distorted sound while recording, playback is fine [SOLVED]

Hey people, and thanks in advance for reading this. I have a problem while recording in audacity (and other programs). When i record the sound i hear on my headphones sounds really distorted and loud. When i play back what i recorded the sound is softer and mostly undistorted. So the problem is what i hear in my headphones while recording is totally different than how it ends up sounding. My set-up is as follows: a guitar plugged into a xenyx 302. I’ve updated the usb audio codec from the Behringer website but that didn’t help. I also tried tweaking the knobs on the xenyx 302 to no avail. Is my xenyx a piece of junk, broken or is it something somewhere in my computersettings? Thanks for any response!

This is in the wrong Forum. If you need help you should give your version of Audacity and post in the board for your operating system, please see the pink panel at the top of the page.

Please state the missing details and say exactly where you are plugging in the headphones. Please say exactly what the guitar is and how that connects to the mixer.


In the meantime i found those topics sort of similar about this (sorry): https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/distortion-in-phones-while-recording/11162/1 and https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/speed-of-playback/9501/1

Based on reading those i suspect it’s got something to do with the usb interface bandwitch or driver or in that general direction… maybe the xenyx 302 mixer is more intended to mix an incoming audio while recording instead of playing and recording at the same time all on its own…

things im gonna try while im at home: letting playback go through my soundcard while recording instead of the xenyx 302 mixer usb interface, try all usb ports see if that makes a difference, install linux instead of windows xp to see if it’s maybe a driver problem with the usb or something.

Thanks for reading and if anyone has any ideas to share on top of their heads even more thanks.


It’s not an audacity problem btw because i have it in all audio recording software (reaper). My headphones are plugged into the xenyx 302 mixer which is an usb audio interface. The guitar is a pink squier stratocaster, connected directly via instrumentjack to the same xenyx mixer.

I assume that you are on Windows, so moved to the Windows forum.

That is not a direct comparison because Reaper is probably using ASIO drivers while Audacity will be using standard Windows drivers (Reaper is designed for Windows, so it’s a fair bet that you are actually on some version of Windows).

Definitely check you have 44100 Hz project rate bottom left of Audacity and not anything higher.

Connect directly to the USB port, not through a USB Hub attached to the port.


Hey people, thanks for thinking along. I’ve solved it by just letting playback going through my own soundcard while recording instead of through the xenyx usb interface mixer. That why the xenyx only needs to record and not play back at the same time, i think that was just asking too much of it.