Can't Get Audio in Playback

I’ve recorded songs from my record turntable onto my hard drive successfully. The problem is that when I try to play the tracks in Audacity, I don’t get any audio. I can see the waveform, but there is no sound. I play the same tracks in another program (Windows Media & Real Player) and I can hear them fine.
I want to edit these tracks, but I can’t do it if I can’t hear them.
Any suggestions on how to fix this?
I appreciate any help that I can get.
Thank you.

Try unplugging the turntable.

If that fails, make sure Audacity is trying to play music to the right place.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Playback.

You can also get there from the speaker setting in the toolbar just above the timeline. Also make sure the Audacity playback volume is turned up.


I am not sure this is relevant, but when I try to play a music file in Audacity, I invariably get the following message whenever the default sample rate of the Audacity Project is different from that set for the speakers in the Windows Speaker Properties:

Error while opening sound device. Please check the output device settings and the project sample rate.

I can play the music and hear the playthrough as soon as I reset the default sample rate of the Audacity Project to be the same as that set in the Windows Advanced Properties for the Speakers. They have to match exactly.


It isn’t relevant to this topic - the original poster can play (open the playback device) but can’t hear any audio.

If you choose Windows DirectSound audio host in Device Toolbar and tick both “Exclusive Mode” boxes (underneath “Default Format”) then you should avoid the error if the Audacity project rate is set to a rate that the sound device supports.


If I choose Windows DirectSound as audio host, Audacity cannot record whatever comes out of the speakers (streaming online radio in browser): the Audacity cursor keeps blinking at the zero position, and nothing gets recorded.
If I choose WDM-KS instead, Audacity can record through “Stereo Mix”, and I can still hear the music coming out of the speakers.

That should not happen unless you have a bad audio device driver that does not support Windows DirectSound properly, or unless your project rate is set to a rate your device does not support. Does 44100 Hz project rate work (with both Exclusive Mode boxes checked)?

Have you tried rebooting? That often cures “recording cursor stalled”.


In the Realtek/Windows properties I have a choice between

Canal 2, 16 bits, 44100 Hz (CD quality)
Canal 2, 16 bits, 48000 Hz (DVD quality)
Canal 2, 16 bits, 96000 Hz (studio quality)
Canal 2, 16 bits, 192000 Hz (studio quality)

I normally use 96000 Hz in both Audacity and Windows. I have found that this sample rate gives the best results to record classical music from either tape, CD, or streaming audio from the browser. I can then export to FLAC and get the finest possible rendering on my system.

This 96000 Hz sample rate works perfectly well with WDM-KS. I am quite happy with the results.

If I try using Windows DirectSound with any of the above sample rates, Audacity gets stuck at the zero position. This is true if I change the sample rate in Audacity too.

Note that WASAPI also works properly, but, as I understand things, the sample rate is restricted by default. So I prefer using WDM-KS.

Brilliant, Koz
I lost my audio a few months ago and had no idea my output had been redirected from my speakers.
Thanks very much.

If Exclusive Mode is checked (ticked) in Windows and Audacity is set to Windows DirectSound, Audacity requests the rate direct from the device and the Windows settings are ignored. It is usually better to check those Exclusive Mode boxes under Windows Direct Sound.

Windows treats WDM-KS as Exclusive Mode irrespective of the Exclusive Mode boxes. So the sample rate you choose in Windows when Audacity is set to WDM-KS should be irrelevant if WDM-KS is working correctly.

Yes WASAPI recording in Audacity is limited to 44100 Hz at the moment.


Both Exclusive Mode boxes have always been left as originally found, i.e. checked. They are not responsible for my problems with DirectSound. But WDM-KS is working just fine.