Newb Question on wav importing

Hi. Only just started using Ardour. Previously used Garageband etc. This is obviously much less user freindly because of the magnitude of its capability. Got through the basic set up though.
My question is about importing wav files.
When I use the add new track, it imports the wav as two seperate files on two tracks???
However if I create a new track and then drag and drop the wav onto it just loads the one file.
Am I missing something? Is there a purpose for the two tracks?
Apologize for my ignorance in advance.

Towards the bottom of the import dialog there are several options for the import. One is labelled “Mapping” and has 2 options:

  • one track per channel
  • one track per file

Drag-n-drop uses the 2nd option without asking (because if you want full control over the import, use the import dialog). The dialog comes with the 1st option as the default.

Ahhh. Thanks for that. Makes sense.
All tracks created in garageband are stereo as effects can only be applied to individual tracks. I removed all effects and panned central before exporting them and converting to wav. Could they still be in stereo format hence the two tracks per wav loading? The tracks created in Ardour are labelled LL and RR. As a professional quality daw user virgin, I can’t understand what the two tracks would be for. If I intend the track to be in mono. I have created a bus track to give a wider reverb spread to the panned mono sound. Am I wrong? Maybe I could effect one of the two tracks to do the same job. Sorry again for my very basic understanding. As I said, I have previously only used simple home recording apps that do all the work for you and didn’t pay enough attention when using recording studios.

There is also a long standing bug ( > 10 years IIRC ) with the import dialogue which seems to result in Ardour importing the .wav files as new tracks the first time you use it, even if you explicitly tell it not to. Toggling between various import options before doing the first import seems to have an effect (most of the time)

In Ardour tracks can be either mono or stereo. You should choose the track type based on whether the material you are recording is mono or stereo (or possibly more channels if appropriate).

You would have to either check the GarageBand documentation or check the files, but it seems almost sure from the behavior you have described.
I’m not sure if MacOS ships with sndfile-info, or if it is easy to install from ports, but that will give you a lot of details about the audio file. You can also use the file utility, at least on linux file will show how many channels are in the audio file.

If you are sure that the two channels are identical, just delete one of the imported tracks. If you aren’t sure you can just mute one of the tracks for now.

Hi. Thanks for info. I checked the two tracks. One suffixed LL will only pan from centre to left. The one suffixed RR, centre to right. So assuming must beca stereo file. Just discovered the stereo pan option in ardour to use as mono. So could either use that or convert to mono before importing. I’m using Ardour purely for mixing. I have created parts in Garageband which I’m importing and as I haven’t got expensive mics, want to take a mix to a studio to add vocals and drums then import all to Ardour.

I’m not familiar with garage band, when you say you created parts, does that imply you generated synthesized parts as opposed to recorded parts meaning you recorded a physical instrument?

To choose the right approach you really need to know whether you have true stereo tracks to start out. By true stereo I mean that there is some difference between the channels, not just that two channels exist. If you have a single channel synthesizer that is going to a two channel track in garage band, then maybe it is only amplitude panning, in which case you could combine the two channels. Or maybe the two channels are just duplicates of one another, in which case you could just get rid of one channel, or at least mute it. If there is some stereo effect you want to keep, like chorus, or ping-pong panning, or some other dynamic spatial effect then you would want to import as a two channel track into Ardour.