can't record cassette with Behringer UCA202

I have followed the instructions for recording from an old cassette player with RCA ports using the Behringer UCA202 device, and have verified that I am getting sound into the Behringer by monitoring it with headphones, then turning them off. I have the Audio MIDI setup set to 2-channel 16 bit 44.1 kHz, booted Audacity up after I plugged in the USB connector, checked the transport options, and have Audacity showing core audio, USB Audio CODEC and 2 stereo recording. But when I press record, the track seems to record but I don’t see any sign of any audio – I don’t see anything in the bar on top or on the audio track other than it seems to be recording nothing.

Any idea what I may be doing wrong?
Thanks, Jeff

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound > Input. Select “USB Audio CODEC”. Plays something on the cassette deck. Does the input meter bounce?

– Bill

Yes, the meter on the sound Preference jumps up and down. WHen I load Audacity it acts just the same way and doesn’t show any evidence of input.

I’m no longer running Mohave so I’m not sure if the privacy settings are relevant, but …

If you go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Privacy, does it look something like this?
– Bill

Thanks, I’m on Mojave and I hadn’t thought of that, but when I checked it I see much like what you did and Audacity is listed there and is checked, so I guess that’s not the problem.

I probably should add that I have been working on a MacBook Air (13-inch 2017) with 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory, 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and only 121 Gbyte of flash storage total. Could I be running up against storage or memory issues? I do have a 2018 Mac Mini available with 16 GB of memory and 171 of storage open on a 500 GigB flash drive, if that matters. I started working on the Air so I could have it by my stereo system.


The capabilities of the Air are fine. There’s another user here with an identical problem of Audacity not seeing a Behringer interface when their Mac does see it.

Do you have more than one version of Audacity on your Mac?

– Bill

I only see one copy of Audacity on my Macbook Air, version 2.4.2 from June 20, 2020, but I do have an Audible, but I do have a .dmg version of AUdible somewhere on the machine that shows up on a search. I don’t have any other audio editing software on the Mac, but I do have some apps that use audio: Facetime, iTunes, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Voice Memos and Zoom. I’m not sure how any of them could mess something up, but one never knows.

Could something funky about firefox or duckduckgo privacy settings be causing problems with audio? I’m just guessing, but I’ve had problems opening things in the browser because of them.
Thanks for your help

Start Audacity 2.4.2. Open System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Microphone. Uncheck Audacity in the list on the right. You should get a message “Audacity will have access to your microphone until it is quit”. Click the “Quit now” button. Leave System Preferences open.

Start Audacity 2.4.2 again. Set your input to the built-in microphone. Click Record. What happens? My guess is a flat-line recording. In prefs, check “Audacity”. You should get a message “Audacity will not have access to your microphone until it is quit”. Click the “Quit now” button then in Audacity quit without saving changes.

Start Audacity 2.4.2 again. Click Record. What happens?

– Bill

Tried it (with a bit of fumbling about), and when I switched on the Built-in-mike on Audacity and started talking, the bar lighted up and I started seeing input on the meter. I then stopped the recording, switched on the usb audio codec, turned on the cassette player, and it started recording, playing the sound audibly, although the volume level was low - presumably a weak recording.

EUREKA! Thanks for that help. I did have to fiddle a bit because the Mac privacy preferences were set to require a password to make the change, but this works at last. Now onward to the dozens of old reel to reel tapes that are the main goal.


The UCA-202 seems set to avoid overload of the inputs (in other words, designed to accept a very high level / loud input) which results in a low recording level in normal circumstances. Not to worry, just apply the Amplify effect to your recordings.

Glad you got it working. For a while that was a mystery to me: how can the Mac see the audio but Audacity not see the audio when Audacity has microphone permission.

– Bill

I hit this bug again today, after having updated Mojave last night. It may be the first update I’ve run since I started using Audacity, and I hadn’t expected the bug to reappear, but when I looked up the error code ad searched the boards, I found the fix and it worked again.