Stereo Interface, Mono Microphone

Is there a good way to keep a Scarlett 2i2, for example, from recording mono or a single microphone at the wrong volume?


I’m a Mac elf and I don’t remember if there was a Windows “trick” or driver or other software. It seems to me there should be. This is a super common problem. Making a simple mono recording is extra work and and it can cause background noise issues.


Not sure what you are asking here…??
Are you just wanting to record stereo and got the pinouts wrong…???
Dont know Scarlet but googled manual and it says 1/4 TRS stereo output jacks on back so assume Mac is probably 3.5 mm TRS or maybe TRRS… for headphone/ mic switch…? ? Just need the right adaptors OR Just make a stereo to stereo adaptor…
I would need to look up what the Mac is audio out Jack

For example, plugging your XLR microphone into a stereo interface such as the Scarlett 2i2. Your choices are recording stereo with the microphone in perfect order and volume but on the left only, or in mono with the mix-down causing a 6dB volume reduction and odd clipping distortion (illustration).

Audiobook performers run into this. ACX recommends Mono rather than Stereo for chapter submissions. Good quality microphones and interfaces sometimes don’t cooperate.

From fuzzy memory there’s some solution…

This is specifically for Windows for a forum post.


Let’s see if I can this forum reference to work.


Sorry , Koz, I read first post wrongly, Thought it was a problem with interface connections between Scarlet audio out and your Mac /PC in. But, I see your Pic does show clipping of the input. The scarlet has Gain Pots and Green, Amber, Red, level meter rings, so are you still getting clipping even with Scarlet levels set between green and amber…??
There are options for both stereo and mono…and I imagine would be same problem for windows or Mac… or is it automatic gain control you want…AGC…

Maybe we’re going to start over.

I don’t have troubles recording my voice on the computer because I never record my voice on the computer. I have several very nice stand-alone sound recorders and a quiet bedroom (and garage if you’ve been following the thread).

I’m responding to roy04rm who posted for comments and review on their voice posting. It was, for the most part, fine, but it turned up that they had troubles recording with their chosen kit. They had a single Shure analog microphone (sm58) plugged into a natively stereo Scarlett 2i2 interface and Windows.

And that’s the first Disturbance In The Force. The 2i2 Really, Really likes being in stereo—two sound tracks. So it delivers the Shure microphone as the Left of two stereo sound channels.

Scene shifts to the computer who has two obvious options. 1) Record it in Stereo and go home. That gives a perfect, correct, fully-functioning track on the Left and flat line on the Right. Split Stereo To Mono, delete the dead track, and you’re good to go.

The other not so obvious option is force mix-down to mono. That’s what roy04rm is doing.

That combines the Left and Right sound into one channel and delivers that. But you do have to be careful because what happens if someone has two microphones and yells into both of them? The system will give you 200% volume in the mixdown. So the system divides by two.

Now see the single microphone. There is no second microphone and the system obediently divides by two, this time from 100% to 50%. That massive clipping is where the original microphone volume was. No matter what you do, the volume will never get louder than that—unless you do it in post production later.

So somehow we have to sweet-talk the system into not dividing by two. I have an interface with two different drivers and they’re both correct, so it can be done from the manufacturer.

Also, where and how is Windows doing this? I don’t think this is an Audacity problem. Can you get out of this with a setting? Driver?


On a whim I tried the new MP3 Export - Forced Mono Mixdown.

Screen Shot 2023-05-19 at 11.14.06 AM

And sure enough, If I have 100% tone on only the left, I get 50% in the MP3.


I think that’s dangerous. You can easily send a client a sound file that’s different from what either of you thinks it is.


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