I need my left and right speakers to match up

I recorded a podcast in Garageband and somehow I have different right and left balance on the audio. Sometimes the right speaker will be louder and sometimes the left speaker will be louder. I want the same level of sound to come out of both speaker all of the time so I am playing with Audacity, but there are just so many options and I don’t see anything in the help files I’ve encountered that direct me how to get the result I want. Most people have multiple instruments and all that, but I just have the sound of my voice. I’ve spent hours searching and fiddling so I apologize for posting something that is probably super easy . . . it’s very much not easy for me. TIA.

Listening to my podcast sounds like being on a roller-coaster with the sound shifting from ear to ear. It hurts. :angry:

So it’s just one voice on the recording?
The easiest way to get exactly the same sound out of both speakers is:

Using Audacity 1.3.11

  1. Open Audacity
  2. File menu > Import Audio (import your recording)
  3. Tracks menu > Stereo to Mono
  4. Press “Play” and check that it sounds OK
  5. File menu > Export (select the export location, file type etc. and Export the finished project as an audio file. If the Metadata Editor pops up, just click “OK” on it.)

normalise then
convert to mono
that should balance the sound in each channel
if not
then it is the playback gear doing something to it

I think I am already at mono as that option is grayed out:

But you can see the balance is not equal.

He’s right. Your playback system is doing something to the sound. That’s a mono sound track and it will normally play equally on both speakers – if the speakers are OK.

Do you have headphones or earbuds? Try plugging them into your computer to listen.

The blue waves above and below 0 are not left and right. That’s the ebb and flow of the air vibration on one single sound track.

This is a Stereo show…

The top line of blue waves is left and the bottom line of blue is right. They are clearly not quite the same, so this is a stereo piano – you can tell where in the room it is by listening.


I gave the podcast to my students (graduate level) and many of them noted the same thing. I have been doing a podcast every week and last week was the first time my students complained. So, this week I checked and I noticed it as well (and I’ve since noticed it last week). When I record the audio, I notice that it’s out of balance in the original recording as well:

If I record as mono then this shouldn’t be happening, I wouldn’t think. Hmmm.

Might you have given them a stereo version?
The track (name “629_ID_par”) in your screenshot is, as you say, a mono track.

Well, I just recorded it again using my Snowball mic and this time I recorded as stereo and both sides are exactly even. Who knows? It’s working correctly though so I guess that’s all that matters. I do appreciate that everyone was so willing to help.

and the crossovers are perfect
and the speakers are perfectly balanced
and the preamp is balanced
and the amp is balanced
and nothing else has any engineering approximations that are frequency dependent

and no room reflections or other artifacts

what is out of balance?
that is a mono signal shown
not a left vs right channel comparison

negative voltages do not always equal positive voltages
and at various magnifications it will look drastically different

different apparent peaks do not replay as stereo over speakers