Stereo Audio Tracks - What are they for?

Here’s a dumbo’s question,

What are stereo audio tracks for? I’m happy that a mono audio track can be panned etc. to form part of a stereo field but I don’t understand when/why you would use a stereo audio track.

Can anyone give me some examples?

Enlighten me.

If you only need to trim, cut or cross fade aome stereo audio tracks (like my music collection) then Stereo tracks are the obvious choice. There is no need to split them on import and have the task of panning them if you don’t plan to edit the left and right channels of the file independently, which I hardly ever do.

Speed and convenience. There are lots of audio signals that you would only want to process in stereo, as they will contain important spacial information where the left and right channels would need to be treated the same - for example piano recordings, almost all synths, acoustic guitar (sometimes), recordings from ambient mics, drum overheads, and most importantly imported music files. If all these were presented as mono channels panned left and right, you would have an unnecessary number of tracks and faders to deal with; when eq’ing or compressing the tracks, you would have to open a separate processor on each mono track and make identical adjustments to both any time you wanted to change anything. Besides other reasons to do with panning law, there are some plugins that deal with phase correction between left and right channels or stereo enhancement that could not be strapped across two mono tracks - the only way to make them work would be to send the two mono tracks to their own stereo bus (or group) containing the effect - then you have lots of unnecessary buses to deal with too!

Thanks, that’s helpful!