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Question: splitting a stereo track into two tracks

I imported a stereo recording from my portable edirol wav recorder into GB. I now have one stereo track. I need to split it into two tracks so I can mix it. Advice appreciated. Thanks.

IMAC (RETINA 5K, 27-INCH, LATE 2015), macOS Sierra (10.12)

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Thanks again, Hangtime. Your method will get the sound right, but technically it is not creating any mono tracks, just deleting one side of the stereo signal per channel. To get a regular single track I found this to work:


This only requires Garageband and is quick.

I assume your track has a single region: if not you will have to shift-click to select all the regions in the track that you want to convert.

  1. Click on the track that you want to convert. The single region should automatically be highlighted. Copy the contents.
  2. Command-D or >Track>New Track with duplicate settings to create a new track
  3. Command-V to paste the original contents to the new track
  4. Shift-Click on the original region(s) to highlight it again Now two tracks are selected.
  5. Command-J to join the tracks, and select "Mono" for the mix-down.
  6. The mix-down will replace the original stereo track - you can now click on the temporary track and Delete it.

The key here is the little window after the cmd-J asking if you want the resultant track stereo or mono.

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Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM in response to JG Here In response to JG Here

JG Here wrote:


I now have one stereo track. I need to split it into two tracks


pan the track full left and use the Share menu to Export to disk


pan the track fully right, and again export


create a new project and drag the two files into a blank area of the timeline; two stereo tracks will be created


for each track open the Smart Controls:


User uploaded file


and click the Stereo/Mono button to set each track to Mono:


User uploaded file

Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM in response to HangTime In response to HangTime

Thanks for the comprehensive reply, HangTime. I see how that would work. It looks like a longer workaround to a feature that apparently is missing in GB. I guess there's not a way to simply select the stereo track and bring up a menu to make two real tracks from it. Seems like this would happen often with people importing wav files recorded on devices like mine.

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Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM in response to JG Here In response to JG Here

JG Here wrote:


I now have one stereo track. I need to split it into two tracks


pan the track full left and use the Share menu to Export to disk


pan the track fully right, and again export


create a new project and drag the two files into a blank area of the timeline; two stereo tracks will be created


for each track open the Smart Controls:


User uploaded file


and click the Stereo/Mono button to set each track to Mono:


User uploaded file

Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM

Reply Helpful (2)
Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM in response to HangTime In response to HangTime

Thanks for the comprehensive reply, HangTime. I see how that would work. It looks like a longer workaround to a feature that apparently is missing in GB. I guess there's not a way to simply select the stereo track and bring up a menu to make two real tracks from it. Seems like this would happen often with people importing wav files recorded on devices like mine.

Nov 13, 2017 8:29 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Nov 14, 2017 10:23 AM in response to JG Here In response to JG Here

Most of that worked, but once I had two separate tracks, clicking that small icon to convert from stereo to mono did not work. I switched it back and forth and each of the two tracks are still stereo.

Nov 14, 2017 10:23 AM

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Nov 14, 2017 10:43 AM in response to JG Here In response to JG Here

JG Here wrote:


clicking that small icon to convert from stereo to mono did not work.


i'm not sure what could be wrong.


i just tested it, and it worked exactly as expected.


look at the Master volume in these two screenshots; when the track is set to stereo, there's only output on the left channel. when set to mono there is output on both channels:


User uploaded file


User uploaded file


could you post identical screenshots?

Nov 14, 2017 10:43 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Nov 14, 2017 2:06 PM in response to HangTime In response to HangTime

Thanks again, Hangtime. Your method will get the sound right, but technically it is not creating any mono tracks, just deleting one side of the stereo signal per channel. To get a regular single track I found this to work:


This only requires Garageband and is quick.

I assume your track has a single region: if not you will have to shift-click to select all the regions in the track that you want to convert.

  1. Click on the track that you want to convert. The single region should automatically be highlighted. Copy the contents.
  2. Command-D or >Track>New Track with duplicate settings to create a new track
  3. Command-V to paste the original contents to the new track
  4. Shift-Click on the original region(s) to highlight it again Now two tracks are selected.
  5. Command-J to join the tracks, and select "Mono" for the mix-down.
  6. The mix-down will replace the original stereo track - you can now click on the temporary track and Delete it.

The key here is the little window after the cmd-J asking if you want the resultant track stereo or mono.

Nov 14, 2017 2:06 PM

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Nov 14, 2017 2:21 PM in response to JG Here In response to JG Here

JG Here wrote:


technically it is not creating any mono tracks, just deleting one side of the stereo signal per channel.


no, it isn't actually deleting anything.


if there were audio on the other channel each channel would produce sound in both outputs.


visually you will see a set of waveforms (stereo), but when set to mono, the track plays both channels, in mono, out to both output channels.


still, if you found a method that works for you, stick with it.

Nov 14, 2017 2:21 PM

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Question: splitting a stereo track into two tracks