Everybody Knows if you record mono from a stereo Interface Audacity will try to reduce the recording volume by half or -6dB. This regularly kills people trying to record a mono microphone into a mono audiobook with a stereo interface.
How? Where is that 6dB reduction produced? This was only of fuzzy interest until people started to experience very serious recording volume damage—almost like that 6dB reduction thing went nuts.
This is the same behavior as Mix Stereo To Mono has; the tracks essentially get averaged.
It seems like we’ll be exploring a fix for this in more detail during the next development cycle. It coincides with multi-track recording capabilities, in particular recording desktop audio and your own mic at the same time - or recording 2 USB mics at the same time.
I have some designs for this already:
The question now is whether this is a technically easy change, or whether it involves more massive restructurings like we’ve had creep up on us during the last couple releases.
They just bought a good quality microphone that they’re using through a good quality stereo interface in a quiet, echo-free room. They always have to apply a change. Record in perfect stereo, convert to two-track mono, and lop off the dead track --or-- Record in mono at half volume with double the noise, and apply a volume boost.
I wouldn’t mind a single, secret, hidden setting that stops this process.
The Obsessive Engineer standing behind me wants a sensor that if there’s nothing on the right channel, it automatically checks that box.