Cant record electric guitar in stereo, ive followed the faq

Just downloaded Audacity today, I have a lexicon alpha, i’m trying to record electric guitar. I will only record in mono. I have followed the faq and changed the USB audio device format to 44100 hz as suggested. Audacity is set to 2 stereo.

I’ve recorded a backing track from the internet in stereo without any problem.

Please don’t forget to tell us your version of Audacity (all three numbers, see the pink panel at the top of the page).

The electric guitar is not stereo. It is one channel of a stereo pair for which you have not connected the other input (for example, microphone) in Lexicon.

Set Audacity to record in mono, then use the L…R pan slider on the track to pan it in the stereo field. If you want to see that as a stereo track, Tracks > Mix and Render.

If the mono track records half volume, which happens with some two-input devices, set Audacity to record in stereo, use the Audio Track Dropdown Menu to Split Stereo to Mono, use the [X] top left of the track to close the empty track, then pan.


There is a hardware way around this. Plug the guitar into a Y cable and plug that into both sides of your adapter. It won’t sound like a concert hall, but it will fill both left and right.


Never mind. You can’t do that. The Alpha is a mono device. Shucks.


Set Audacity to record in mono, then use the L…R pan slider on the track to pan it in the stereo field. If you want to see that as a stereo track, Tracks > Mix and Render.

Just FYI - That’s how most modern studio recordings are made… Virtually everything is recorded in “mono” and during mixing the various instruments are panned left-to-right across the stereo soundstage (usually with lead vocals and bass in the center). There are usually separate “mono” tracks for every drum & cymbal to get stereo-drums with the drum kit spread across the soundstage.

Or you can do things like double-tracking where you could perform & record the guitar part twice, panning one track slightly-left and the other slightly-right. Or, triple-track and pan one to the center, etc.

It has stereo line level inputs at the back, if the level from the guitar was high enough:


It has stereo line level inputs at the back

Oh. That would totally work. I’ve always thought “Instrument-In” is a marketing ploy. One of the editors used to regularly use the Line-In on his music system for his guitar work. Being obsessive, I put a scope on his guitar and I was able to hit Line-Level by strumming a very aggressive major chord. The two volume levels are just not that far apart.


or apply a pseudo-stereo effect.

That depends on the guitar pickup and the interface.

A line input could have a 10 kOhms impedance or a 100 kOhms. Some guitars sound completely different. A good instrument input should be 1 MOhms. Many are only 470 kOhms, which makes them a bit less susceptible to noise.

If you use any guitar effects, putting one in between will probably solve this problem.

And, yes, Koz, I’m obessive too. Most guitar players I cater for, know their guitars so well that they can’t stand it sounding any different. And I agree with them that the sound usually isn’t better on the wrong input.

The poster already knows what it sounds like in mono. If the sound changes, then some other way must be found.


Is the Alpha set to stereo? Would it give stereo recording if you use a Y-splitter? One with two mono .25" jacks plugged into the Alpha’s output and a stereo 3mm jack into the PC input.

I get stereo guitar recording by plugging my multi-fx in like that.

I think that answers the question.