Stereo track separation

This is probably a dumb question but I never noticed the situation before. Is it normal for a mono file to play back through both speakers? I just split a stereo file into left and right tracks expecting to get left track thru left speaker only or right thru right only. I have tried opening only 1 track at at time, and having both tracks open with one muted or one soloed. I get either track through both speakers. I didn’t know if I changed a setting somewhere or if this is normal. I recently installed a new editor program and also some semi-decent studio monitors. Any info would be appreciated. - JimR


Try adjusting the pan control.



Is it normal for a mono file to play back through both speakers?

I’m going say this in a funny way. If it doesn’t playback through both speakers then what speakers will it have to be played through to be heard? I know what you mean, but a mono track by default is panned dead center - both speakers.

Splitting a stereo track will result in two mono tracks that default to being panned dead center. Steve’s right. Just pan them left and right.

Adjusting the pan won’t do much good if you’re playing back one single stereo track with the same content on both sides…

…and in that case you’d need just one mono track. :)

Well daaa! You guys are right. Guess my headphones have cut off circulation to my brain for too long. I have a previously recorded stereo tape with the lead vocal predominately on the left channel. I want to center the vocal in the mix and was thinking after I split the tracks I would pan the left channel 'till it was balanced in both speakers. I just wasn’t thinking that I would be hearing the mono track on both speakers. Thanks for the feedback