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Mono v. Stereo


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I have a dilema and I wanted to run it by you audio gurus here at OCR. I have one audio file in stereo 44100 Hz 32-bit and another in mono 22050 Hz 32-bit. I want to concatenate the two into a single stereo mix. Now I realize that the mono file will not just magically become stereo by combining the two in an audacity project and exporting to stereo .mp3.

My question is about if there should be any major concerns with actually doing this and playing back on a big sound system, the kind you listen to in big concerts. Now I don't think most of the people in the audience will be that audio savvy to notice TOO much of a sound drop once the mono recorded audio file kicks in, but I just want to make sure it won't sound completely horrible or if there are any tips to minimize the sound quality loss. I've been reading some interesting stuff online about how create "fake stereo" from mono recordings which I'm not too interested in doing, although the technical aspects of how the stereo sound is achieved is pretty cool. Just any little things I should be aware of since this is for a big Indian culture dance show and I don't want anything to mess up during the performance.

As always, thanks for your time and help.

- Ravi

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The mono file would be split evenly into L and R channels, so it would make no difference on a big sound system - the mono signal would sound like it would come from the centre. The most loss would come from the bitrate. 22 kHz audio cannot be "upgraded" to kHz - you can't do away with the distortion offered by such a signal. Some filtering will get rid of some high end distortion from the aliasing that occurs.

Moire distortion will be minimal due to the fact that 22 kHz fits easily into a 44 kHz signal.

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If you're really, really looking for a way to make it stereo, even though it's not totally necessary... in audacity, duplicate the mono track, position the duplicate one track below the original, click the drop-down menu on the original and select "make stereo track".

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