A stereo recording splits audio into two distinct channels, a left and a right. A mono recording, on the other hand, plays the same signal on both the left and right speakers. The only way to produce a true stereo recording is, of course, to record in stereo. However, if you have a mono recording of a sound, you can turn it into a stereo file using Ableton Live, a music production and creation software program. To create a stereo audio file, send one copy of the mono recording to the left speaker and another copy to the right, then alter one of the channels to create the difference in audio signals that defines stereo.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Launch Ableton. Click the channel labelled "2 MIDI" and press the "Delete" key. Click "Create" in the top menu bar and select "Insert Audio Track" from the menu.
Right-click the "1 Audio" channel label, click "Rename" and type "Left." Rename the "2 Audio" channel to "Right."
Click the "File Browser" icon and navigate to the mono clip that you want to convert to stereo. Drag and drop the audio file into the first clip slot on the "Left" channel; drag and drop another copy into the first clip slot on the "Right" channel.
Turn the "Track Pan" knob on the "Left" channel all the way to the left; turn the "Track Pan" knob on the "Right" channel all the way to the right. Click the "Play" button to start listening to the audio.
Click and drag the "Track Delay" field at the bottom of the "Right" channel to gradually increase the delay. As you increase the delay, the two tracks' audio signals will separate, eliminating any phasing effects. If your ear starts perceiving the two sides of the stereo sound as separate, bring the delay back down. A track delay setting of around 30 ms is usually sufficient to create a stereo effect.
Click "Create," then "Insert Audio Track." Rename this new audio track to "Stereo." Click the "Audio From" drop-down menu in the "Stereo" track and select "Resampling."
Click the "Arm Session Recording" button at the bottom of the "Stereo" track. Click the "Record" button inside the first clip slot on the "Stereo" track. Allow the audio clips to play out.
Click the "Left" channel and press "Delete." Delete the "Right" channel. Click the "Play" button to listen to the stereo audio.
Tips and warnings
- Try adding a different equalisation or reverb effect to each of the two channels.
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