Mixing stereo tracks to mono in your Project

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Audacity 1.2.x will always export the tracks in your Project as a stereo (left and right channel) audio file if you have at least one stereo track on screen, or if any mono tracks on screen are panned away from centre (using the L....R pan slider in the Track Panel below the mute/solo buttons).

So if you want to export a mono audio file from your Project, you need to pan mono tracks back to centre, or convert stereo tracks to mono. To make stereo tracks mono in 1.2.x, follow these instructions:

1- Click on the downward pointing arrow in the Track Panel http://audacity.sourceforge.net/onlinehelp-1.2/menu_track.htm

then click "Split Stereo Track"

2- Click on one of the tracks and "make mono" using the same menu

3- Close the other track by clicking on [X] on the track panel

This will obviously have in the mono output only the data from one of the channels. To include information from both channels in the mono output:

1- "Split stereo track" using the Track Panel dropdown menu

2- Click on both tracks in turn and make each mono using the same menu

3- Select both tracks (CTRL + A ) and play them, checking if the red hold lights to right of the green playback VU meter come on, which indicates clipping (distortion). If this happens, move the gain slider -......+ (below the mute/solo buttons) on each Track Panel to left by the same amount until no more clipping is detected.

NOTE: If the playback meter is not visible, enable it on the Interface tab of Preferences by checking "Enable Meter Toolbar".

4- Click Project > Quick Mix


To convert stereo tracks to mono in the Beta 1.3.x version of Audacity, you can simply select the track by clicking in its Track Panel and click Project > Stereo to Mono, which mixes in data from both channels to one mono track without clipping. Then you can export your mono track as you would in 1.2.x.

If you use 1.3.2 you can instead enable "use Advanced Mixing Options" in the "When exporting tracks" panel in the File Formats tab of Preferences. Then when you export your file, an Advanced Mixing Options dialogue will appear. 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, "right" audio track and "left" audio track 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 "right" audio track and now the "right" audio track will 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.

Note that Advanced Mixing Options do not apply when using the File > Export Multiple command for exporting multiple audio files at one go.