Audacity not connecting to USB interface on Mac

I am using a Scarlett 2i2 USB interface on a Mac with Audacity 3.4.2 freshly installed, but it is not recording. I can hear the microphone on the Scarlett’s headphone monitor and it works on the Mac’s Voice Recorder app and with Garage Band. It is selected as the Recording device in Audacity, and Audacity is authorised to use the mic in the Privacy settings. Scarlett was connected and running before I opened Audacity but I tried Rescan Audio Devices anyway. And frustratingly it has worked in the past with the same hardware… I have run out of ideas. Anyone got any thoughts? Thanks. RPJ

Does it record a flat line, or is the cursor stuck?


I can see by the rush of contributors that I’m not the only one flummoxed by this question.

What is the microphone? There are wiring errors that can cause a microphone to vanish under certain conditions.


Thanks Koz. It’s flat lining, and it’s a cheap mic - but it sounds surprisingly good when it does record. Since the original post I looked further into Garage Band. GB gives a choice of using Ch1 mono, Ch2 mono or Ch1 & 2 as a stereo input. It only works when the stereo option is selected - but then it only records on the channel that the mic is plugged into (i.e it does not split the input across two channels). So to get stereo I would have to use two mics. This is OK but indicates that there may be an incompatibility with the Scarlett 2i2 (which is not on the GB list of approved USB devices). The thing that confuses me is that the mic / Scarlett combination has worked with Audacity in the past. But then intermittent faults are so often the curse of technology.

And the curse plays another trick… Following your suggestion that the mic wiring my be a problem. I tried a second mic on a track with the Ch1 & 2 stereo setting. This did not work, so I re-plugged the original mic on the same track and it now records on both channels… so more confused than ever.

I noted this posting as a “magic” one with no obvious solution.

The Scarlett comes out of the box set for plain, ordinary recording. No need to install special drivers and system software. Can you get a stereo recording with one channel silent and sound on wherever the Mystery Microphone is plugged in? That’s normal.

Crossing stereo and mono always causes problems. ACX is pleased to accept a mono voice track for an audiobook. Here’s a single microphone, a computer, and a Stereo Scarlett 2i2. Have a good time.

How old is the system? If you can move cables around and have the behavior change, that’s pretty serious. You’re flirting with getting a stand-alone recorder and stop trying to record on the computer.


Join us back on the forum and tell us how to got it fixed.


It’s not fixed yet… If the problem was repeatable it might be easier to resolve, but the lack of signal is intermittent and I am beginning to suspect it is an issue with the Scarlett. I am waiting to hear back from Scarlett tech support - but so far no signal from them either…

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