USB Audio Monitoring Adapter – Magic Lantern

For you Magic Lantern junkies, here's a DIY video from Vimeo member Moritz Graeser on using the USB port to monitor audio from the camera. Of course if you're already using an external LCD monitor with a headphone jack, disregard. The instructions aren't super clear, but from a USB connector, you'll probably be using the middle two wires. Green cable being 'data -' and the white cable being 'data+'. The outer wires normally red and black are for Power.

On another note, shouldn't a basic Mini USB to 3.5mm Adapter for 0.99 cents + Free Shipping work too? Maybe i'm missing something though..
Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 9.14.13 PM
find-price-button Mini USB to 3.5mm HeadPhone Jack

37 thoughts on “USB Audio Monitoring Adapter – Magic Lantern

  1. Kimberly

    So..I kinda went about this a little bit convoluted, but it should still work, shouldn't it? Using an approved canon cable to a usb, then a usb adapter to a usb to rca females, then red white rca males to a 3.5 jack male, then a female to femaile 3.5 mm jack to my headphones.
    Like ridiculous, but shouldn't it work? Thanks

  2. Tequila

    Better still, make up a little 9V battery driven headphone amp. Wire it for RCA in and 3.5mm out. As the AV connector is a line level output, with AGC turned off and gain backed off to avoid clipping, it's going to need some more power.

    This way you keep your canon cable intact and have a more practical level in the cans (as well as being able to use higher impedance).

  3. Last post correction: HDMI only. I did look at the canon cable and a standard mini usb, they are quite different! If anyone has a link to a cable that actually worked, aside from the $44 sescom cable, please post it.

  4. Jack Gyori

    Would there be a way to rig a mini usb to accept the a/v signal? Or is there a way to make an a/v connector that is in the shape of a mini usb? I'm trying to make a cable that would run: canon's mini usb (although it's not a mini usb) to a coaxial cable and then end with a bnc cable on the other side for monitoring video. I know that I can just buy rca to bnc adapters and use that, but i'm looking for a more elegant solution than trying to string a bunch of rca cables together and and then attaching bnc connectors on the ends. Any ideas?

  5. John Robins

    Perhaps what is needed is some kind of breakout cable/interface that takes the 'Special' Canon USB connector and provides a standard USB interface for computer interface and or DSLR controller-see Android apps, and a separate AV breakout interface for A?V connection. That way all the required standard USB connectivity is maintained for something like Magic Lantern and you can have head phone monitoring and a comp Video out put if required
    Just a thought, seems like just a breakout wiring to additional connectors issue.........

  6. anthony

    that MiniUSB to 3.5mm jack will not work, canon uses a proprietary 6 prong Mini-USB where as that is a 5 prong standard mini-usb.

  7. Hey Cheesycam, you should alter this blog post as the cheap mini-usb to 3.5mm adapters that you are linking to DO NOT WORK! I imagine lots of people are wasting thier money on these cables and there is not one on the market that has the correct outer shape & pin configuration to output audio from a canon 550 or 600d using magic lantern.


    Either by soldering to a 3.5mm female socket. Or by using a female phono to female 3.5mm adapter (more cables trailing but no soldering)

  8. juancho

    hey my original canon miniusb cable is not working!!! how do i install magic lantern????? what is magic lantern???? Thanx

  9. NOTE - Radio Shack - with 2 adapters about 2 inches each was under $20 bucks... so you can spend $50 bucks with shipping for one 5 inch cable or build your own.

    I was so mad that it didn't work from the Amazon link above, I wanted to try the cheep fix to see if it worked... it does. But if you can replace the canon cable - 2 Feet with one small cable for $50 bucks... well that is up to you.

    I would have if I didn't buy the worthless adapter at the top of this blog... (please correct this blog as it googles at the top thought its faulty info unless you read it.)

  10. NOTE - My directions above is with the MAGIC LANTERN CHRISTMAS EDITION 1.15.12 installed properly. (I assumed everyone knows that, but maybe not.)

    Also on Magic Lantern when installing which I DID NOT FIGURE OUT FROM THE DIRECTIONS OR TUTORIAL Videos on the MAC. You need to have on your card the CANON FIRMWARE UPGRADE SOFTWARE along with Magic Latern to modify both your cards and camera.

    Since, my camera was new, I didn't need to upgrade my firmware and thus it DID NOT WORK?!... what they don't say is that you need ON YOUR CARD... the program by canon that upgrades canon's firmware which will install properly Magic Lanterns updated firmware...

    I WRONGLY assumed that the camera had the upgrade firmware software as it says upgrading firmware... but NO - you need canons FIRMWARE SOFTWARE UPGRADE on the card for upgrading both Canon and Magic Lantern. This is not OBVIOUS FROM A RATIONAL POINT OF VIEW and from a non computer programmer...

    So for those BLOGGERS - please make this clear as it is NOT to us non tech filmmakers. Thanks. And thanks for the hack and directions though confusing, I figured it out.. and with my 2 cents will help some others.

  11. DO NOT BUY THE LINK audio connector above!!! - I DID. - IT DOES NOT WORK!
    I did, however, follow the forum and used the Canon cable that came with the camera and bought 2 adapters - 2 RCA to female and female to female and it worked fine on my new Rode Stereo mic and Canon D60.

    Note - I had to crank up the Analog input to the max, plus a bit on the digital input for normal audio recording.

    FYI - you absolutely need headsets, as just watching the meters in yellow caused MAJOR distortion when I yelled to put them there... not RED, but low yellow distorted...

    This was a surprise as I mix music in yellow below red all the time, but I'm sure an audio engineer or pro will say recording properly is separate from mixing and keeping it in the green at 75% is key. (feel free to correct me here. but the cable adapters do work with the canon cable on the canon D60)

  12. Mike C

    Hosa GRF-341 is what you're looking for. A $2-4 TRS-F to Dual RCA-F Coupler. That way you can still use your FREE supplied a/v cable, and keep things much tidier than people are making it out to be.

  13. Cameron

    You still need an amplifier of some sort. I bought one of those usb to headphone jacks and it did not work, but i did get the cable that came with the t2i to work. As Morgan Said the pins on the top are the A/V and some phones have the 11-pin usb BUT its square on one end so you cant use it on the camera 🙁

  14. Second chance. I used the USB cable provided by Canon with my T2i and an adapter RCA-Jack 3.5mm then plug my headphones and it work!

  15. Has anyone tried this on a non-ML hacked GH1 or GH2? I am looking for any solution to monitor audio while recording without a monitor. Thanks!

  16. Gerald

    The mini usb to 3.5mm did NOT work for my T2i. Only the Canon cable with some rca to 3.5mm works...for me.

  17. Tm

    I made a similar cable and I successfully used it for monitoring audio playback (not live) with my 60d without magic lantern. I left about a foot of cable in between the USB and 3.5mm jack to reduce the torquing load on the USB connector.

    Be aware that it cuts off the camera LCD video when plugged in, so you have to first navigate to the video you want to monitor with the LCD, then plug in the cable to hear audio, then unplug again. Not elegant but it works. Once the 60d version of Magic Lantern gets stable this cable will be much more useful, for live monitoring of the sound.

  18. Morgan

    Cutting the cable and putting an inline socket would have looked much tidier than this solution. This rigid adapter will put undue strain on the socket.

    The key thing people need to understand here, is that the "USB" port on the Canon is not just USB, the connector has two rows of pins. The bottom row is standard otg USB, the top row is A/V.

    I see a lot of people referring to this as a USB-audio adapter which is simply false, it's an audio-audio adapter with a stupid-plug(tm) on one end.

    Some phones use a similar combined USB/AV connector to save space. But they vary in their pin-out and form. There may be a cheap 99c adapter out there which works, but I've yet to see it.

    Canon made a bad decision to use this connector, I'm certain there is enough room for one more TRRS connector on the side of the camera. But they get to charge $30 for a replacement cable this way.


  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Serge - Yeah maybe they're just watching the video and not reading the article. Happens all the time...

  20. Reading through theses responses it still seems people are not getting how it works.... YOU NEED TO INSTALL MAGIC LANTERN FOR THIS TO WORK.

  21. Nick

    It might vary from unit to unit, but I've already gotten two off usb-3.5mm adapters off eBay that do not work for audio monitoring. Regardless, the audio on these cameras is nowhere near acceptable, so stick with dual system.

  22. Emm

    Post author

    @Arni Thor - The usb audio is only for Magic Lantern firmware with that feature.

  23. Does ML word as a amplifier too? I believe that the mini usb to 3.5mm adapter does not work because you have to amplify the signal

  24. Andrew Wood

    He could have preserved his Canon cable, and plugged its RCA audio connectors into a phono-to-3.5mm converter.

  25. D.S.

    You have to use the original Canon mini USB, because it has more pins than usual mini USBs.

  26. Arni Thor

    Does anyone have experience with the Mini USB to 3.5mm HeadPhone Jack on a canon DSLR? I have a canon 60d. Would it work?

  27. Emm

    Post author

    @J.S Lawrence - I don't believe you can, even if you have ML installed. If you are planning to use an external monitor, the LCD monitors with an audio out would work great.

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