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
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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