2 or 4 Mono Tracks to 1 Stereo Track

Hi all.

I have 2 Mono Tracks with 2 different microphone recording sessions (many takes) (or with other project 4 mono tracks, two pairs of mics), how can I make one stereo track from them?
Sorry for stupid question…
Audacity can do it in three clicks, but I need to retain names of individual takes. I need to export them to stereo audio files with the same name as take.


Mixer channels are usually mono. For stereo mics, the common workflow is to pan one track left, the other track right and use track groups.

Ardour allows to split stereo tracks (imported files) to mono, but not the other way around.

Thanks Robin.

I’ll stick with Audacity with this. So, a little disappointment, that I can’t work with 1 DAW software at all, I need extended setup with 3 of them (and 3 different OS also) for different tasks.
But we will see.


Hi Vadim442, :grinning:
I’m not shure if I completely understand what you are trying to achieve but I expect this helps.
In order to convert two mono tracks into a stereo one, you can go to the “import dialog” under “Session”. Then you select the two mono tracks (keep in mind that is very important that both mono tracks must be exactly the same length) and tweak the settings in this way…
Captura desde 2023-04-17 22-12-14

Then click “Import” and a new stereo track must show (with one mono track pan hard left and the other one pan hard right).

With the names of individual takes, I’m not able to help but I think you can figure out a workaround.

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It is not exactly clear what you are starting with.
Are the files ready to be made into a stereo track, meaning that they are exactly the same length (same number of samples), and need no additional processing at all?
If so you could use SoX or ffmpeg to combine the mono files into a stereo file.

Your description of “many takes” makes me think that is not necessarily the case, in which case what you describe is probably the most common way of using a DAW.

If you create a stereo session, there will be a stereo master bus created by default. Create a mono track for each file you want to use, and import the file onto the track.
Once you have all the files imported you can use the mixer view to send the mono audio to both stereo channels equally, or adjust the panner control to position it anywhere from all the way left to all the way right.
After panning and level adjustments match your needs, you can export either the entire session, or mark regions in the tracks and just export particular time ranges.
There are options for creating the name of the exported file automatically from session properties, or can be edited manually.

It is not clear what you are referring to there. Robin previously explained how to do what you asked, it is not clear from your response why you are not satisfied with the Ardour work flow. Ardour is a more complicated audio editing software, it is designed for a much different use case, so it is not considered a problem that Audacity is the better choice for some use cases.

However, both Ardour and Audacity are available on Linux, Windows, and MacOS, so it is not clear at all why you would need multiple OS just for Ardour and Audacity. It is also not clear why you mention needing 3 different software tools since so far you mention only two software tools and one use case.

Thanks again all, that answered me.

So, to be clear, my workflow.

Record multiple synchronous takes with 2 pairs of different mics.
I have borrowed from my friend an Intel mac notebook for that, used Ardour in this step, since it’s the only open source daw that names the recorded files right away, putting them in one place ready to use. I am not aware of other programs doing so being open source.

Make the resulting files stereo without rerecording them (saving time) new into a daw.
This makes Audacity for me, and I do it on my own computer, which is Linux. Why do bother with stereo? Because

The last step is assembly (montage) of takes in one resulting stereo file and ease of I make this in Sequoia, which is Windows. It’s much easier for me to deal with stereo files in Sequoia than with mono tracks. It’s 2 times quicker for me. And Sequoia can not make stereo track from 2 mono tracks nondestructively as can’t Ardour either.

So, because I have many takes, I need to get my work done quickly and need to use the right instruments.


Forgive me if I don’t get this properly. I’m probably missing something.

So, presumably you place each mic on a separate mono track, arm them all at once, and then hit record to record all tracks at once?

And the same for each take?

What do you mean by “make stereo”? Are you mixing them down to a stereo track? Creating a stereo track and importing one audio file to the left channel and the other to the right?

Is there is reason you can’t do this in Ardour? After all, the tracks are already there, you have a stereo master bus, and a mixer with individual track panning capabilities. You can pan hard left/right for each track or mix them somewhere in the middle.

I don’t see that there’s any “make stereo” action that you can do in Audacity that you can’t do directly in Ardour, in a single application, without exporting the files, without having to import them into another application, without having to re-save the result to a separate file.

Making stereo tracks from mono tracks is what Ardour does out of the box.

This is called “comping” and, again, is a standard feature of Ardour. The following video is about Mixbus but, basically, it works the same in Ardour:

So it seems to me that what you are trying to achieve can all be done in Ardour, especially as you are starting with Ardour as the recording application.

As I say, I could be missing something here. Perhaps you can explain better why you aren’t using the standard Ardour capabilities for mixing and comping, and feel you have to resort to exporting the files and using other tools.



Hi Keith.
Thanks for the comprehensive answer.
Sorry for my English, being not my mother’s tonque.

-, presumably you place each mic on a separate mono track, arm them all at once, and then hit record to record all tracks at once?

-And the same for each take?

Yes, you are right.

-What do you mean by “make stereo”? Are you mixing them down to a stereo track?

Yes, im mixing the resulting 4 mono tracks to 2x stereo tracks. In Audacity, I click “make stereo track”, 2 times, that’s it. I need to do some adjustments wit those 2 stereo tracks, like balance, levels, sometimes I need to export a region to iZotope rx for repair. Again, it’s much more esier to deal with 2 stereo tracks than with 4 mono.
In Ardour, its not the matter of 1 click, I need to do substancially more, if any; by the way, I have not figured out how to do it in a simple way. Yes, without

-you can’t do directly in Ardour, in a single application, without exporting the files, without having to import them into another application, without having to re-save the result to a separate file.

Yes, but you’ve not written how exactly do I do that, please?

Then. Yes, i can do an assembly in Ardour, but were is the comprehensive crossfadeeditor? Sometimes somebody needs it. I need it. I’m doing classical music and need to hear that stuff.
Ok, we can leave without 4-point edit, that’s standard in video cut programms already, but why not use it in audio?
There’s not only the points, but some more. And even my old Sequoia is an industrial standard. The percentage of users with Ardour is less than that with a program, that can 4-point and have a good fadeeditor. I like open source, but need some nonexistent there features for work.

Sorry, if I was too harsh.

Thanks again,

We have wanted to do 3- and 4-point editing for a long time. The reality is that this style of working is more or less only used in the classical world (and to a much lesser extent in movie post-production), which means that the benefit of implementing it versus the huge list of other desirable features is small for most of our users.

We do hope to address that at some point in the future.

We have no plans for a “good fade editor”. Someone would need to make a detailed explanation of why it is needed, and what cannot be done with the facilities we already offer.

Thanks Paul,

If you are truly recording stereo microphone configurations, it would be easier to create two stereo tracks rather than four single channel tracks. I will have to double check if that creates two channel files on disk, or if it creates two single channel files with same name plus L and R added to the name. In either case it would simplify your work flow.

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All Ardour-recorded material ends up in mono files.

Yes, this is an approach I think he should consider.

I actually don’t think it matters about how the files are stored on disk “internally” as you can always export as required. And, in any case, I see no reason for @Vadim442 to export until he has finished editing in Ardour.



Firstly, I would suggest a small workflow improvement, if you haven’t done this already, would be to create a track group for all of the mic tracks.

So you are recording 4 mics which represent 2 stereo tracks. If we label the mics as “mic 1” to “mic 4”, then your aim is to have one stereo track which has *say" mic 1 on the left and mic 2 on the right, and another stereo track with mic 3 on the left and mic 4 on the right?

This has to be the case or you couldn’t do that with one click on Audacity (after all of the other clicks you did to get the files out of Ardour and into Audacity).

So, I would do as @ccaudle suggested: instead of creating 4 mono tracks, create two stereo ones to start with. Then you can assign mics 1 and 2 to the inputs of the first track, and mics 3 and 4 to the inputs of the second track.


So, by doing this you have created two stereo tracks from the start, and saved yourself half a dozen clicks or more.

When you record, the recordings from the mics go straight into the tracks.

Then, depending on your approach, you can use overlay regions or playlists to do multiple takes and it all just goes straight into the stereo tracks with no messing around needed.

And if you have created a track group for both tracks, you can do some editing across both stereo tracks easily:

Then, when you have finished editing, you can mix the two tracks (assuming that’s what your ultimate aim is) and export the result as a stereo track. Or, if you need the final result to be the two separate stereo tracks for some reason, you can do a stem export to create separate files:



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Another approach, if you need to individually edit the mono tracks prior to making them stereo, is to create 4 Mic tracks (note you can do this in one operation and even create a track group for them within the Add Track dialog).

You do your work on the individual tracks (perhaps using the Izotope RX plugin directly in Ardour) and then, when you have finished, combine them to a stereo track. There’s a few ways to do this. For instance:

  1. Export the tracks as stems and them re-import them in pairs as stereo tracks. That should be no slower than exporting to Audacity.

  2. Bounce them into two stereo tracks by configuring the input of one stereo track to be the outputs of mic 1 and mic 2 in the routing grid, and the same for the second stereo tracks with mic 3 and 4 outputs, then record these tracks:

Note that, if you do this frequently, you can create the tracks and the routing in advance and save it as a template.



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