Stereo to Mono Conversion Issue

Hello there, thanks for taking a look. :smiley:

I brought audio into Audacity in stereo format, but I need it in mono, but when I convert, more than half the audio becomes minimal and almost disappears.
Audio Issue.jpg
Thanks for any and all help!!

Conversion to mono just adds up the two tracks and divides by two (to keep from overloading and distorting). The parts that vanished are out of phase – usually through a wiring accident, so when left and right are added up, the result is zero. Divide by two and it gets even worse.

You should pay attention to where that music came from. If you made it, you should fix the process right away because it’s a little involved and difficult to repair. You should stop making music like that soon.

Select the whole stereo show by clicking just above the MUTE button.

Drop-Down on the left of the track > Split Stereo Track.

Drag-select a damaged portion of one of the two new mono tracks. (We’re just going for proof of performance here, not a final fix).

Effect > Invert.

Drop-Down on the left of the track > Make Stereo Track.

Now when you Transport > Stereo Track to Mono, that portion you managed should work fine.

You can do that with the magic portions of the whole show, or you can fix the problem and cut the show again which may be easier.

I’m pretty sure that’s going to work, but if you need help fixing the wiring problem that created the error, write back.


Your left & right channels are most-likely out-of-phase (and otherwise identical) where the mix is canceled… When you mix the channels, they are summed together. If they are out-of-phase, you are “adding a negative” which is the same as subtraction…

There may not be any good solution, since it’s not consistant throughout the file… You can try selecting one channel or the other, copying that one channel only into a mono file.

If the begining and ending parts (that are not getting 100% canceled) don’t sound right with only one channel, try muting the part in the middle that’s getting canceled on one channel only, and then save-as mono.

…That’s a very unusual situation, unless someone made a mistake or someone used a “stereo widening” effect. Or, is this something from a movie soundtrack? If you play that file through a Dolby Pro Logic system in movie mode, that out-of-phase part will come out of the rear speakers.

This worked beautifully thank you! I’m actually editing behind the scenes for a series and the problem audio is what I recorded on the set.
My setup for recording audio/video is just a Panasonic HDC-TM700 Camera with a Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Mic attached with a 3.5mm to XLR cable.
What might be causing this when recording?

Thanks again!!