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Topic: Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono (Read 908 times) previous topic - next topic
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Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono

Hi everyone,

I have a Rega Planar 1 Plus (ergo, built in phono pre-amp) and a Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card. I have some vinyl that are recordings from video game soundtracks on the NES, which only would output in mono, leading me to believe these are mono cut vinyl (No mention on the labels unfortunately). If it matters at all, these vinyl were released in the late 2010s.

I would like to get a native mono audio signal from these vinyl. From my research, apparently I have to "sum" the stereo signal into a mono signal. I was looking online and saw this...

https://www.newark.com/mcm-custom-audio/50-20795/stereo-to-mono-signal-converter/dp/25AC5154

If I were to connect a RCA cable between the RCA Out on the Planar 1 Plus and the RCA In on that device, then connect a RCA to Stereo 3.5mm cable between the RCA Out on that device and the Line-in on my sound card, would that work properly? I read some reviews on Amazon as well as directions for similar devices, and they all mentioned plugging the RCA Out into an amp/receiver, but since my pre-amp is built into my turntable that wouldn't be possible.

Finally, if this is a stereo cut record, with what I presume would still have to be a mono recording due to the NES hardware, would the above still give me a high quality native mono signal? When recording in Audacity since I believe I would be getting dual channel mono, would recording in a mono track be correct, or should I record in a stereo track, then mix down to mono once finished?

Thanks for any answers in advance.

 

Re: Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono

Reply #1
If this is truly mono, then it really doesn't matter whether you take L+R or L or R as your signal.  You could, for example, simply take the L output from the pre-amp and split it to L and R inputs of the succeeding equipment.

However, there is some value in summing L+R as a means of noise reduction.  You could do this in hardware by resistively mixing the L and R into a mono signal, or record the stereo pair and then simply sum them in something like Audacity (which would be my tool of choice for this kind of thing).

It's your privilege to disagree, but that doesn't make you right and me wrong.

Re: Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono

Reply #2
Conversion to mono is super easy in the current version of Audacity -  There is now a "mono" button on the Export window.

But it's done by summing so to prevent clipping, run the Amplify effect with the new peak set to -6dB before exporting.

Re: Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono

Reply #3
If this is truly mono, then it really doesn't matter whether you take L+R or L or R as your signal....

You could do this in hardware by resistively mixing the L and R into a mono signal, or record the stereo pair and then simply sum them in something like Audacity (which would be my tool of choice for this kind of thing).

So I don't need that device at all and can accomplish the same effect of having a native mono track with Audacity's "Mix Stereo Down to Mono" effect?

There is now a "mono" button on the Export window.

But it's done by summing so to prevent clipping, run the Amplify effect with the new peak set to -6dB before exporting.

Would the "Mix Stereo Down to Mono" feature in the "Tracks->Mix" menu work identically?

Re: Trying to Turn Stereo Audio to Mono

Reply #4
So I don't need that device at all and can accomplish the same effect of having a native mono track with Audacity's "Mix Stereo Down to Mono" effect?
Yup.

Quote
Would the "Mix Stereo Down to Mono" feature in the "Tracks->Mix" menu work identically?
Probably, just try it.  You'll see if the result is in excess of 0dB on the waveform display, so then you can simply normalise.  When you export, make sure you choose mono.
It's your privilege to disagree, but that doesn't make you right and me wrong.