Working with Split Channel Audio File Formats

You can store multi-channel audio as interleaved or split channel audio files.

An interleaved audio file contains all channel information, stored in an alternating single “stream.” This would be left channel, right channel, left, right, and so on.

Split channel audio files couple separate audio files, allowing you to deal with each channel (file) independently. Two separate files are created, where one file contains the left channel samples, and the other file contains the right channel samples. The files are generally identified by a .L and .R suffix. The two files are linked, and are edited as a pair. You can, however, disconnect them (in the Audio Bin), allowing each to be handled independently.

Logic Express, and most other audio applications, support the import and recording of interleaved files when using Core Audio hardware.

A handful of audio applications (including Pro Tools) only support split file formats, and will automatically separate interleaved files when you import them.

Tip: You should use interleaved audio files if your audio hardware supports them. Split channel audio files require significantly more hard disk I/O performance.