Any way to record with Audacity and a usb dac

I am running xp on a Dell Vostro 1320 and have no problems recording streams using the internal sound card
but when I plug in a usb dac Audacity doesnt seem to find the stream. Any way I can set up Audacity to do this.
I never actualy use the internal sound of the laptop to listen.

If you have Win7 or Win8, you may be able to use [u]WASAPI Loopback[/u]. (If loopback doesn’t work for you, that page also has some other suggestions.)

If your DAC goes both directions, then you can route the computer audio output to the DAC and instead of listening to it, connect a short cable from the analog output back to the analog input. Then tell Audacity to record your DAC.

This is a Behringer DAC that can be used this way.

There is an illustration with the loop cable in place. This is the same configuration used to set recording latency in overdubbing.

This is one way to do it (illustration). You can also connect the in to the out with a plain RCA/RCA.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.29.58.png

I want to record the digital stream to the pc then replay it from the usb to the dac.

The instructions you have been given should allow you to record computer playback and listen to it on the “DAC”.

You cannot use stereo mix of the inbuilt sound card to record audio playing on a separate USB sound card.

Assuming you are on Windows Vista or later, do the following:

  1. Open Device Toolbar .
  2. In the first (Host) box of Device Toolbar, choose “Windows WASAPI”.
  3. In the second (Output device) box in Device Toolbar, choose the DAC output.
  4. In the third (Input device) box in Device Toolbar, choose the (loopback) input for DAC output.
  5. In the fourth (Input Channels) box in Device Toolbar, choose mono or stereo.
  6. Start playing the audio you want to record.
  7. Press the big red Record button in Audacity.

If you need more help, please give us more information to go on. What version of Windows and what version of Audacity? See the pink panel at the top of this page. What is the make and model number of the “DAC”?


I am on xp and cant find wasapi. I have just downloaded version 2.05 installer so its installed.
The first box I have choice mme or windows direct sound.
The second box has usb audio dac.
Can the loopback method work on optical but having said that I have no optical inputs to the
I realy need to be able to record the digital stream the laptop is using to drive the usb dac, but internally.

As it states clearly in the Manual re WASAPI: “This host only appears on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8” - so not available on XP

See this page in the Manual:


Only one question.
If I record using Audacity 2.05 using my internal sound card
Is it recording the digital stream to the sound card or the analogue output from the sound card.

On XP, I believe you’re stuck recording analog soundcard loopback. That’s “Stereo Mix” or What-U-Hear.

The pc cant record analogue so does it have to reconvert it back to digital with an analogue to digital convertor.
The internal sound card is rubbish quality so its going to be twice as bad.

The internal sound card is rubbish quality

Most of them are. That’s why I suggested going outside of the computer with that Behringer UCA202 and a short stereo RCA cable. That device uses high quality Burr-Brown ADDA chips. Someone did an actual technical sound check and the quality is good. Plus, it gives you an independently controlled headphone connection so you can listen to what you’re doing.


You can try SoundLeech from which is digital. If you open Windows Sounds and Audio Devices and select this “DAC” as the default device in “Sound Playback” then I think SoundLeech should capture sound from the DAC and save it as a WAV file.

You then don’t use Audacity at all to do the recording.


See this warning about the security risks of running XP: .


Still got a problem, the dac is external to the laptop and is plugged into a usb socket so its not possible to record from the dac.
I need to be able to record from the internal digital stream in the laptop.

Are you sure you selected this “DAC” as the default playback device in Windows Sounds and Audio Devices?

You can also try Total Recorder which captures digitally . If you like it, you have to buy it.