Audacity will not record in mono using mic

I’m running mac 10.11.6. Audacity recognizes the USB Audio-technica mic as I can select it from the dropdown menu. But it but will not record in mono with the mic. It will record with the built in mic. It will also record on one channel in stereo when USB mic is selected. However, since the sound is loud and tinny, I think it’s recording through the built in mic. This has happened in the past. I tried shutting down and restarting the computer several times with no success. One day, it spontaneously corrected itself. I have no idea what changed. I did nothing differently. I don’t have the time o wait and hope for self-correction. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I think it’s fighting with your other sound apps. Do you have Skype or other chat, conference or communications programs? Games? Do you frequently copy or download music or shows from YouTube or other on-line provider. Some of these services can survive restart. See how many little lights you have under the Apps in the Dock. If you’re trying to record clean sound, you should only have one.

All those other things can take over or mess with sound settings.

One day, it spontaneously corrected itself.

That’s the phrase that pays. You didn’t do anything, but the other apps that lurk in the background decided to change the settings or setups. There is no re-recording through the built-in microphone unless you messed with the sound pathways. No Mac would do that by itself.

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Sound > Input. What devices and services do you have listed there?

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Soundflower is the service I use to allow me to record on-line sound. If you show your microphone there, see if it can make the sound meter jump if you speak.


Thanks very much. I have skype and messages. I launched and quit them both even though I rarely use skype. I don’t have any games or other communication programs. I don’t copy or download shows. If I set recording to mono, I get no sound at all and nothing but a flat line. If I switch to stereo, the top channel stays flat. The bottom one is very loud and has a lot of static even when I don’t speak.

Please help. I’ve spent 3 full days searching for an answer. I found out that if I yell into the mic with mono recording selected, there is a little bit of green on the sound meter and I can hear a very faint voice recording. When I’m practically eating the mic and yelling as loud as I can, the green bar won’t go more than halfway.

When I set it to stereo, the sound meter goes into the red even when I speak very quietly. When recording in stereo, the top waveform is flat. On the bottom one, the entire box is almost completely blue with a great deal of static even when I don’t speak… On playback, it is extremely loud and screechy.

I thought that it wasn’t recording at all from the mic but now it seems to be recording at barely perceptible levels. I quit all other applications. I’ve gone over all my settings in audacity. I deleted audacity.cfg. I don’t know what else to do.

Which model is it?
Does the mic have a “pad” switch? If it does, ensure that it is switched off.
Are you able to test the mic on another computer to check that the mic isn’t faulty?

Thanks very much, Steve. It’s audio-technica 2005USB. I finally dug out an old microphone last night to see if that might be the problem. I should have done that before I sent out my SOS because the old one works. Probably the cable. It’s pretty long and thin. The thing is, I had problems with the audio-technica mic almost from the beginning. I had to keep unplugging it and plugging it back in to get it to work, so there was likely something wrong with it when I got it. I thought it was a glitch with audacity. Anyway, thank you for helping out.