This used to be tricky, but no more! RipEditBurn Plus now has a built in mono to stereo converter. It's easy to use- load in the file, click on Effects->Mono to Stereo and follow the instructions on the dialog box. In case you don't have RipEditBurn Plus yet, or if you want to understand exactly what's going on, here's the explanation of how to do it the hard way:
Do you have a mono file you want to convert to stereo? You can do that very easily by going to Edit->Change Format, clicking on Stereo, and the single mono track will be copied into two stereo tracks. Unfortunately, your file will take up twice as much space on your hard drive but it won't sound any better!
There are some tricks that will help make the two channels sound more like they were recorded in stereo. This tutorial will show you how.
Often offsetting the starting times of the two tracks by a very small fraction of a second can be very effective. To do that, you will need to make two copies of the mono file. If there is silence at the beginning of the file, all you have to do is cut between 20 and 50 milliseconds from the beginning of one of the files using the techniques from the Editing Tutorial.
Otherwise, you will have to find between 20 and 50 milliseconds of silence and paste them at the beginning of one of the files. You can use the scale below the waveform display to measure the amount of time you are adding or deleting- here's a picture of the first 40 milliseconds of a file selected, either being pasted in or deleted:
Note that we zoomed into the beginning of the file using the zoom buttons before attempting to work on such a small section. Click here for more information on zooming.
Now, convert both mono files into stereo files using Edit->Change Format. Make one file the right channel and the other the left channel using Edit->Mute and selecting the channel you want to mute. Then save both files and, with the cursor at the very beginning of one of the files, select Mix and then the name of the other two files. You will now have a stereo file with the two channels offset.
Once the file is in stereo, whether or not you offset the channels, you can add different effects to each channel- try adding EQ, with the left channel emphasizing the high frequencies and the right channel emphasizing the low frequencies.
Note that the effects dialog boxes each allow you to apply the effect to one channel or to both. Here's a picture of the EQ dialog set to increase the high frequencies on the left channel:
You can add just a bit of echo to each channel, making the echo different for each. Try combining different effects in different ways to get the best result for the particular track you are working with.
These tricks won't make a mono recording sound quite as good as audio originally recorded in stereo, but, with some experimentation, you can make it sound pretty darn good. Try it!
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