3 stereo tracks, not 2 and Audacity insists on combing to 1


I’m using Audacity on an iMac with Yosemite 10.10.5. I obtained via the .dmg. And I have been using Audacity for years with no issues.

Tonight, I recorded a Skype video audio call using Call Recorder. It saved as a Quicktime file, which I then re-recorded via Audio Hijack 3.2.0.

So far, so good.

I opened Audacity and imported the Audio Hijack file. Oddly, it showed 3 tracks instead of the usual 2. The first track had very little data; the second and third looked normal. When I went to export as a .wav file, I saw a new message:

“Your tracks will be mixed down to a single mono channel in the exported file.”

What the heck happened? I didn’t change any values along the way.

Any advice, thoughts?

Thank you.


Either, something changed with Skype, or with Call Recorder, or with Audio Hijack, or with what you did with one of those.

Regarding the Audacity side, the behaviour has been the same for years:
If the audio file has 1 channel, Audacity will import it as 1 mono track,
If the audio file has 2 channels, Audacity will always import it as one stereo track.
If the audio file has 3 channels, Audacity will import it as 3 mono tracks.

More generally, Audacity will only import as stereo tracks if the file has exactly two audio channels, otherwise it imports each channel as a separate mono track.

What are the “usual 2”? Is that one end of the Skype call on the left and the other end on the right?
What do you want to end up with?

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your time.

“The usual 2” referred to what I normally see when I import a file to audacity, two horizontally stacked audio files.

I will go back through the various steps and see if I inadvertently changed something.



Is that one end of the Skype call on the left and the other end on the right, or is it both ends of the conversation in both channels? If you listen on headphones, do you hear your voice in one ear and the other person in the other, or both voices through both ears?