Can't Record Over Music Track - Yeti / Windows 8.1 / Audacity 2.4.2

Hi There.
Please excuse my ignorance. I’m a 51 year old woman with no technical experience and I don’t have a clue about anything like this unfortunately - however the good news is I’ve already managed to get to this point so far which is a massive achievement. My goal is to record vocals to music sample tracks as a hobby and my OS is a Windows 8.1 PC with a Yeti USB (not pro) mic and I have the latest Audacity 2.4.2. I’ve managed to set everything up so I can hear the music track and my vocals through the yeti … Yeti is plugged into PC and headphones plugged into Yeti. Both PC Sound settings and Audacity are set to Yeti Mic and Yeti Speakers. My problem is whenever I go to record my vocals the music track stops and won’t play but then the music will randomly cut in and out for a couple of seconds before going totally dead again and I can’t get my vocals to record at all. There no activity happening at all and I’m just stuck. I’ve read so many other posts and websites and tried several other things but I don’t know what I’m doing and nothing has fixed it so far. Can anybody help me? We’re probably going to have to start from scratch I’m afraid. Thank you in advance.

The setup for overdubbing has you performing a plain, simple recording from the microphone and then a plain simple playback to your headphones. If you can’t do that, then combining the two at the same time will drive you nuts.

Modern computers have little interesting hidden adjustments that can also make you crazy. If you like to use Skype, Zoom or other chat or conference programs, those services have echo cancellation, noise reduction, and sound direction management. That’s how they work. They would never be valuable computer products without that.

Sometimes those adjustments hang around after you get done Zooming. They may get it in their head that one of your sounds is an echo or noise and try to get rid of it. That can account for the sounds coming and going.

I’m not a Zoom aficionado, so the best I can suggest is restart the computer before a recording session and when it starts, don’t let anything else start. Then go through plain recording and playback and make sure they work OK.


I think I might have set the headphones and mic up incorrectly?? I’m not really sure.
I was hoping to hear the music through my headphones as well as my voice through the Yeti in my headphones too.
My son thinks my voice is recording but I just can’t hear it or the music through the headphones and no activity is showing in Audacity.
This isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.

This isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.

The Yeti sales literature has you setting up on the kitchen table and cranking out award-winning performances by lunchtime. You are the Performer, Recording Engineer, and Producer. If you ever wondered what those people do, we are about to find out.

I was hoping to hear the music through my headphones

This is exactly why you need to set up for simple playback and simple recording before you try to combine them in an overdubbing session.

See there is a microphone and speaker symbol on the Audacity tool panel. Those are the devices that Audacity is going to choose from to play to and record from. Disconnect the Yeti for a bit and restart Audacity. Look at those listings (It’s a drop-down) and make a note of what’s there or do a screen capture whatever you’re comfortable with.

Close Audacity. Connect the Yeti. Start Audacity (the order is important). Look at the listings again. If the sound angels smiled, there should be one additional listing in both recording and playback. That’s the Yeti. I don’t think it says Yeti. It may say something cryptic like USB Audio CODEC. That’s it.

Select that for both recording and playback.

Click in the Audacity recording sound meters > Start Monitoring. Audacity is now paying attention to, but not recording from, your Yeti. Speak or scratch it to make a sound. The bouncing sound meter should jump. Got it so far? The “front” of a Yeti is the side grill just up from the company name. NOT the round end.

In Audacity > Generate > Noise: Pink, 3 seconds. You should see a line of “grass” on the Audacity timeline.

Screen Shot 2020-08-23 at 6.33.33 AM.png
Play that and you should hear rain in the trees SHSHSHSHSHS sound in your headphones.

Good so far?


Wow Koz, you’re a mine of wonderful information. Thank you SO much for all the effort you have put in to explaining this to me. I really appreciate it. I’m going to read through everything and work through it all tomorrow after work. I’ll keep you posted. THANK YOU!!!

I tried to step-by-step this. If you get lost anywhere, post back.

There is also a wiki page that should say about the same thing in a different way.

Like I said, the front of this is to get you to do an ordinary recording and an ordinary playback. Overdubbing is a special version of that.