Premiere Pro Tutorial Part 74: Stereo to Dual Mono

By Andrew Devis (doodleNEWS)

In tutorial 73, we talked about creating a dreamy glow visual effect. Today, let’s take a look at how to manipulate your stereo audio to make it two separate mono channels. Some cameras have 2 audio inputs and it is quite common for those inputs to be recording audio from 2 separate sources. For example, I often film with a directional mic on the camera into input 1 and a radio mic into input 2.

Now, the problem with that is that unless you separate these 2 audio channels BEFORE you use them in a timeline, Premiere Pro will see them as a Stereo pair and so adjusting one will affect the other. This means that if I try and turn down the directional mic I end up turning down the radio mic and vice-versa.

Unmatched Audio Levels

Unmatched Audio Levels

In the picture above you can see the large waveform from the radio mic and the smaller waveform from the directional mic both in one stereo pair.

So, how to we change these tracks to mono so we can edit each channel independently?

Method 1: Changing them after importing clips into your project panel.

This is done by right-clicking the clips you wish to change BEFORE ADDING THEM TO THE TIMELINE to get the following menu.

Right-Click Options

Right-click Menu

This gives you the following dialogue where you select the ‘Preset’ drop-down and ‘Mono’

Change Preset to Mono

Selecting Mono

Hit ok and then, when you add that file to your timeline, the audio will come in as 2 separately adjustable audio channels.

Now 2 Separate Mono Audio Tracks

2 Separate Mono Audio Tracks

Method 2: Do this for the whole project through your Preferences.

Select Edit>Preferences>Audio (PC) or Premiere Pro>Preferences>Audio (Mac) then look for the ‘Default Audio Tracks’ section and in the ‘Stereo Media’ drop-down select ‘Mono’. Now, all stereo media you import after making this change will have the audio split into 2 independent tracks.

Changing Preference Options

Changing Preference Options

In our next Premiere Pro tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to interpret footage that Premiere doesn’t know what to do with. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our growing list of Premiere Pro tutorials here.

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