When recording audio the sounds recorded are either preserved in a single channel which is usually a mono recording or the audio signal is separated into two which is a stereo channel recording. Sometimes when playing back the recorded sound on your headphones or speakers you only get to hear audio on the left side.
This problem is quite recurrent with beginners on most of the digital audio workstations and on different audio interfaces. In this particular case, we are looking at a guide to solving this issue in Adobe Audition. This guide will address your general mic to the interface to the laptop setup. Also, what settings are you supposed to pick before starting a recording.
Why You are Experiencing this Problem?
First, you have an audio interface connected to your laptop to help you capture good-quality recordings of your podcast. This audio interface is two-channeled or has more. Most beginners use these types of entry-level interfaces. An example is the XTUGA E-22 Audio interface. They are smaller, not so sophisticated, and cheaper. Actually, some professionals prefer these in some cases due to their easily portable characteristics. Like when recording while traveling.
Ideally, you have a simple setup as shown below. This is for the podcast recording that you do on Adobe Audition.
The microphone is plugged in to capture sound, an audio interface connected to the microphones to process, monitor, and combine audio signals, and a laptop for capturing the recorded signals. The headphone is for listening to your voice during the recording session.
From the image, my recording has two audio waveforms meaning both my right and left channels are working fine. Adobe Audition is also set at stereo recording which is why there are two waveforms.
So, what if we are using one mic plugged into the interface and recording in stereo?
Here is what my recorded waveform will look like.
The reason why I am getting a recording on one channel is that the audio interface is two-channeled I have one microphone plugged into one input. The first mic with the orange audio waveform is plugged into input 1 which is designated for the left channel. The second one which is designated for the right is unplugged hence no recording will be captured from the right channel. Remember, in my Adobe audition software, I have set my recording on stereo.
If I unplug input 1 and leave input 2 plugged in I will only record on the right channel.
Therefore whether it is a digital audio workstation or video recording and editing software that you are recording onto, the audio will only record on one track if you are using one audio source plugged in and you are recording on stereo.
The Solution in Adobe Audition
If you have established that everything is plugged in correctly launch Adobe Audition software. Start a new recording. Do this by using Keyboard shortcuts Shift + Spacebar. You can also use Ctrl + Shift + N.
This will open a dialogue box.
Type under the File Name how you want to name your file, and leave the sample rate and the Bit Depth as is. Change the channels into mono so that the audio being recorded is combined into one channel.
Now when I hit record I will have a mono recording that I will hear on both sides of my headphones when I start editing. The audio wave should look like this.
Simply, this is the solution to any DAW that you are using. Just change the setup to mono prior to starting the recording.
The Solution with your Audio Interface
On one of my initial days working with a multi-channeled mixer, I was tasked with cleaning the top part of it. This was a Behringer 1204FX mixer and in the process of cleaning it, I readjusted a number of knobs. One knob that I adjusted was a panning knob for one of the channels. In the next recording session, the audio was audible on the left channel.
These knobs can be adjusted as shown in the image below.
If you adjust the knob as shown in A you are sending the audio signal to the right channel of the stereo output. In C the signal only plays in the left channel. At B the channels are balanced hence the audio plays on both channels. So if you are using a mini mixer in your recordings and come across this problem check the pan knob.
Alternatively, if you are using an entry-level audio interface, there is a solution to this on the hardware. There is a mono switch on these interfaces. So it combines your input sources into one mono track so that when monitoring your sound you get audio playing on both sides of your headphones or on both speakers.
In a case where you made a purchase note that the audio interface works well, it is only that this button is off hence that is why your headphones is only playing audio on the left side.
An important point to note is that this is only for the playback. This means this button only affects the sound playing from your interface but whether the recording is mono or stereo comes down to how you have set up your adobe audition.
In summary, this issue might be occurring due to the cases mentioned in this article. It is essential therefore that you always check all of them before starting the recording. Check the panning knob and make sure it is set in the middle or at twelve. Secondly, set up the setting in adobe for your new file as a mono recording.
Lastly, for those having a headphone plugged in while recording to monitor how you sound and the audio that you are getting is only audile on the left side make sure the mono switch (If any exists on your interface. Not all do have this feature) is on.