I professionally miss mono and Hz

I know it’s viewed as something that would be widely unpopular by trying to find the answer to my conundrum and finding old conversations, but I really need a mono option in my Audacity. So perhaps it’s been complicated past my user intuition and it’s still there? I did find the the “custom mix” option in the preferences thanks to an old post in this forum, but I’m left without being able to choose my hz. It also didn’t make sense to me; choose a channel.

Let me explain better. I am recording my lines for an audio drama. Audio dramas still use mono for the most part - I don’t know why. I’m sure it has something to do with artificial widening and mixing on their own terms. Anyway, the audio drama I’m recording for has been going since the 80’s which means I’m sure they know what they’re doing by now.

The requirements for my files are mono and 44100 hz. With audacity I used to have these options to set on export to mp3. Now I don’t. And I sincerely need them. And if I need them, scores of other voice actors need them.

So how can I export my lines in the options required with the latest audacity? I’m not a sound mix expert, so when I see these OTHER options I have no idea if they’re even close to what I need.

Running Windows 7 stubbornly.

Thanks for your time!

So that we can provide correct information for your needs, do you need your files to be WAV format, MP3 format or some other format?
If you required MP3 format, what “bit rate” (kbps) is required and do you need CBR (constant bit rate) or VBR (variable bit rate)?

Audio dramas still use mono for the most part - I don’t know why.

A bookkeeper might know. It takes twice the storage, distribution and transmission to process a stereo show, and it’s slightly more difficult to edit. All for a tiny increase in quality.

ACX AudioBooks strongly recommends doing all your work in Mono, but they will reluctantly accept Stereo if you absolutely insist.

This can cause problems because several of the higher quality microphone systems automatically produce a stereo show (with your voice only on one side) and you can’t easily stop them. To get to mono you have to take some action—at each chapter or scene.

I would have bet theatrical shows used Stereo because of the obvious “Enter Stage Left” actually appearing in your right ear. AudioBooks are supposed to be one person telling you a story, so there Mono works pretty well.

I’m with you. I used to record evaluations, reviews and display shows in stereo because you could listen to them later and clearly understand two or three different conversations going at once. Much better quality of information.


Hi everyone. First, thanks for approving this post. Second, thank you for such speedy replies.

Turns out I had addressed this issue a while back and had forgotten I’d done so - I found the thread under my account settings after I posted this. I also updated to the latest audacity after posting this.

My situation is I have to produce mono 44100 hz mp3 files. Some do ask for wav still, but mp3 is the general request. I am running windows 7 stubbornly and will until I don’t have a choice anymore, and even then I might still run it. I also refuse to upgrade my Photoshop to the “rental” version because, thank you but I like to OWN my stuff if it’s all the same to you. :slight_smile:

The latest version of audacity I discovered has solved my mono solution with a force mono option. Thank you!
My memory was jogged regarding the hz option in the bottom corner of the audacity screen for settings. I have that set to 44100 hz already, so that was also solved.
The only problem I have left is what preset to choose. I chose “insane” to be on the safe side. My how ironic that sounds.

I know precious little about mixing after all this time; I’m even taking an online class for it, and I’d pick up more if the instructor would use a program I had or was familiar with. He doesn’t so I listen not understanding wtf he’s talking about sometimes and picking up what I can. I know that wav files are considered lossless and that’s why some still prefer them over mp3. When it comes to radio shows, I can understand getting a mono file and then doing artificial widening after the face. That way you could do a sort of enter stage left effect without having to split and do extra processing there. Beyond that I get lost. LOL

thank you for such speedy replies.

The forum elves actively cover (I think) 9 time zones, so it’s rare to have someone out of sight of help. No, this is not post and wait three weeks for a response.

updated to the latest audacity

2.1.3? 2.1.3 still has a few holes in it, but far fewer than 2.1.2.

mono 44100 hz mp3 files

I’m cringing every time you say that. You are creating a mono sound file and the default WAV is 44100 sample rate and 16-bit depth (Audacity works internally higher than that, but those are the numbers you need to know). You can set the sample rate with the little window Audacity lower left.

Audio CD uses 44100, 16-bit, Stereo. So those values are pretty hot stuff.

In addition, you are preparing an MP3 with a quality value. I guess the “mode” now is use Preset in the Audacity Preferences settings, but that’s a pre-baked, tiny list of the available options. You can reveal all the options with Average setting.

You should know that the show will start degenerating in quality the first time you use MP3 and you can’t stop it.

Your own personal archives should always be in WAV. Use the highest MP3 allowed for delivery. Sometimes filesizes will dictate what will fit and what won’t. For one example, ACX AudioBook has a Minimum MP3 Quality and a Maximum file size. So you have to hit both.

Fuzzy Rules:

32 Absolute Minimum MP3 Mono Quality
64 Absolute Minimum MP3 Stereo Quality
128 Old Audacity default MP3 Stereo Quality
192 Minimum ACX AudioBook MP3 Mono Quality
1411 WAV Quality.

That’s why you want to stay in WAV until you’re forced out. Plus, MP3 degenerates each time you make an MP3 from an MP3. MP3 can go right downhill pretty quickly.

I can’t prove this, but I suspect publishers require submission in MP3 because they have to pay for storage. They have a juggling act, too.