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How to Convert Mono to Stereo

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How to Convert Mono to Stereo

It may happen that you have a few mono (single track) recordings in your music collection. You may have recorded them from the radio, or they may be live recordings that you captured with a single microphone. Mono music lacks the depth of stereo music, so if you want to add new life to single track recordings try converting them into stereo.

This technique requires the recording to be in digital format, so if the music is on record or tape you first have to transfer it to your computer. Just connect the output of your stereo system to the input of your sound record and use any recording software to capture the signal. There is an audio recorder that comes with Windows, or you can use any of the hundreds of audio software packages on the market. Save the audio in uncompressed format – WAV is the most common.

Once the audio has been stored on your computer’s hard disk you can use an audio editor to convert it into stereo. There are many commercial audio editors available or you can use a free editor like the open source project Audacity.

Import your WAV file into the editor and make a copy and paste it to the 2nd track. At this point, you will have two mono files playing back in unison which will sound exactly like the original mono track.

To get a stereo effect, the tracks have to be different from each other. The simplest way to do this is to shift one of the tracks by a fraction of a second – somewhere between 20 and 50 milliseconds is ideal. You can do this by pasting in a section of silence at the beginning of one of the tracks.

This simple technique will give a richer sound to a mono file. Once you have the basic stereo sound, you can enhance it even further by adding various equalization settings to each track. You could even add a small amount of reverb to broaden the sound even more.

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