This is particularly helpful when you have a mono clip (for example, a voice over) or separate mics on each channel of a multitrack clip (for example, an interviewer on channel one and the interview subject on channel two). In these instances, there's no need to edit the audio onto two tracks to make it play out of both the left and right speakers (channels). Instead you can set the clip to split the one signal out to both the left and right channel, so you only have to edit it onto one track. This panning operation goes by several names (center pan, mid, or mono), but it all means the same thing.
One thing to be aware of is that when you center pan a clip, the audio level will be reduced by about 3 dB due to the nature of how Media Composer deals with how we perceive audio levels when panned (called the Pan Law). So, depending on your situation, you may find that after setting a clip to mid you will need to increase the level by 3 dB in order to return it to its level prior to being center panned.
There are three methods available to center pan a clip depending on your needs. This recipe presents one method, and the other two can be found in the There's more... section. None of the methods make any alterations to the actual media file(s). This is just a setting that is applied to the Master Clip that can be adjusted at any time, including in the sequence.
This method is a fast and simple way to adjust one or more clips in a bin to center pan. It's also important to note that this method will affect all the tracks in a Master Clip.
Import or capture your audio file(s) into a bin.
Select the clip(s) you want to adjust.
Go to the Clip menu and select Center Pan.
A confirmation window opens.
Click on OK.
The following are two additional methods to adjust audio pan before editing clips into the sequence:
Open the Audio Mixer tool from the Tools menu.
Set the Audio Mixer to Clip Volume and Pan mode, which is abbreviated simply as Clip. This is done by clicking on the Audio Mixer Mode button in the upper right-hand corner of the Audio Mixer tool.
Load a Master Clip into the Source Window.
Select the pan entry/display box (see the following screenshot).
Enter one of the following values:
0(zero) to set the pan to MID
-100to set the pan to 100% left channel
+100to set the pan to 100% right channel
Open the Import settings: Project Window | Settings tab | Import.
Select the Audio tab of the Import settings.
Enable/check the setting that says Automatically center pan monophonic clips.
Now, when you import an audio file (or a video file containing mono audio), this pan setting will automatically be applied.