Stereo export from a project with mono master bus

My problem was funny:

  • First I wanted to work out an Ardour 4 project just with some mono files (clips from interviews, speech etc.) so I set up a one-channel-project with a mono master bus also.
  • Those mono clips had to be combined with stereophonic music clips. I thought it might not be wise to set up a complete new project - why not modify the old one? So I set up two stereo tracks for the music. I made volume automation and finished the project after some hours.
  • So I thought, everything is ready for a stereo export.

It wasn’t ready ;-).

  • Directly from a mono master bus you can only make a monophonic export.

  • If you want to export directly from the tracks and you have some mono tracks they also can only export one channel. this would not have worked in combination with the 2-channel-stereo tracks.

  • I tried to add a new 2 channel master bus but this didn’t work.

  • I added a second bus in stereo but learned that even this bus could only export one channel :open_mouth:

After brooding a lot over it I took a solution inspired by the analog era ;-):

Instead of a stereo bus I set up a new stereo track and connected all the other tracks’ outputs to the new track’s input (the outputs of mono tracks to both channels of the stereo track of course). Then I just had to make this track ready to record, jumped to the beginning of the project and clicked on “play”.

It worked :smiley: : a kind of “real-time-export” of the other mono and stereo tracks to the new stereo track.
Afterwards I just had to make a stereo export from this track.

Hope this might help anyone who has a similar problem in future :slight_smile:

Here is a picture of it - you can see the new stereo track called “Audio” at the bottom:


Yep, generally what you did gets referred to as ‘bouncing’ tracks down, used to be required a lot more than it is now, even in early computer DAW days, but even more so in the days when tape was king. It is still a very good option (And in some cases required) for people with external processing to be able to print the effects either before or during export as well.