Mono to stereo?

OS: W7
Aud V: 2.1.1

I appreciate this may be a very naive question, so forgive me, but I’ve just been having a play around with an online music pad thing, and used Aud’s record feature to capture my attempts at a tune. The pad is laid out with different buttons (drums, bassline, melody, vocal etc) and you simply hit each one to create a tune.

When I play back the recording in Audacity, and even though it’s recorded it onto a stereo track, there isn’t any actual stereo effect from the speakers (it’s all centered, if you know what I mean). Now I can tell you that there is no stereo effect when using the music pad, either, so it seems pretty obvious that this is what Aud will capture when recording, but I was just wondering if there’s anything I can do, post recording, to separate the various sounds so that I get that clever stereo effect you hear, with certain elements of the song flipping between speakers?

If not, how about if I recorded each of the music pads sounds on different tracks. So, I record the bassline, mute it and hit record again while I play the melody. Then mute that and record the drums - so that I end up with each part on their own track. Would I get the stereo effect then?

FWiW I do understand that strictly speaking, mono would mean the sound was only coming from one speaker. This is not the case, but I’m after that effect you often hear when different elements can be picked out on either the left or right speaker. Maybe it’s called Dynamic Stereo, I dunno.

mono would mean the sound was only coming from one speaker.

It could, but more generally, it means one sound coming from as many speakers as you like. This is what gives you a mono audiobook reading appearing in both sides of your headphones. And yes, it does sound like it’s coming from inside your head.

“Real Stereo” lets you pick out violins from the left and French Horns from the right.

You can get “fake stereo” from mono by applying an echo effect which sounds like a mono show presented in a large hall. Given that’s what a cello solo would sound like in a large room, but you can’t tell where the cello is, and if there’s more than one instrument, you can’t tell where they are, either.

Audacity can’t split a mixed performance into individual instruments, voices or sounds. Once you mix everything down to one track, that’s the end of the world.

You can use Overdubbing to create many different individual performances one at a time playing against a backing track.

That will allow you to put all the kettle drums on one track and all the triangles on another. You play them one after the other against a backing or rhythm track. Then, in post production editing, you can assign each instrument left or right with the little sliders on the left of each track.

You are warned not to go nuts. It’s most unusual for instruments to be spread out widely. Only the conductor gets that effect.

You’ve seen “Dolby Surround 5.1 Channels, yadda, yadda.” All true, but in a movie, in spite of all the environment enhancement and multiple sound tracks, all the dialog comes from the Center track. So there are limits.

I thought we had some tools to do fake stereo…


That’s just from Audacity. You can get other plugins.


You can get the effect from computer, too. I once got a computer where everything sounded like a concert hall. Turns out someone left Concert Effects running in the soundcard by accident.


There’s a plug-in here for making a “fake stereo” effect:

Thank you both for your help. That’s plenty of help and advice to keep me going for a while :slight_smile: