Total Newb question - splitting stereo to two mono

Hi. I’m a total Newbie, using Audacity 2.1.2 on Windows 7 (I think it was the installer exe file, but was a couple of months ago). I have a .wma file, a stereo. I did an Open of the xx.wma, and it opens as a single stereo track. For the editing I want to do, the first step I have in mind is to split the left and right channels into two separate mono tracks. I see in the help that I should choose Split Stereo Track or else Split Stereo to Mono from the Track Dropdown Menu, to get separate left-channel and right-channel tracks. (The online help at file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Audacity/help/manual/man/splitting_and_joining_stereo_tracks.html is a little ambiguous… it shows both commands, Split Stereo Track and Split Stereo to Mono. I can’t find how to do this in the in-program help). The trouble is, first off, there’s no “Track” dropdown… there is a “Tracks” dropdown however, so I guess that’s the menu to use. But when I open that dropdown, neither of those two commands is there. The only command that seems even close is Stereo Track to Mono, but that seems to mix the two channels (at equal volumes) to a mono track… not what I want. So I’m guessing that either the online help was written for a prior version, or else I’m doing something totally stupid and have messed up some fundamental thing. Like some conversion I need to do when I open the .wma, or something or other. It seems like a pretty basic thing, to split a stereo track into two separate mono tracks… can anyone point me?

Did “Split Stereo Track” or “Split Stereo to Mono” get dropped from 2.1.2, in favor of some other way of doing this basic operation? I admit I’m a total newbie to Audacity (but I’m not a total newbie to recording and mixing audio)…


They’re both correct. Split Stereo leaves the Left and Right assignment to each side of the split. Use that when you want to make changes to one side or the other but you’re eventually going to smash them back together.

Split Stereo to Mono is more serious. That creates two completely independent Mono shows each of which will play to both left and right speakers in your computer. That’s how Mono works. It didn’t actually mix them. If you play them first one and then the other (MUTE and SOLO buttons), you’ll find the Violins originally on the left (now Mono show #1) and French Horns originally on the right (now Mono show #2) are still there.

You can put that back together into a stereo show with Make Stereo Track. Audacity assumes you want the content correct top to bottom, left to right.


The menu you want is the Audio Track Dropdown Menu to left of the blue waves.