stereo separation


Hi, I’m a newbie here. This is a simple question and maybe it doesn’t belong here. I’ve got Cubase 7 LE. I just have a keyboard and want to record myself with a backtrack. I have Elesis speakers. How do I separate the left & right channels? I don’t see anything on my computer like there used to be in earlier versions of Windows (I have Windows 8) where you could separate the left & right speakers by moving the slider off one of the speakers. I can’t figure out how to do this. Would it be in the speakers I can adjust, or can I do that in Cubase?

I know it’s kind of a simple question, and I have worked with Cubase before, on earlier versions, but if I could help some simple help on this I’d appreciate it.


I am not 100% on exactly what you’re trying to do here.
Are you saying that while you are recording you want only your voice to come out of one speaker and the backing track to come out the other? While recording, mono inputs are usually monitored directly panned in the center. I’ve never had a reason to want to do otherwise. Typically one records vocals while wearing headphones. In which case I think it would be disconcerting for the singer to hear their voice only in one ear with the backing track only in the other ear.

If you want it separated during playback you simply pan one track completely right and one completely left.

Or, are you asking how to create two mono tracks (left & right) from a stereo file? For example you recorded the stereo output of your keyboard into a single stereo track, but now you want them separated so you can effect them independently.

What interface are you using?

Hi, thanks for responding. Here’s the thing. These listening tracks I mentioned, by Aebersold. These are recorded on two channels (well and good, not problem here). When I import the audio into Cubase, it ends up as 1 track with two channels. If I want to listen to only one channel (left or right), there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that. The way the two channels are separate is one channel is one part of the band, the other is a different part. I have a Korg digital piano. All I want to do is record myself playing, with only the left channel going (in my case), and muting the other one. That way I hear only the part of the band I want to hear; the muted track will have my instrument (the piano) which I don’t want to to hear back, because I’m playing the piano and only need the background.

It’s a long tale, and I apologize.

The Korg is hooked up with the usual midi cables to the CI1 adapter, and at this point I have no idea what it actually does. The CI1 is hooked up to my computer. I have two Alesis M1 speakers. Back in the day, when I owned an older version of Cubase, I had no problem separating the tracks because I could do it in XP right in the computer; you could set left or right speakers very easily, and I also had a slew of music fonts I could install right in the computer as well. And this Cubase doesn’t have any decent VST instruments at all that I can see. And then there’s a message I get sometimes saying that I have no ASIO DUPLEX drive, or words to that effect. I have Windows 8.1.

With the Cubase I also got WAVELAB and SEQUEL.

I don’t want to saddle you with a whole bunch of questions, but if you can make any sense at all out of what I told you, good luck and thanks! BTW, it was easy in my older Cubase because there was a menu item which asked you whether you wanted to split the tracks, or not. I can do it in WAVELAB, you know, removing a track. But I can’t record midi into WAVELAB, right??

Argh! Pretty frustrating. If you are a patient man, then I pass this problem on to you, and if you can give me some wise words, I’d would be in heaven!


PS I own the Cubase 7 Elements, not the LE, or whatever the higher-priced on is. So could have been asking questions about the wrong software.

Unfortunately the process I know for this is a little complicated.

Drag the locators in the timeline to encompass the entire file.
Solo the track you want to separate.
Make sure the track fader and master output fader are set to 0 dB (less if you get clipping).
Select [File > Export > Audio Mixdown…] Choose a name for your new files. Click the down arrow for “Path” and choose: Use Project Audio Folder. Under “Audio Engine Output” select the Sample Rate and Bit Depth that match your project. Check “Split Channels”. Under “Import Into Project” check both “Pool” and “Audio Track”.

This will export your stereo track as two separate mono files which will be placed in the current project’s pool and imported to two mono tracks at the exact same start point in the project. All that’s left is to remove the original stereo track and hard pan your new mono tracks Left and Right.

You may also find of use a free plugin from Voxengo called MSED which allows you to isolate the mid channel from the side channels of a stereo file. In other words, the lead vocals are usually panned dead center while the backing tracks panned somewhat left and right. MSED will allow you to remove the center panned audio or the side panned audio to whatever degree you wish. Great for isolating vocals or creating karaoke versions of commercial tracks for remixing or whatever. I used MSED to remove the lead vocals of an Adele song I was trying to learn on piano so that I could hear the piano more clearly without being distracted by the vocals.

The copies of Wavelab and Sequel you got are only trials, so I wouldn’t bother wasting time with them unless you think you might purchase them.

If you don’t want to go through all this, you could import the files into your older version of cubase and then open the project in Cubase 7 Elements. Still a sucky way to do it.

I personally would record the audio outputs and the midi of your Korg piano rather than use a VSTi. That way if you make a slight mistake in your performance you could edit the midi and re-record the audio. Most digital pianos have graded panning (bass left and treble right) so, I would record it in stereo.