Hi I have a bunch of recordings in my library that are stereo WAV's but are actually mono. Is there a script or program for mac that would find and convert the WAV's to mono ?

  • 1
    Converting is trivial. Finding, not quite. Are they really mono files stored in stereo format, or just stereo files with very little stereo width? Feb 6, 2016 at 21:57
  • Yes they are 100% the same signal on both channels.
    – user16701
    Feb 7, 2016 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


A procedure that would definitely work: for each file ${f}.wav,

  • Split it up to M/S stereo, i.e. to a file ${f}_M.wav and a file ${f}_S.wav. For instance with

    ffmpeg -i ${f}.wav -filter_complex "[0:0]pan=1c|c0=0.5 * c0 + 0.5 * c1[mid];[0:0]pan=1c|c0 = 0.5 * c0 + -0.5 * c1[side]" -map "[mid]" ${f}_M.wav -map "[side]" ${f}_S.wav
  • If f.wav is actually mono, then f_S.wav will contain silence. You can detect this by analysing the volume. This is also possible with ffmpeg

    ffmpeg -i ${f}_S.wav -af "volumedetect" -f null /dev/null

    but it's a bit awkward to parse the output; there's probably an easier tool for this.

    • If it is mono, overwrite f.wav with the equivalent mono file f_M.wav.
    • Else delete f_M.wav.
  • Either way, delete f_S.wav.

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