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Part of the AudacityForBlindUsers section of the Wiki.

Converting from Mono to Stereo

Here is a tip from David Sky on how to turn a mono track into a stereo track, so that you can apply stereo effects, using screen reading software.

In Audacity, effects applied to mono sounds are themselves mono. If you want to get a stereo effect (such as phaser, in the effects menu) truly in stereo on a mono sound, you need to make the mono sound stereo first. Here's how to do this using just the keyboard.

(Note: The following keyboard info is for the ??? V. ?.?? screen reader?)

You'll be using the numeric keypad a lot to do this. On the top row (from left to right), the four buttons are

numlock on or off (toggles between these two). Numlock must be off.

/ (slash with numlock on, left mouse key with numlock off).

  • (star or asterisk with numlock on, right mouse button with numlock off).

- (dash or minus; more importantly for screen readers, it toggles between your screen reader cursor and the mouse pointer). The mouse pointer must be activated.

The button with the raised dot on it is the numeric number 5 with numlock on, and 'read the current line' with numlock off.

The button above this is numeric 8 with numlock on, and up arrow or 'read the line above' with numlock off.

The button below 5 is numeric 2 with numlock on, and down arrow or 'read the line below' with numlock off.

Numeric 9 is to the right of the 8 button with numlock on, and page up or 'go to the top right of the window' with numlock off.

  1. Make sure numlock is off. Press the numlock key until you hear 'numlock off.'
  2. The mouse pointer must be activated. press the top right key on the numeric keypad until you hear 'mouse pointer' (or something like it).
  3. Once you have mono audio loaded in Audacity (either an audio track created with the generate menu, or an audio file you loaded from your hard disk or from somewhere else), select all the track with control-a.
  4. Duplicate this by pressing control-d.
  5. press the numeric keypad page up button to go to the top of the window.
  6. Press the numeric keypad down arrow until you hear 'audio track' or the name of the file you've loaded. If you arrow down again you'll hear 'mono.' Leave the pointer sitting on 'audio track' or the name of the loaded sound file.
  7. Press the left mouse button once. You'll hear 'context menu' or something like this.
  8. Press 'l' to move the track to the left. When you read the line below, you'll notice it's changed from 'mono' to 'left.'
  9. Press the numeric down arrow key until you hear 'audio track (or the name of your sound file) a second time. You'll notice that below this is 'mono' too. Again, make sure the last line you heard was 'audio track' or the name of your sound file.
  10. Press the left mouse button once. Again you'll hear something like 'context menu.' This time press 'r' to move this track to the right.
  11. If you explore the window now, you'll hear that the first (top) occurence of your audio track has 'left' under it, and the second example of your audio track has 'right' under it. when you press the space bar to listen to the audio, it will still sound like it's mono. However, you'll now be able to apply a stereo effect and get results in stereo.
  12. Select the portion of the audio track that you'd like to apply the stereo effect to. press control-a to select all of the audio, or see the tips elsewhere on this page to learn how to select a portion of the audio track.
  13. Press alt-c to go into the effect menu. You'll find many effects listed, each with different variables you can change. Phaser is one of the stereo effects which came with Audacity.