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I have a video camera and two lavalier microphones which both come with 3.5mm audio connections. My camera only has one 3.5mm microphone input port. I would like to mix both microphones, which are originally mono, by channeling them into the left and right channels on the camera directly. I do not want to use a mixer, since it is heavy and expensive.

My question: which audio splitter cable do I get to make this happen? Reason I’m asking is most splitters are designed either for dual headphone output or for combined headphone output+microphone input. I need an adapter with two microphone inputs, which takes the left channel from one connection and right channel from another. Does such a thing even exist?

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  • "It depends"… on a lot of things. There's no standard pinout for a video camera mic port nor one for a mic, so we cannot even guess from the info provided. See service.shure.com/s/article/… for a whole lot of other reasons it might or might not work with a passive splitter.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 21, 2022 at 16:09

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This is a tricky question, and much depends on the specifics of your camera and the microphones you're using. Without those details, it's impossible to make specific recommendations.

In broad strokes, here are some things you need to consider:

  1. Do your lavalier microphones require power? Most condenser lavs do, and that has to be supplied through the cable and connector (often TRRS, for tip ring ring sleeve). You'll have to make sure that whatever splitter contraption you work up gets power to both lavalier mics if needed.
  2. Does your camera offer independent manual record levels for the left and right mic inputs? If not, you'll be setting one record level for both microphones. This may create a large volume difference between the mics (which you should be able to make up for in post).
  3. Do you want a splitter contraption hanging off your camera? Those 3.5mm jacks are notoriously flimsy, and the more stuff you attach to them the greater the risk. At least put your splitter(s) on a short cable and tape everything so it doesn't get snagged and break your camera.

You're not the first to face this problem, obviously, so keep researching solutions other people have come up with. At least splitters are inexpensive, so you're not out a lot of money if your first attempt or two fails.

A shoe-mount mixer sure would be a tidy solution...

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  • 1. Yes, both senders and receivers are battery-powered. 2. We can assume the levels can be adjusted in post. 3. Yes I do. I 3D print various camera attachments that go around the camera. In this case it will be a cold shoe mount that will have additional cold shoe mounts for the two mics. Nov 6, 2022 at 14:15

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