trying to convert stereo to mono

I got a new cable for my microphone, which I’ve used for 35 years, and it records in stereo into my Olympus DS-40 recorder as always, but when I throw it into my Audacity audio editing software and click “stereo to mono,” the recording completely disappears. I thought the problem was the cable, but the service guy at the company convinced me that since it records in stereo, it’s working. Any thoughts on why the audio is disappearing, and how I can get it back in mono, since that is what I need for editing and sending audio to my radio station?
Thanks for any help.

The left & right channels are identical but out-of-phase. You need to invert one channel.

Click the drop down arrow to the left of the waveform and select [u]Split Stereo Track[/u]. (This allows you to edit left & right independently.)

Select one of the tracks (either one) and run the Invert effect.

Now, you can convert to mono.

I assume the mic has a balanced XLR connection and I’m pretty sure you don’t have a stereo microphone. (Normally stereo recording requires two mics, one for left and one for right.) And your recorder probably doesn’t have balanced XLR inputs.

A balanced connection has two signal wires and one ground. The signals are out-of-phase with one swinging positive when the other swings negative and vice-versa. It normally goes into a balanced (“differential”) preamp where only the difference is amplified and any “common mode” noise is ignored.

If you use the wrong adapter/cable you can end-up sending out-of-phase signals to the left & right channels.

Since it was working before you probably had a “special” cable. You’d have to mix-and-match a few “standard” cable/adapters to make an unbalanced connection and then split that signal to left & right. Or, you’d have to build it yourself.