How to monitor L and R inputs (=2x instruments)...

as mono, or panned differently?

I am trying to record two instruments to the L and R channels of a stereo track (or to two seperate mono tracks even), however, on monitoring the incoming signals they are of course hard-panned to the left and right - not the most comfortable way to listen to them. I would prefer to be able to pan the two instruments to say, “10 o’clock” and “2 o’clock” positions, or at least have both signals panned to the centre (i.e. listening in mono). Real-world mixers allow this for monitoring live intruments but so far I’ve not discovered how to do this in n-Track (I’m using v.3).

Any thoughts anyone? Perhaps an alternative application might be the answer, if so which?

Maybe there is a utility that can intercept and alter the sound coming out of the soundcard before it is sent to the output jack. Such a utility would need to feed a little of the right hand signal to the left channel and vice versa, and probably would be independent of n-Track and more to do with the soundcard and Windows. [Edit: I’ve just thought that an external mixer / device could do this, before feeding to monitor headphones. Not a straightforward solution though…]

I know n-track can do live monitoring, which might provide the answer, but my experience with latency issues mean it’s not a road I want to go down.



There is a “mono” button somewhere there in n-Track (I’m at work and can’t remember where)

I think the mono only works for what it is playing back.

Routing left and right to come out the other side in mono (hardware wise) for monitoring is a function of the soundcard or its controls.

With my Delta it has got pan controls on each input and output.

With that I can do excactly what you want to do. But if the soundcard can’t then you’re stuck with a) hitting the ‘live’ button and hoping that you have low enough latency or b) getting an external mixer or c) get a set of phones like I had with a ‘summing mono’ switch on it.

Worked like a dream.


There is a mono button in n-TRack, but I think it is for playback only. It won’t affect live monitoring of input though, which is, I think, a hardware or Windows issue.

There are two possible solutions as far as I can see: using live input monitoring and passing through a plugin that mono’izes the input (you would need to turn down the line input monitor in the Windows Volume Control), though there can be some latency; or using the audio output of the soundcard and going through external hardware to make it mono…or panned in a different way.


Hi Wihan, we cross-posted with the same answers :)

Unfortunately I only have a standard soundcard.

I hadn’t thought of a pair of headphones with mono switch though - might look out for a pair, good idea - thanks


How do you get the signal into the PC ?

If is is a mixer that have inserts you can use that.

I’ve been using that for a long time.

You use the ‘inserts’ of the channels to get the signal into the PC and then you use the channel fader to send the ammount (and PAN) of that channel to the main mix.

Then you set your windows mixer NOT to send any signal on the incoming line you use (line in probably) to the output, and set the ‘wav out’ as the only one that goes to the output of the soundcard.

Then you put the output of the soundcard into the mixer as well and use those channels to balance playback and monitoring.

Of course in this setup the ‘master outputs’ on the mixer goes nowhere, or into a seperate monitor amp. You can use the headphones on the mixer to monitor everything…


I’m trying to aviod much in the way of external hardware as I like the idea of a simlpe set up…just the computer and my instrument(s), though you are right that either an input or output mixer would help with this task. However I do like your suggestion of using mono-switching headphones.


Just as long as you know you have options :)

If you are going for an elegant/simple solution that would be my best bet. I am a fan of the equipment/work process not standing in the way of the creative process.

Having said that, I am a gadget and twiddle geek. The more options and connections there are the happier I seem to be.

Happy recording !


It’s the twiddling that get’s in the way of creativity for me…!

My plan is to play guitar (or keyboard or bass etc) along with Jamstix, recording to a single track (either panned L and R with a view to separating the parts, or just recording as it is, stereo panning set to taste etc). After a few brainstorming sessions trying to come up with interesting grooves, riffs and intro parts, I’ll then transfer the resultant sound clips to n-track during a later editing and mixing session.

Well that’s the plan… a simple set-up in order to concentrate more on musical ideas etc.