stereo to mono amplitude

I record my shows in stereo from a JK Audio and it is simpler to edit voice tracks etc that way. The radio station wants mono recordings in mp3. Here is the issue - I get everything timed and edited in stereo but when I reduce that to mono it is reducing the aplitude such that I need to up the amplitude by as much a 3 points which affects the overall sound. Is there a way to preserve that original amplitude when going from stereo to mono???

The tool adds up the left and right sound and divides by two. The process has to survive someone arriving with a two-track mono show masquerading as stereo. If it didn’t do that, a two-track mono show would convert as 100% overload distortion.

So the conversion is working as it’s supposed to. If you have a portion of the show with sound only on the left or right, it might be as much as 6dB low in the conversion.

I would probably do a mono conversion earlier in the editing, so you don’t get any surprises in the final conversion.

Have you gotten burned with the station podcast service yet? Delivering an MP3 works fine as long as all they do is broadcast it. The broadcast service is (as a rule) uncompressed and the quality produced by you is pretty much the quality delivered to the listener. Not so the podcast service. Those are compressed and your show may be double compressed leading to honking and bubbling.

We had a posting from someone in the New England states who was using download music. His show was triple compressed and his podcast had significant damage.


Thank you for the response. The station plays through its own equalizers and is pretty close to what I send them. I would ideally like to send higher quality files and the stereo version but the only time I did that they were not happy and let me know!!
When I recorded in house at the station the same quality recording was downloaded to the archives and used for archives which is why I think they like MP3 - they can just plug them into any site like itunes, stitchers etc with no further compression - or at least I don’t think there is more compression.

I think I have found a way to combine without loss - I just tried a ‘mix and render to new track’ then copied the new track to a new file where it appears as mono without any loss. This looks like it works anyway but are there any caveats to rendering???

Perhaps an obvious question, but if you want a mono show, why not record in mono?
What are you recording?

To directly answer your question, after changing a track from stereo to mono, you can use the Normalize effect to make the peak amplitude whatever you want ( If the final format is to MP3, I’d allow a little “headroom” because MP3 format is inexact and will often push some of the peaks a little higher than the original. About -1 dB will probably be enough, but if the audio is highly compressed you may need to allow more. It may be advisable to ask the radio station what peak level they want.

The Broadcast Host from JK Audio takes the incoming phone data for one one track and my outgoing signal as the other track. This makes it good for adjusting the incoming call without adjusting mine. The headphones are also able to be adjusted without changing the other settings. Having all 3 individually set allows maximum flexibility which is crucial for dealing with cell phones and phone business phone banks - all of which come in at different amplitudes.

That makes sense.

There are two ways that you can handle this. Either, as per my first suggestion, go from stereo to mono then Normalize, or:

Click on the name of the track to open the track’s dropdown menu.
From the menu, split the track to two mono channels (this has the advantage that you apply Equalization and/or other effects to the tracks individually).
Then, when you are ready to export, mix the tracks to a single mono track using “Tracks > Mix and Render”,
Then Normalize to whatever your ideal peak level is,
Then Export.

Thanks - Yes Steve the Mix and Render does maintain the amplitude. I found the stereo needed to be split for this to work, but I think it is easier than going to mono from stereo.