Complete noob needs some help

Hi guys,

I am a complete noob who needs help bad. I recently purchased a mic and audio mixer to record some vocals with, however I cannot get the mic to record properly. What I bought was an M-Audio M-Track two channel mixer, along with a Blue Spark microphone. When I have the mixer plugged into my computer with the mic port hooked up and headphones, I can hear through the head phones no problem, but for some reason cannot get anything out of the microphone! When I record a webcam video using it, I can pick up very faint recordings with the microphone, basically a whisper. When I use Audacity there is nothing. Both my Speakers/Mic are set to the M-Track on Audacity. Can someone help me figure out what’s going on? Drivers I need to install or something?

Do you have the +48v button pushed on the M-Audio? That’s required for this microphone and it’s not obvious until you dig a ways into the instructions. Connect the microphone and then push the button. Plug your headphones into the M-Audio and make sure you can hear perfectly and make sure the 0dB, -3, -6 -20 sound meter bounces. Talk close or scratch the microphone head with your finger. Do Not blow into any microphone.

Restart or start Audacity and see if the microphone appears on the device pulldown list. Audacity looks for new microphones when it starts.

Where did you get stuck?


Hey man,

Appreciate the reply. You’ve fixed the problem for me, just had to set it to 48v! Thanks so much! One more thing, when playing back my recording through the mixer, I can only hear the audio through the left headphone. Is this just from the mixer or is it recording to only play through one side?

Hey thanks so much, you’ve seemed to fix the problem! Two more questions:

  1. It seems like I am only recording vocals to one side of the speakers
  2. Will I experience any sound latency recording like this? Can I solve it if so?

Your microphone has electronics inside. That’s how it works. It’s not simple and passive like a rock band microphone. Some electronics can be powered with an internal battery (many shotgun microphones do that) and some don’t use an internal battery but depend on the mixer or device to supply battery voltage up the cable. That’s what P48 Phantom Power is. I have a good quality microphone that uses P48.

M-Audio M-Track two channel mixer

Actually, you bought a two channel audio digital interface. It’s not a mixer. Anything you plug into the left of the device is going to appear on the left of a stereo show. Plug into the right and the sound will appear on the right.

If you look at the Audacity red recording meters you only have the top one, correct, not both, and you only have one set of blue waves on the timeline? Audacity will tell you what’s going on if you know how to read the graphics.

The fastest way around this is to make your one music track into Mono.

Use the black arrow drop-down to the left of the blue waves and Split Stereo Track to Mono. Then delete the dead track. That should play to both sides of your headphones and speakers.

If the device headphone connection lets you hear your Audacity playback, then it should let you produce sound-on-sound overdubs with no delays, latency or echos, but I wonder about the channel problems on the second pass. After you lay down the rhythm track and split to mono, the new, live vocal track (or whatever you want to do next) is going to record Left-Only Stereo again… That’s going to sound funny in your headphones.
You can force that to work, but it would make me crazy.


I don’t think this is going to work, but look at the device toolbar just above the blue waves and see if you can make a recording with the input set to 1(Mono) instead of 2(Stereo). I half-way expect that to fail, so you may need to put it back.

There may be something you can do in Windows, but I’m not a Windows elf.

The other obvious way out is get a “Y” cable and plug your microphone into both left and right. I would not recommend that. It could mess up the noise level of the microphone and you could have Phantom Power P48 problems.

Overdubbing does have to be adjusted. Audacity doesn’t really “know” how to overlay your fresh track with your old one. You have to guide it.

We published three hardware examples of how to overdub with no latency or echoes, but the three examples are either full stereo already or natively mono, so they don’t have the mono/stereo cross problem you do.


Hey Koz,

Thanks again. I switched the recording over to mono and it seems to work fine. Just the one question about audio latency, is there a way to solve this through Audacity? Do you think I should be experiencing any audio recording latency using the set up I am, and if so is there anything I can do/buy to fix this?