Mono to Stereo

I normally record in mono but decided to try a stereo recording. I changed the recording channels setting from mono 1 to stereo 2. When I try and record it only records on the left track. What am I doing wrong?

Thank you,

If you’re mic is mono, (not stereo), then you’ll only get the left channel.
If you want to add stereo effects to a mono recording, duplicate the mono track, (Press"Ctrl"+“D”),
then join them to make a stereo-pair, (which is actually called “dual mono” because the L&R tracks are identical).
Then apply stereo effects to the dual-mono track to stereoize it, e.g. pseudo-stereo , chorus, spin.

Do you want to remaster a mono sound into stereo? Pseudo-stereo makes quite good sounding stereo effect, but it makes it rather random, which, normally, isn’t what you want. You may need leading sound center paned (mono), however background sounds coming from different angles: eighter from left or right, which may require you to split the sound up a little bit and tweak each sound for left and right channels independently. Is the sound moving? You may need to slide the center pane slider continuously from one direction to another, depending on how fast it moves, or how the speed of movement changes. I’m not sure if Audacity is actually capable of doing this. You may need an additional software, pretty much rather expensive one that could do the job. However even with that, you still need to make a lot of work, painful tweaking and long hours of editing. Mastering mono sound recording to stereo is very lenghty and very nasty proccess.

I’ll give you advice. If you have quite good mic, leave the sound mono, it will sound far better than with Pseudo-stereo effect on it…

Double check your mic can record stereo. If it can’t then just add a second mic :slight_smile:

The easiest way to get truly stereo sound is to simply record the track twice, then pan one channel to the far left, another to the far right.

Another tactic I use a lot is to simply duplicate the track, and swing it far right/far left. Then delay the entire track by 1-3ms. This creates the stereo effect without simply “doubling” the sound

That’s called “double tracking”, and while it will give you a stereo track, it’s not the same as a true stereo recording of one sound source.

A disadvantage of that method is that it tends to make the sound “lopsided” in the stereo mix. The way that we hear tends to assume that the sound is coming from the direction of the channel that arrives first. That can sound quite weird when listening through headphones.

A more sophisticated way of using this trick for “fake stereo” is to pan different frequency bands different amounts, with different amounts of delay. An easy to use example of this is the “pseudo stereo” plug-in available here: https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyquist_Effect_Plug-ins#Pseudo-Stereo

trick for “fake stereo”

All of these processes make “fake stereo.” There are no violins on the left and French horns on the right. That’s real stereo, to replicate the original performance directions and sounds. The best you can do from one microphone is to create a false sense of depth and in some cases direction. The object of real stereo is good sound direction and no distortion. The object of fake stereo is to add distortion to fool the listener into thinking it might be stereo.

Do not lose any of the original mono performances. Save them as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound files in a safe place. We can’t take echo, delay or other distortions out of a performance once you put them in.

If you’re reading for audiobooks, the recommended delivery is one track mono.

Koz