Apply the appropriate "Fill" effect.
Effects>Audio Effects>Stereo>Fill Left or Fill Right
Fill Left effect, Fill Right effect
Before using the clips in a sequence, you can select them, right-click and select Modify > Audio Channels, and set the mapping to Mono. This will interpret the stereo left and right as two mono channels, and they'll edit into a sequence that way.
You can also use the Breakout to Mono command (Clip > Audio Options > Breakout to Mono), but that creates new audio-only master clips that are no longer linked to the video. It doesn't create new media, though--just master clips.
When necessary, I use Colin's first method, and it works fine.
If I read you correctly, you will likely be removing one, or the other, or parts of each of the mono streams. Do you then plan on Exporting to 2-channel/mono+mono, or some other Audio stream?
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Using "Fill Left" or "Fill Right" is kind of a "last resort" effect, that can be useful if you've already done a bunch of edits in a sequence and realize you need to quickly map only one of the audio channels to output. The downside is that if you use any kind of normalizing, the louder of the two tracks will be normalized (even if it is the track you have effectively disabled by choosing the Fill Right or Fill Left effect...the waveform is used here, and it remains in the sequence).
You have also removed one of your audio channels by using this method. You could, of course, cut the clips in the sequence and change the Fill effect as you go along, depending on which channel you want to use. This is rather cumbersome though, and part of why the Fill effects are more of a last resort in a way.
By using "Map Channel" you avoid the waveform/normalizing issue. However, you are PERMANENTLY stuck with only one of the audio channels (L or R, whichever you select) and the clip in the sequence will only be the one channel, just mapped to both L and R channels.
By using "Breakout to Mono" you have a full mono clip that you can use on the timeline. The waveform/normalizing will work correctly, and you'll actually have an easier-to-view waveform on the timeline as well (at any given track height), if that is important to you.
MY BEST RECOMMENDATION for what you need, and assuming you are just starting this project (and not in the middle of the edit already), you could use "Breakout to mono" on your source clip, then create a sequence for that clip (and any other clips that share the same audio properties and destination).
In that sequence, lay the two mono clips on separate tracks. NOW...you can drop this sequence into your MASTER sequence, right click and select "Multicam > Enable" and now you can switch back and forth between your two audio channels as you go along with using either the multicam monitor, or cutting manually in the clip and right clicking to select which channel audio you need.
Hopefully that makes sense...that's the way I'd probably do it, as you retain all the original clip inforamtion in the original sequence if you ever need to go back and apply a global effect to everything...and you don't have to enable/disable the "Fill Right" and "Fill Left" effects as you go throughout your sequence.
Hope this helps!!
Awesome, thank you, the first method worked perfectly!
Nope, I only need to export to one channel mono, and Colin's first method worked great, thanks so much !
Unforchinately I am in the middle of my project :S I had been using the 'break apart to mono' technique thus far but it was frustrating that the audio was no longer linked to my video, although the way that you describe seems like it will work much better; I will test when I start a new project, thanks so much!