Changing Stereo to Mono

Hi, I’m new to audacity and I have a music project to do.

I am supposed to combine pieces of music with another, however one of the songs is in mono, while the other is in stereo. When i try to change the stereo to mono, i only get half the sound. I need to be able to change from stereo to mono without losing anything.


How are you trying to do this? Are you using “Stereo Track to Mono” under the “Tracks” menu? --Allen

yes, i split the stereo and but it into mono. But when i cut and paste into a new track, the audio is on half.

Hmm… You answer “yes” to my question, but you also say you “split the stereo”. Splitting the stereo is a more difficult method than the one I asked if you had tried. Try selecting your stereo track, and then clicking “Stereo Track to Mono” under the “Tracks” menu. It’s simpler and it should work just as well. --Allen

I can’t set stereo into mono, the only way to change it into mono is too split it and make each mono individually.

but when i cut and paste only half the audio is carried over.

Why can’t you use “Stereo Track to Mono”? Because the command is not there? Or you tried and got an error, or nothing happened? What version of Audacity are you using? I use 1.3.7, but I just checked 1.2.6 and I see that “Stereo Track to Mono” is not there. So one option might be to install 1.3.7, if you’re using 1.2.6. You don’t even have to uninstall 1.2.6; you can have both.

On the other hand, if you want to stick with 1.2.6, you should still be able to do this. I think you might be doing it wrong. I don’t see why you would be cutting and pasting. You should 1) split the stereo track, 2) make each of the two tracks mono, 3) select those two tracks, and 4) select “Quick Mix” from the Project menu. It sounds like you’re doing steps 1 and 2 correctly, but maybe not 3 and 4.

I’m off to sleep for a while, but good luck. --Allen

What about making a pseudo-stereo track consisting of two identical copies of your mono track, then mixing this pseudo-stereo track with your true-stereo recording ?.

The pseudo-stereo (mono x2) can be made by using “add new audio track” with a copy of the mono track, then selecting “make stereo track”.

Based on what I’ve gleaned from other sources, and a reiteration/clarification of Allen’s comment above:

1 - Split the stereo track into two tracks (drop-down menu to the left of the ‘X’ for closing out the track on the top left of that window → Split Stereo Track)

2 - Assign each track to be “Mono” (under same top drop down menu on top left, now two of them after splitting)

3 - Adjust the gain slider (-…+) to -6 to prevent clipping while joining (I’m still learning about this and some may see this as unnecessary)

4 - Go to Project > Quick Mix to join the two mono channels into one mono track.

After that, in the case of podcasting, I export the project as a WAV file, then use the Razorlame (Windows - )front end to the Lame library to convert the WAV file into an MP3 using these advanced ‘Custom options’:

-V2 --vbr-new -q0 --lowpass 19.7

Wonderful sound quality, small file size.


In the current Audacity 1.3 these 4 steps can be replaced with:
1 - Tracks menu > Stereo Track to Mono

No they cannot. In 1.3.9 the mono track comes out half the volume. This is not an acceptable solution. What I want is the left channel copied to the right channel, not both channels mixed down to one.

If that’s correct then you should stop using 1.3.9 (it’s obsolete) and update to the current 1.3 version (1.3.12)

The earlier Audacity versions between 1.3.5 and 1.3.9 all had serious operations problems. 1.3.12 was the first version in a long time that had very minor problems and solved way more problems that it created. It’s almost universally recommended over all the other versions.

Remember to get your lame and FFMpeg from the same place you got your Audacity. They’re different.