How do I set tracks to be L or R with Audacity 2.2.1?

I feel a bit stupid here, because I simply cannot find how to do this with the newest Audacity 2.2.1. Will someone please just push me in the right direction.

I had previously been using 2.0.6 and noticed today that 2.2.1 was the latest version when I was about to do something I knew perfectly well how to do with 2.0.6. So first I updated to the latest 2.2.1, and then started my simple task. I just wanted to extract the DD5.1 audio (AC3) out of an MPG video clip I had made (using VideoRedo) from a Windows Media Center WTV file recording. The goal was simply to convert this 5.1 audio to FLAC, down-mixing the 5.1 channels into 2-channel stereo.

With 2.0.6 this was a trivial task. Just open the MPG file and all six tracks appear. With DD5.1 the six tracks are: L, R, C, SUB, LS, RS. Initially they are all treated simply as six “mono” tracks by Audacity.

Then for each of the four left or right tracks (i.e. 1, 2, 5 and 6) just click on the small down-arrow on the right side of the little track label at the top of the information area on the left side of each track. A dropdown menu appears, with “mono” currently checked, but with “left channel” and “right channel” shown directly below.

So for the two left channel tracks I click on “left channel”, and for the two right channel tracks I click on “right channel”. Now I have the left/right channels assigned properly. And the remaining two C and SUB they are already defined as “mono” and so will be downmixed equally into the new 2-channel stereo FLAC audio-only file I am creating.

Then I simply click on Tracks → Max and render, and a new downmixed 2-channel stereo result appears. I then click on File → Export audio…, and with FLAC selected I simply navigate to the target folder and name the file as I want, and VOILA! I’m done.

Imagine my frustration when I embarked on the exact same approach using the newly upgraded 2.2.1 of Audacity. For some reason they have clearly MOVED the track channel designation mechanism to somewhere else, which I simply cannot find. Unless there is already an understanding about the channel assignments from the opening of the MPG file itself, I don’t know how to now designate which of the 6 channels is left or right, so that the down-mix to 2-channel stereo is correct. And even if there is already an understanding about the channel assignments without my having to specify them, what if I wanted to reverse channels or otherwise fool around? Surely I should still be able to identify each track and how I want it treated, and you’d think it’s still available in 2.2.1 but just moved to some other menu navigation location.

Here is how that new 2.2.1 dropdown list looks, which you’ll notice DOES NOT HAVE the “mono” or “left channel” or “right channel” items as appeared on the 2.0.6 dropdown list.

So, please, can someone direct me to where and how in Audacity v2.2.1 I can now assign my tracks as left or right (or leave them as mono), for purposes of downmixing into a 2-channel stereo result?


Those menu items have been removed. You now use the pan sliders to assign the tracks to left, right, or somewhere in between.

And the only oddity about using either of these techniques is magically creating a stereo show which isn’t obvious until you Export the work and then open it again. The exported sound waves and the created show don’t match.

But you knew that was going to happen already.


Many thanks.

Personally, I find the use of the term “Pan” non-inuitive, but then I’m not a professional audio person nor am I the software author. But given that I obviously didn’t just immediately investigate the Tracks menu in my hunt for where the feature would now be located, and select that PAN item assuming that’s where I would find the LEFT/RIGHT/MONO control… well, to be honest, I think the choice of “PAN” as the heading wasn’t something I would have guessed at. I don’t know why it was moved from the dropdown list heading each track itself (where even rookie me found it immediately, investigating what that down-arrow FOR THIS SPECIFIC TRACK would reveal), but if they took an opinion poll I would vote “negative” on whether this was a good change or not. I honestly question why it had to be disappeared from that down-arrow list at all, even if PAN was to be added to the Tracks menu.

Oh well.

And once the LEFT or RIGHT is selected and the “channel” graphic on the track simultaneously moves, I now assume I could have just directly pulled that “pan” slider (drawn on each track) all the way left or right in the first place to accomplish the identical result of designating the nature of this track. I probably didn’t need to use the dropdown arrow menu with the old 2.0.6, and I probably don’t need to use the Tracks → PAN flyout with 2.2.1. But then I’m not fluent in Audacity, so once a long time ago when I learned how to accomplish just what I wanted to accomplish, I just never experimented further.

Anyway, thank you again for the much appreciated instructions for how to get this done with 2.2.1.

I think you’re working too hard. There is no Tracks menu. You go to the left of each track and drag the slider. Everything else follows you.

Left, Left, Center, Right, Right, Half Volume.

About that fast. Have you been reducing the volume of the rear tracks? I think I would. Those don’t contribute much to a stereo mix. I think it’s standard practice to dip the LFE to at least half, and maybe more.


DSperber, are you using the menu here now?

I agree with Koz, that’s making it too hard - just use the pan sliders to the left of each track.