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Old 07-20-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
7angram
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Default exported mono wave files are not playing back as expected

I am exporting some mono wavefiles that have been generated using Zebra2 in Reaper. When I play the project in Reaper using midi/Zebra it sounds correct, as you would expect a mono sound to be with headphones.

Then I export from Reaper to a wavefile using the mono option. If I import this wavefile back into Reaper it sounds exactly the same, and I can clearly see the single channel in the waveform.

However if I play back this file in anything else like Windows Media Player, VLC, or imported into Vegas, the mono file sounds "stereoised". It doesn't sound like it is right down the middle when you have headphones on. For the life of me I can't work out why this is?

I am working on sound fx for a game so I want these files to sound very old school/square wave mono and not stereo, but my game engine (Godot) also gives it this stereoised effect even though it recognises it as a mono file.

I was hoping one of you audio gurus could put me straight on this!
cheers...
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:36 PM   #2
DVDdoug
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Are you using ASIO with REAPER?

Are you using the same hardware for playback?

Sometimes Windows has "enhancements" or sometimes your soundcard driver has a utility to alter the sound. You can turn that stuff off, but you'll have to figure-out how... I'm on a Windows 10 system at the moment and when I right=click the speaker/volume icon I see "Spacial sound" (Off).

That stuff shouldn't work with ASiO and it might be disabled if you use a different soundcard/interface.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:08 PM   #3
7angram
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Thanks for the reply Doug! Good point, I hadn't considered that it was the laptop soundcard trying to "enhance" the sound. I am doing this on a Win10 laptop and when I click on the taskbar speaker icon, it tells me that the "spatial sound" is off, so I would have thought that I wouldn't get this effect?...will have to investigate further. You are right, I am using ASIO for Reaper which would explain why only Reaper is giving me true mono.

Also, just jumped over to my Win7 laptop and Win Media Player plays the mono files correctly. This does prove that it is Win10 that is trying to "enhance" the mono files. Will have to track this down, so thanks for the direction
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:28 PM   #4
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@DVDDoug , out of interest can you play back mono files correctly in Win10 on anything non-ASIO? I tried switching Reaper to use DirectSound or Waveout and it also gives this doubling/stereo effect on a mono effect. Switch back to ASIO and it is correct mono.

I am wondering if this is actually considered a feature in Win10 I have previously used Win7 for most of my audio work and it doesn't have this issue. Also, I did check my laptop soundcard settings and it doesn't even support Spatial Audio so it can't be that.

Interestingly Win10 has a specific checkbox to make everything mono, so I am wondering if it is the OS doing this stereoising by default. Even if I turn on the mono switch in Win10 it still sounds strange, like it is mono doubled.

more info here...
https://www.thewindowsclub.com/mono-audio-windows-10
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