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I’m working on a song in FL Studio, and I’m encountering a rather puzzling problem. The song plays fine on my laptop, in FL and as an MP3, and comes out of both sides of my headphones. For some reason when I play the same MP3 on my phone, the song reverts to mono, and plays out of one side only. Any tips?

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  • We don't have enough information to go on. Have you tested the file to see if it's stereo & that it has data on both sides of the stereo field?
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 16 at 16:00
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How are you listening from your phone?

Import the MP3 to FL Studio and check the left/right balance. If it's what you expect, then try listening to it in your car, ideally from a device that isn't your phone.

You might get mono from your phone if the Bluetooth device you use only supports mono. It's not very common for headphones, but not unheard of (ha). Sometimes it's hard to tell since many songs are produced to sound good on club speakers (not always, but often mono).

If you're certain the file is stereo, then the next step to troubleshoot would be the connection between your phone and your ears. You can troubleshoot by testing the following:

  • Plug into your phone directly, if you can (i.e., a 3.5mm jack if your phone has it)
  • Use a Bluetooth headset
  • Connect to your car (or someone's car) via Bluetooth
  • Do the above, but with a different audio file (you can probably find a speaker test file somewhere, or you can find something like this on Soundcloud, spotify, or other streaming sites).
  • Check the app you use to play the file. Are there settings you can configure? Is the app capable of stereo playback?
  • Check if this happens to any other files, or just this one. This may point to an issue with the file or the way it was mastered.
    • Check the effects you have on the master channels to make sure you aren't accidentally setting something to mono.
    • Step through each plugin/effect/vst with a visualizer. Position one before and before the effects you want to check. Look for differences in levels on L/R.

Good luck!

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  • Yep, turns out my headphones are faulty :/ Thanks for the help!
    – MullerA
    Jan 18 at 23:24

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