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Stereo Track Processing - Tricks and Tips

Now you've got your first stereo recording under your belt it's a good time to step back and look at a few basic issues associated with stereo tracks. You'll surely want to check your recording, perhaps also mix the tracks into one mono track.

Now is a good time to look at using gain and improving your future recording performance by using the level meter to full advantage.


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Correction: LEFT-click to select a track. Shift and LEFT-click to select further tracks.

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Cut out the Clipping

Avoiding clipping should always be a key objective when making a recording. The surefire way to ensure against clipping is to engage the level meter and to play the material you intend to record all the way through once. If the mark indicating clipping doesn't appear at the right of the meter then you're good to go at that volume. Otherwise lower the volume and run through again.

Line-in volume will typically be significantly lower than microphone volume for an identical input.

Cassette Tapes and Stereo Recording

Stereo Cassettes can show considerable damage on one channel whilst the other channel remains perfect. If the contents of the stereo tracks are otherwise identical (or very nearly identical) it should be possible to simply discard the one damaged track, and covert the other to mono for keeps.

If the tracks are different then mixing the two down to one mono track can sometimes help to mask the worst of the damage. But only to mask it: repairing the tape is what's called for if you need to improve the quality of your recording.

Plain Text

More on Stereo...
You can split a stereo track...
to listen to one side at a time...
...using the SOLO and MUTE buttons.
The two sides can be recombined using the first track's menu.
Or just use the panning slide, to hear each side separately.

Use the INPUT METER to monitor volume before recording.
For a closer look, FLOAT the meter.
If the volume is too high, a mark appears at the right edge...
...and stays.
You can even use the meter whilst actually recording.
To mix the two channels of a stereo recording...
...split the tracks...
...and set each track to MONO.
Use the OUTPUT METER to check the combined volume.
If it is too loud then LOWER the GAIN on each track.
Take care to lower each track the same amount...
Unless you prefer to make one side quieter!
For the perfect mix, play the entire track to check...
...the volume at every stage.
To mix the tracks, select them...
Click in this area to select....
Shift + click to select further tracks....
Use QUICK MIX in the project menu to mix.
Or alternatively use the EXPORT functions...
To make permanent copies of your mix.