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How to split a stereo signal into L and R channels

I want to split a stereo signal into separate left and right channels in Ableton, but I don’t know how to it right, I’ve been using Audacity for that before. Can I do it Ableton? How?


Yes, you certainly can split a stereo track in Ableton, and it is quite easy. First things off, let’s take some stereo sample as a source signal. I’ve quickly made a new one using Ping Pong delay, waveform clearly shows the difference between the left and the right channels visually:

Next, I duplicate this channel and put a built-in Utility device. On the Utility, change Channel Mode from Stereo to Left in the drop-down menu. Don’t be confused here — when Left is selected, the right channel is ignored and the left channel appears on both outputs identically. In order to completely separate channels, shift panorama all way to the left, and reduce the volume output to -3 dB to compensate volume boost for being sure your splitted sound is perform at the same level as the source audio:

Then I gonna do the same for the right side, bounce both channels (right-click → Freeze TrackFlatten), and rename it to Left and Right respectively to keep things organized:

As an alternative, you can add an Audio Effect Rack, create two chains, and put Utility device to each chain with the same settings as described above. Like this:

And one more hint. You can save this Audio Effect Rack as a preset by clicking on the diskette icon on the top right, so next time when you would like to split a stereo track, just drag and drop it from the library. For this particular reason, I like this method even more.

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This post is a part of the “Advice” series. I’m happy to advise on such topics as music production, sound design, performance, management, marketing, and career advice in the music industry and beyond. Send me your questions, too.