Mixing stereo tracks to mono in your Project

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Peter 3May14: This is an eminently potential candidate for deprecation now that we have a simple way of doing this in Audacity.
  • Gale 04May14: I suggest making a FAQ for the Manual "How do I convert a stereo track to mono, or mono to stereo?". The first part can describe the difference between Stereo Track to Mono (which averages the combined volume, discards volume differences between the channels and won't clip if the original track does not clip) and Custom Export to mono (which is the same as Mix and Render (additive) if you had the stereo track split to two mono tracks). The second part will debunk "stereo sounds better than mono". Then you can delete this page.
  • Peter 20Jun14: ToDo-206 I have created the FAQ as Gal suggested therefore this page can be deleted with a redirect to the FAQ once 2.0.6 is released.

To convert stereo tracks to mono in the current version of Audacity, select the track by clicking in its Track Control Panel then click Tracks > Stereo Track to Mono. This mixes in data from both channels to one mono track without clipping. Note: if your stereo track is split into left and right channels, use "Make Stereo Track" on the Track Drop-Down Menu before using "Stereo to Mono". Then export your mono track; if you prefer to only have one of the stereo channels in the mono file, you can split the stereo track and close one of the channels.

Audacity has more customisable channel mapping ability on the Import / Export tab of Preferences. To enable this, select "Use custom mix..." in the "When exporting tracks" panel .

Then whenever exporting a single file, an "Advanced Mixing Options" dialogue will appear. In the dialogue, move the Output Channels slider from 2 to 1. By default the "left" audio track on the left of the window will appear linked to the "Channel:1" output in the right of the window, so that the "left" channel of your stereo track in Audacity will be all that will appear in the exported mono file. If this is what you want, click OK.

If you prefer only the "right" channel of your Audacity track in the exported file, click in turn on the "Channel:1", "name of track - right" and "name of track - left" boxes and the output channel will now link only to the "right" audio track.

If you want both channels of the audio in the exported file, click on the "Channel:1" box then the "name of track - right" box and the "right" audio track will now appear linked to the output channel as the "left" audio track already is. Click OK to export your stereo track mixed down equally into a mono file.

Advanced Mixing Options can also be used to allocate tracks on the Audacity screen to the channels of stereo or multi-channel (more than 2 channels) files. Note that Advanced Mixing Options do not apply when using the File > Export Multiple command for exporting multiple audio files at one go.

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