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Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono

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Simon Billington
Re: what happens if a stereo file is exported as mono
on Sep 23, 2017 at 12:34:27 am

Not specifically. A mono track and left and right wont sound the same way as if it's stereo.

If the information is the same, and it usually is which is why it's mono, it will just collapse into the centre which is the same way TV and computers handle mono and dialogue tracks. This is what they commonly refer to as the "phantom centre". It will still come out the centre dialogue channel if you're working with surround. Since it's in the middle it will be interpreted by the post production facilities as being in the centre channel and will get written that way when rendering out.

This is of course different if the two sides aren't the same. I think many prefer it because the audio is perceivably more loud, which has the psychoacoustic effect of sounding better, but that's just an illusion.

There is no guarantees that both sides will be the same, one might be more subject to noise induced by camera electronics than another, for example. So it shouldn't be assumed that is in fact dual mono. If there was enough phase variance on one channel it will have this negative impact when played alongside the other. It could make it sound more weak over all. However this is quite rare, but still something to keep in mind. it's because of this, though, that it's usually more wise to pick one, disable the other, pan it to the centre and increase its volume by either 3 or 6db to compensate. I forget which, but i believe it's the latter.


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