Audacity fiddles with my left/right balance at startup

Audacity changes my left/right balance in my Windows audio settings every time I start it. It puts it in center. At the moment, I’ve got a short in my headset where left and right are somehow shorted together so I have to set Windows to Mono and my balance all the way left or right otherwise the left and right channels combine destructively, effectively muting most things. Yea, it sucks. New headset is on the way soon.

I only work with mono audio and only do amateur work (for myself, not for others), so this is no problem for me. Except when I start Audacity, it resets the balance and I have to open my sound settings and put it back. Is there any way to stop this? I can’t find anything in the options.


Short answer: No.

An easy mistake to make in Audacity is to accidentally nudge the Track Gain or Pan sliders (See:
If you accidentally nudge the Track Gain slider then at least you will be able to hear the problem.
When you have your new headphones, you will also be able to hear the problem if the Track Pan is accidentally nudged.

It is important when working with audio that your equipment works correctly .
I hope you enjoy your new headphones when they arrive. :mrgreen:

That’s incredibly disappointing. I don’t think Audacity should mess with Windows settings. There are legitimate reasons why people would want or need things a certain why. Audacity should worry about itself and not how Windows is configured.

It’s not actually Audacity messing with Windows settings. Audacity just requests a new connection to the sound system (as it does on Linux and macOS) - how the sound system responds to that request is beyond Audacity’s control (which is why there’s no option in Audacity to change the behaviour). On Mac and Linux, the sound system just creates the requested sound stream to Audacity. As far as I’m aware it is only Windows that creates the requested sound stream and resets the left / right balance.