Splitting channels and merging

Can someone explain to me what is actually meant here, I am not certain if I have understood it properly…

I used Audacity to split the right and left tracks into different files (working with 4 total files), combined the right and left channels of both into single right and left files (working with 2 total files) and then took those two and recombined them into a single two channel track. Perhaps a little more work than necessary, but I wanted to make sure nothing went wrong. You might be able to get away with throwing both files in there and hitting export, or whatever the command is in Audition. Because what goes through each channel is important in these files I went out of my way to make sure nothing could go wrong. Make sure you convert both files to WAV or FLAC before you start and export as WAV or FLAC to prevent the audio quality from degrading, which will absolutely hurt your results.

so this is what I did

  • have both files open in audacity
  • split the two files
  • sort both single “left channel” files together and same for both single “right channel” files
  • merge both single “left channel” files into stereo track and do the same for both single “right channel” files « unsure if this is what is meant
  • export to wav

    Could someone tell me if I have done so correctly, I am a huge noob. Before I posted this question I have read on the wiki and watched some youtube videos. However I still feel unsure.


You would do better to ask the person that wrote that.
If that is a quote from somewhere on the forum, you could either post your question as a reply to that topic (use the “Reply” button), or post a link here to where that quote has come from. To link to a specific post (useful if the topic has lots of posts), click on the “permalink” button in the top left corner of the post, then copy the address from the address bar of your browser.

Hi, I copied and saved it from a forum I was on ( non audio tech related ), the person who posted there has disabled his account so there is no way for me to contact him. As a complete noob I am wondering if I am doing the right thing ?

I think that when posing my question as a seperate from the quote above I would ask it as follows: After splitting two tracks and putting each left and right channel below each other. What other steps do I have to take in order to merge them all into one track in audacity ( without using export ) ?

What exactly are you trying to do?
What are you starting with, what do you want to end up with, and what is the purpose of doing it?

I have two high quality audio tracks that I listen to for mind stimulating purposes. Normally I play each of them at the same time, using VLC on my computer. Now I want to combine them into a single uncompressed WAV file because recompressing these files might affect the quality. The quote from above explains roughly (appearently,- at least in my perspective - ) what steps I need to take in order to properly export the two files.

I am starting out with two mp3´s that I have opened in my audacity, after clicking on arrow next to the name label for the first track I select the option “split stereo track”, which then results in a left and righ channel track. The exact steps are done with the second track.

Then I start moving the tracks up, in order to place both left channel tracks below each other, and both right channel tracks below each other. According to my understanding I have now made sure that both channels are held together.

My final step, and this is where it goes wrong is when I go to file » export I get the message " “Your tracks will be mixed down to two stereo channels in the exported file” . This then results in a file that I can play using VLC. However when playing this file I hear each track coming through a single speaker - as if track 1 plays through the left and track 2 plays through the right. To clarify furhter, the mixing of both left channels of each track does not seem to happen, instead it seems as if the orginal file is playing through the left audio speaker and track 2 is playing through the right audio speaker.

My desired result would be that the left channel of track 1 and 2 play through the left channel and that the right channel of track 1 and 2 play through the right channel - as if playing both files simultanously and having it audiable through each audio speaker. Now it sounds mono-like…

Ah ha. That is much easier than what you have been trying to do.

  1. Open Audacity
  2. “File menu > Import > Audio” and select the file(s) that you want to import. If they are both in the same location you can select both at the same time. If they are in separate folder, import one then repeat for the other.

You now have the two audio tracks open in the same Audacity project, one below the other.

Now you just need to ensure that the audio does not clip (distort) when they are played back together.

  1. “Edit menu > Select > All” (shortcut: Ctrl+A)
  2. “Tracks menu > Mix and Render”

The two (stereo) tracks are now mixed down into one track.

  1. “Effect menu > Amplify”. Set the “New peak amplitude” to just under zero, say about -1 dB (minus one).

That’s all. Now you are ready to export as a new WAV file.

Seemingly the nature of the track it is essential for me that both channels are aligned and no further alternation is caused to the audio because some form of distortion of any other alternation than the channels could create a loss in impact. Therefore I would like to ask you if you could explain to me an alternative way, similar as through how quoted in the first post, please.

They are “aligned” aren’t they? They both start at the same time.
If you need to adjust the start position of eithe track, use the Time Shift tool.
How do you “align them” when you play them both in VLC?

Sorry, but that first quote sounds like FUD to me.

Because the tracks contain binaural beats and the other subliminal messages i also feel FUD, playing both these tracks at the same time is somewhat experimental because both have advanced technology incorperated in them. With aligned I mean the channels they play through. For me the issue is not that weither both tracks start playing at the same time but that both of them are playing together without any modifications to the soundtracks themselves. I think that the orginal poster of that quote did these FUD precausations because of the somewhat experimental nature.

Playing two tracks at the same time is, by definition, “mixing” the two tracks.
“Mixing” is the process of "adding together two or more signals.

The process that I outlined “adds together” the two left channels and adds together the two right channels. In other words, it “mixes” the two tracks, respecting their channel allocations. In other words, it plays the two tracks at the same time.

Step 5 in the procedure ensures that the mix is not damaged by going over 0 dB.

The process I described does precisely what you asked for. Sorry if it’s not complicated enough :wink:

Thank for providing me with such valueable information. Knowing this at least takes a large portion of the FUD away