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Thread: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

  1. #1

    Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    Hi - I'm a happy user of the Converter and especially the Stereo to Mono tool which is handy to me : I'm half-deaf and I wanted to keep FLACs but be able to convert them in MONO (even though I have to compromise on the number of channels, I don't wont to compromise on sound quality). It seems dBpoweramp is the only software that does that in bulk : great stuff.

    Anyway : my problem is as follows. When I convert a stereo FLAC into a Mono FLAC, the sound ends up saturated. It also seems the problem is rather new. But I don't understand why, since I haven't changed anything in my system.

    Here's an illustration regarding the same FLAC song :

    1) The original stereo file looks like this:
    original_stereo.png

    2) Once converted in Mono using the Converter:
    saturated.png

    3) To compare, the same Stereo file converted in mono (with a third-party software: Audacity) looks like this:
    not_saturated.png

    Does anyone know what is wrong? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    What DSP(s) are you using in dBpoweramp?

    What gain settings are being applied in Audacity?

  3. #3

    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    I have been using "Channel Count", as advised by someone on the web. In Audacity, i just used the "stereo to mono" function.

  4. #4

    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    Tell me if I'm wrong, but I should use "Channel Mapper" instead, right? Can I resolve my problem by using a 50%-50% mix?

  5. #5
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by GivenToFlyHD View Post
    Tell me if I'm wrong, but I should use "Channel Mapper" instead, right? Can I resolve my problem by using a 50%-50% mix?
    Possibly, but you would have to experiment with the Channel Mapper settings to try and replicate what Audacity is doing and then decide whether you are happy with the results.

    I'm not familiar with Audacity, but I guess the stereo to mono function is applying a gain change, to avoid potential clipping. Whether the amount of gain change is set by the user, set based on a reference level or simply a fixed amount, you would have to check the Audacity documentation.

  6. #6

    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    Ok, thanks a lot for your answers and advices!

  7. #7
    Administrator
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    Apr 2002
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    40,758

    Re: Stereo to Mono conversion : sound ends up saturated?

    Depending on the audio, you effectively have 2 channels which become one, and if the channels perfectly add together then you would need to set the gain at 0.5, but for most music that will be too quiet.

    You are best:

    DSP Effect: Bit Depth >> Floating point
    Channel Count
    Volume Normalize: Peak to peak
    Bit Depth: 16 bit (with dither)

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