Can I automatically open a multitrack file as all separate channels, not the first two as stereo and the rest multichann

I have many audio files that are multichannel files [.ogg, .mogg, .flac 5.1 7.1].

Every time I open an audio file, the top two channels are always grouped together as stereo… and I don’t want it to launch that way. I use Audacity as a simple multitrack mixer. I don’t like having to split stereo tracks manually.

Any way to set the application to launch all files as separate multichannel tracks?

Thank you.

Currently no, though you could export as multiple mono tracks rather than as one multi-channel track.

I too have this need. In my case, six or eight channel WAV files (24 bit, 48kHz) for Digital Cinema and Broadcast Television.When I open such files (using 2.3.3) the first two channels appear as a stereo pair, the others as mono. I would really like all to be mono.

A workaround is to Split Stereo to Mono every time, however this leaves the tracks confusingly autonamed…

This might be a regression, I was previously using 2.1.2 which I think did not exhibit this behaviour

I would happily Donate if a fix appeared

Are the first two channels not “front left” and “front right”?

I also have this annoyance of always having to “split” the first stereo pair to two mono, and also for me the resulting track naming is confusing and meaningless.
And as I am working with a multi-microphone setup, first channel has nothing to do with “left” and second channel is not “right”, they are simply Mic1 and Mic2. So it makes no sense to keep them together.
I have no problem recompiling Audacity with a small modification to the code, as I am doing it in any case for enabling ASIO support.
Hence, if you could just point me to the point in the source code where this “intelligent” feature is coded, I will remove (comment) it and recompile…

I’ve only briefly tested on Linux, but you could try this:

In void TrackList::GroupChannels

         if ( groupSize > 1 ) {
            const auto channel = *iter++;
            channel->SetLinked( true );
            channel->SetChannel( Track::LeftChannel );
            (*iter++)->SetChannel( Track::RightChannel );
            while (iter != after)
               (*iter++)->SetChannel( Track::MonoChannel );


         if ( groupSize > 1 ) {
            const auto channel = *iter++;
            channel->SetLinked( groupSize == 2 );
            channel->SetChannel( groupSize == 2? Track::LeftChannel : Track::MonoChannel );
            (*iter++)->SetChannel( groupSize == 2? Track::RightChannel : Track::MonoChannel );
            while (iter != after)
               (*iter++)->SetChannel( Track::MonoChannel );

Let me know how it goes.

Steve, THANK YOU!!!
I recompiled Audacity, and your mod worked perfectly, now when I open a multichannel WAV file it is split in several mono channels, and that crappy stereo track for channel 1&2 is not anymore bugging me.
However, the problem is still present WHILE RECORDING.
In fact, if I start recording with my multichannel sound card, for example 8 channels, what I get is a stereo track for inputs 1&2, and 6 mono tracks for inputs 3 to 8.
Again, this makes little sense. I suppose that a similar modification must be applied in some other part of the program, so that, when I enable more than 2 input channels, I can record in many mono files, without packing channels 1&2 together.
Can you be so kind to point me to the code where this mod should be applied?
Final remarks: may I suggest that these mods are made available to everyone in the next release of Audacity? I really cannot see an usage scenario where this bad idea of packing in a stereo track just the first two channels can be of any utility…

Already done :slight_smile:
Thanks to you bringing this to our attention, the behaviour has been changed in Audacity 2.4.0 which is due to be released next month.
The fix is also available now in the current GitHub source code.

If you are interested in testing, I am hoping to announce (on this forum) a “release candidate” available some time around 1st May.