendously!!!
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Need to Export Project with Stereo sound, but do not see Dual Mono option 02 Sep 2021 20:27 #116097

Thank you for the extra information, that is very helpful.

Based on this information, the mono audio channel is not related to the audio issues some people have with your videos. The problem is indeed that some people use old computers with crappy speakers. And that’s not your fault.

The only thing you can do is make sure that you mix your audio as loud as possible without getting any distortion. In your screenshot, I see that the average volume is relatively low (under -6dB) while you also have some peaks exceeding 0dB. You could drop a Limiter on the audio to increase the overall volume without clipping the peaks. I usually use the Logic Limiter that you find in Effects >Audio > Levels. If you are not familiar with Limiters, leave everything at default settings but increase the Gain until the average volume gets close to 0dB without getting too many peaks. In your case, I think a Gain setting of +6dB should do the trick.



- Ronny
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Last edit: by ronny courtens.

Need to Export Project with Stereo sound, but do not see Dual Mono option 02 Sep 2021 23:00 #116099

More good info, Ronny... thank you! I'm just getting into learning how to improve audio... I'll have to play with the limiter. I started playing with the compressor but it looks like limiter might be a better way for me to go for now. Part of the reason I purchased the Zoom F2 was because it has the 32 bit float, which is supposed to help with peaks. I think it does, because even though my screenshot shows lots of peaks, it sounds good... there is no obvious audible peaking, even when our talent uses the loud character voices. I'm assuming that's the 32 bit magic!

Thanks for your guidance with all the audio issues... I really appreciate that you took the time to answer them. Happy Thursday!

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