Audacity stopped recording via Direct Sound after Win 8 upda

Problem: Following the 8 July Win 8.1 Mass Update, Audacity can no longer record from an external input using Audio Host Windows Direct Sound or WASAPI. Only MME works. Prior to the update, all three input methods would allow recording.

Setup: Audacity 2.0.5 installed from .exe; External source is TASCAM US-144MkII, feeding into a USB 2.0 port. Windows 8.1 installed on ACER Aspire V3-772G-9829

Actions so far: Have verified that recording from the TASCAM works properly with another software package (MIXPAD 3.46). Have uninstalled and reinstalled Audacity 2.0.5 from the .exe download.
Have checked the list of updates for obvious candidates that might be causing trouble, but nothing is obvious to me.

List of updates installed 10 July-see attached GIF of screen snap

Anyone have a clue about what might have happened, and perhaps how to fix it, short of rolling back the Win 8.1 updates?

Please describe exactly what happens. Does the red recording cursor stall? Or is there “Error opening sound device”? Or do you record silence?

Have you rebooted the computer since the problem started?

Have you tried 44100 Hz project rate in Audacity, DirectSound Host, with Exclusive Mode enabled in Windows? Right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”. Right-click over US-144 and choose “Properties”. Click the “Advanced” tab, then put a checkmark (tick) in both Exclusive Mode boxes and OK. Choose the main “Playback” tab then right-click over US-144, choose “Properties,” click the “Advanced” tab and similarly enable both Exclusive Mode boxes. If US-144 has a rate setting in a control panel, set 44100 Hz there also.

Note that if you obtained 2.0.5 from us, it won’t be able to record a US-144 input under WASAPI. Under that host it can only record audio playing on the US-144 (loopback).

Does MixPad use MME?

Did you enable “Reset Preferences” halfway through the installer? If not, your Audacity settings will remain the same as before.

I doubt those updates are relevant.

Does the motherboard audio record under all three hosts? Have the Tascam drivers changed in Windows Device Manager?


I found a solution, though it is a bit weird. If I go into transport and enable software playthrough, then recording via WIDOWS DIRECT SOUND works ok. If it is not enabled (my original setting), then the record cursor just sits there. Once it is recording, I can then turn down my computer speaker volume to avoid feedback, and I am good to go.

This behavior holds for recording from my Tascam->USB device, or direct into the computer microphone input. Therefore, Tascam drivers are not an issue. (Tascam is recognized natively by Win 8.1 in any case-no drivers were installed).

To summarize, I still suspect a windows update to be at fault in causing the Audacity behavior to change, but I have a usable workaround, so I am good.

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

Thanks for posting a solution, though as you say, that is a bit weird. It would be expected behaviour if you were recording the loopback input under WASAPI, though. If there was no live stream, the recording cursor would typically stall unless Software Playthrough was on.

Well, the TASCAM should be using the drivers from . If you are using generic Microsoft drivers that could even be the explanation for the problem, for Tascam.

Similarly the motherboard sound card should be using drivers supplied by the computer manufacturer (or motherboard manufacturer if you built the computer yourself). Windows Update can change drivers sometimes: .