Metering & Clipped File Confusion

Please explain this to me:

I record a 24 bit 44.1 mono input signal to a stereo track. The resulting file is mono and peaks at -5.64db
I increase the trim +8db to where the track’s level meter (on the mixer) only peaks at -0.6db - It does not visually overload.
I then export it as a “Mono Down Mix” and the resulting file is clipped.
Then when I re-import the clipped mono file and play it back on a stereo channel the level meter only registers a peak of -3.0db.

I’m guessing this has something to do with some kind of signal level change between a stereo channel and a mono recording/ export?
Could somebody explain this to me? Is there a specific db amount it changes and why?

Thank you!

when using Mono Downmix the pan law will be taken into account, this is normally defaulted to -3db. So for instance a stereo file that shows 0db on the master fader when summed into mono would read about +3db when summed, but as the pan law is set to -3db then the actual result would come back around 0db.

If you have a mono file that peaks at -5.64db and increase the gain by +8db then the file should peak at +3.64 unless you are looking at the master fader level, where due to the pan law, will show a centre pan signal at -0.64db

Also, a mono channel that reads 0db on the channel meter when panned centre will read -3db on the master fader metering, again due to the pan law. Pan the mono channel hard left or right and you will see the same level as the channel meter on the master buss.

You can change the pan law in project setup.

You would be better to record mono signals to mono channels, and if you want to process with a stereo insert then route to a stereo group and use the plugin there.

Split - thank you for explaining this to me!
Everything you say makes perfect sense. In an effort to work faster, I stopped using stereo tracks because I was tired of inserting reverbs and other effects that never really worked. I guess its time to go mono again:)

Thanks Again!