Adjusting stereo with when recorded with Zoom H6

I recently bought a Zoom H6 mainly to record my acoustic guitar. It came with Cubase Le and Wavelab LE but I haven’t figured those programs out yet, especially Cubase which I find very confusing so, for now, I’m using Audacity which I have used for simple projects for years. I’ve always liked its user-friendliness. I have a couple questions but please keep in mind that I’m not an audio expert by any stretch of the imagination so please keep any answers simple.

The Zoom H6 comes with an XY mic and an MS mic. If I record with the MS mic in MS RAW mode, I can then adjust the stereo width after I make the recording in, presumably, most DAW programs, but I’m not sure if I can do it in Audacity. I did copy the MS Decoder driver into the Audacity plug-ins. To use the feature mentioned above, that driver is copied to the plug-ins in Cuebase or Wavelab so I figured I would copy it into the Audacity plug-ins too to see if it works with Audacity. But I don’t know how I would use that feature or even if it will work with Audacity. Does anyone know if it will work with Audacity and, if so, how I would do it?

While I’m posting I have another question. I copied two more Zoom H6 drivers into Audacity plug-ins as instructed to do for Cuebase and Wavelab. They are the H6 Mulitrack Asio Driver and the H6 Stereo Asio Driver. As I said, I’m new to all of this so I’m not really clear on what ASIO is but my understanding is that it allows users to bypass their soundcard while recording to avoid latency problems. Do these drivers give me that feature with Audacity and, again, how would I use them if they do?

Sorry if I didn’t explain this all well. I’m new to all of this.

Audacity does not ship with ASIO support (due to licensing restrictions). If the Zoom H6 drivers include WDM drivers, then the WDM drivers should work with Audacity, though you will not have any advanced features that may be provided by the ASIO drivers. If you have programming experience it is possible to build Audacity from the source code with ASIO enabled (for personal use only - the license terms prohibit distribution of ASIO builds). If you don’t have previous programming experience, then building from the source code on Windows could be rather complicated and involves installing some very large and complex software from Microsoft.

Sorry, I’ve no idea if that will work with Audacity. It’s not our product so we have no information about it.

In theory it is possible, and relatively easy to decode it manually.

I don’t have any MS stereo recordings to test, but the theory is quite straightforward.
The MS stereo track will appear in Audacity as a 2 channel (stereo) track.

Optionally, you can “mix and render” the tracks to create a single stereo track (Tracks menu > Mix and Render)

Whoops! I found the answer to my second question so I removed it. I couldn’t find the drop-down command to split the stereo track in the Tracks menu but then found it in the track itself. Thanks much and thank you for your clear instructions.

You did not say what version of Audacity - see the pink panel at the top of this page. If you do not have the latest 2.0.6, get it here

Yes, as you found while I was typing this, Split Stereo Track is not in the Tracks menu but in the Track Drop-Down Menu.

In any case, if you get the 32-bit version of the Zoom MS Decoder from it should work in Audacity. See How do I install VST plug-ins?.


Thanks. I have 2.0.6.

I am having a little trouble with this. (I really appreciate your help!)

Here’s where I am:

I split the original stereo track into two mono tracks. Then I highlighted and duplicated the (presumably side track) with Edit/Duplicate and it duplicated it but it also duplicated the top track. I.E, I have four mono tracks now. I’m not sure if that’s a problem.

But then I highlighted one of the two side tracks and inverted it (Effect/Invert) but that had a visual effect on all four tracks even though I selected just one of the duplicated side tracks. I’m also surprised that the invert made both sets of matching tracks appear to be the same. The two side tracks changed but they look identical after the invert.

I couldn’t figure out how to join the two mono side tracks to make one stereo track because they weren’t in consecutive order so I deleted one of the original mid tracks. That’s probably wrong but I’m trying to figure this out. Now I have one mono mid track and one stereo side track but the stereo side tracks appear to be identical so I don’t think I will be able to adjust stereo separation. As I mentioned above, when I did the Invert, it changed all tracks including the non-selected original mid track but it made the separated mono tracks from the side track identical but different from they looked originally.

I feel like a dummy! :blush: I appreciate your patience with this dumb newbie.

I think that you may not actually be “selecting” correctly. If no audio is selected, then by default, Audacity will select the entire project and the effect will be applied to everything.

The quickest way to select the audio in a track (assuming that there is just one continuous piece of audio in the track) is to double click on the audio waveform.
More information about “selecting” is here:

Ah! That did it. You were right. I wasn’t selecting the track correctly. Now I just got two mono tracks and when I selected the duplicated one for the (presumably) side track, the invert only affected the one that I (this time) selected correctly. It didn’t make too much of a change but it did change it. I guess I was expecting to see a pronounced change with the inversion.

Now I’ll go on and see what happens.

Again, thank for all your help and patience.

You’ll see a much more obvious change if you zoom in really close on the waveform:

The plug-in is much less effort. It seems to work fine.


Zooming in wasn’t the problem. In fact, I did zoom in. Your graph confirms what I expected to see. That is, a pattern that is actually inverted. My patterns aren’t. They are just slightly different. I’ll see if I can post a screenshot of them. It’ll take a few minutes.

Well, at least I was able to do the things you helped me with. It doesn’t appear that the stereo separation can be adjusted, though. I get no separation effect when I adjust the gain sliders. I simply make each track louder or softer. Maybe it just isn’t possible to use this effect in Audacity. But I learned a few things from you that I didn’t know before.

I wish I could get that feature to work in Audacity because I like Audacity so much more than the Cubase LE and Wavelab LE that came with the Zoom. I find Cuebase, in particular, to be incredibly confusing. I told a friend who has some studio recording experience about it and he said “No problem!” But after he played with Cuebase for a while, he gave up in frustration. My audio needs have been very basic previously but now that I have the Zoom, I want to learn more.

Here is a screenshot. The bottom two tracks are the side track and the duplicate of it. The bottom one has been inverted. As you can see, there is virtually no difference although when I executed the invert, I saw a slight change in the graph but it’s hardly noticeable.

I must be doing something wrong - obviously.

You mentioned a plug-in. Which one are you referring to and how do I access it. I have all the plug-ins that I know of for my Zoom. The only one I couldn’t install was the 32 bit ASIO driver. I got an error when I tried to install that one.
Audacity screenshot.JPG

but less “educational” :wink:

If you could post a (preferably short) sample somewhere on the Internet and then post a download link I’ll have a look. allows files up to 300 MB to be posted without requiring registration.

Zoom in closer and you will see that it is inverted.
The quick way to zoom in and out is to hold down the Ctrl key and rotate the mouse wheel (assuming that you have a mouse with a wheel).

I’ll check that out (zooming again) but shouldn’t I see the graphs moving in opposite directions?

BTW, I confirmed that I have both the 64-bit and 32-bit MS decoder .dlls in Audacity plug-ins.

I apologize if I seem to be an idiot. I’m not really but this stuff is new to me so my questions are probably pretty dumb. Again, I appreciate your help and patience.

“If you could post a (preferably short) sample somewhere on the Internet and then post a download link I’ll have a look. allows files up to 300 MB to be posted without requiring registration.”

Let’s see if this works. Here’s a zipped Audacity project. I just imported a song and didn’t do anything with it. Sorry for the low audio quality. I didn’t feel like repeating. I made it the lowest quality WAV format that the Zoom allows because the this feature only works with WAV files.

Almost … I’ve got the _data folder but not the .AUP file. Both parts of the project are needed.
The AUP file can be posted directly to the forum - use the “Upload attachment” option below the message composing box.

“Almost … I’ve got the _data folder but not the .AUP file. Both parts of the project are needed.
The AUP file can be posted directly to the forum - use the “Upload attachment” option below the message composing box”

I hope the attached is what you need.

Like a dummy, I didn’t see the Zoom plug-in in Audacity. When I read the track into audacity, the bottom track is clearly the side mic track. I thought I had it! But then I found that the Zoom stereo separation tool does really strange things. For example, I may turn down the side mic volume but it makes it go up. Or it makes both the mid and side mic go up. (I have the track selected correctly.) It does really strange and inconsistent things.

So then I decided that since I had a mid and side track, all I would have to do is what was suggested above. That is, split the stereo track into two mono tracks and then adjust he volume of each separately. At first I thought that the gain wasn’t working because the graph doesn’t show any change when I change the gain but I see that the volume does go up even though the graph doesn’t show it. And, after inverting the duplicate side channel, I to see that is inverted now.

I just wish the Zoom add-on would work right. I’m thinking that maybe it just isn’t compatible with Audacity. The effect is really pronounced as you adjust it while monitoring the Zoom but the Zoom tool acts crazy and inconsistently. One time it will do as expected, the next time it will do the opposite and the next time it will change both the mid and side equally.

The reason I wanted to get the stereo separation thing working is that I’m going to New Orleans next month and I realized that it would be fun to record in blues and jazz clubs as well as record street musicians. In clubs, it would be nice to balance the center mic with the side mics to get just the right about of audience noise, etc. It could work really well with passing street parades too. It looks like I will probably have to adjust that when I record if I want to have any reliable control of stereo separation. Or maybe I’ll figure out why it’s not working right. Even so, I learned a lot with your help.
Audacity project.aup (2.29 KB)

Yes, that’s it.

By the way, to “quote” some text, scroll down below the message compose box and select the text from a previous post, then click the “Quote” button that is at the top right corner of that message. The selected text will be copied into the message composing box with “quote tags” either side, looking like this:

[quote]quoted text here[/quote]

The technique that I described definitely works. Try importing these two files into Audacity, then using the mute or solo buttons, switch from one to the other and compare them. The difference is most evident when listening through headphones.

Doing an “A/B” comparison is easier if you set the solo button behaviour to “Simple”. See here for how to do that:

It behaves completely consistently compared to doing the task manually, as far as I can tell.

You are running it on the original MS file, aren’t you?

After splitting to mono, you have to duplicate the side channel, invert the duplicate then join the original side channel and the inverted, duplicate side channel into a stereo track.

The gain sliders and the pan sliders are applied in real time as the track is played but do not modify the audio data stored on disk.

When you mix and render the tracks, the gain is rendered to the data and the waveform will change.


The task can also be done using the Nyquist Channel Mixer plugin (
Perhaps I should add a MS Decoder preset to it?