Audacity Can't Record My Audio

I’ve been using Audacity for more than 5 years to record voice overs, with no problems. Tonight, I went to record, and got a message that something was wrong with the device, which I assumed meant my mixer. I checked the settings, which were correct. There was input, and the levels were fine, yet when I tried to record a track, there was nothing, as if Audacity couldn’t hear the audio. I launched Garage Band, which I loathe, and there was audio input.

I downloaded Audacity again, and it still isn’t working. I’m absolutely stumped and frustrated.

We can’t see over your shoulder. You’ll have to tell us which Mac, which Audacity (all three numbers), which mixer and how is it connected to the computer. I’m typing on a MacBook Pro, OS-X 10.9.5. What do you have?


Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Audio > Input. Do you see your connection there? USB-AUDIO, something something (we don’t know how you’re connected yet). Does the blue ball sound meter bounce when you say something?

Does plugging your headphones into the mixer work?


I’m using Audacity 2.1.1 on an iMac with OS X 10.9.5; I’d been operating the previous version of OS X when I first encountered the problem this evening, and updated it when other attempts at a fix didn’t resolve it. I’d initially downloaded the latest Audacity version this past summer. The mixer is an M-Audio FastTrack Guitar/Mic recording interface; I’ve been using it all along.

Yep, the blue ball sound meter bounces when I talk into the mic, and the headphones work as well. When I try to record in Audacity, there’s no waveform, just a flat line.

In your first post you said you got a message that something was wrong with the device. Please be specific. Did that message appear in Audacity, and did it say “Error opening sound device”, and did it say to check the recording device or the playback device?

There are two obvious steps to take, which are to obtain the latest device drivers from Avid, then set the device up in /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup with the same settings that you have in Audacity. Have you done either of those?

Go to to download and install the latest 1.9.6 drivers from Avid.

Quit Audacity. Then open Audio MIDI Setup as above, select the Fast-Track on the left, then right-click or CTRL-click over it, and choose the option to use it for input (and for output if you want that).

Then with the Fast Track still selected, click on the input tab on the right, and set the format to the number of channels that you choose in Audacity, and set the sample rate to the project rate that you choose bottom left of Audacity.

Repeat for the output tab if you use Fast Track Pro for output.


We have input! Thanks for your help!