Error opening sound device

Problem encountered on Audacity version 2.1.2 on Windows 10. Downloaded and re-installed today from sourceforge; it appears now to be version 2.1.0. Has the same problem.

I’ve been using Audacity for years, to record from the computer sound card amongst other things. Always very successful until yesterday when I received the following error.

Error while opening sound device. Please check the recording device settings and the project sample rate.

The sample rate is 44100. I’m not sure what else to check.

Any suggestions please?

Audacity’s website is here:
The current version of Audacity is 2.3.2, and is available via this page on the Audacity website: Audacity ® | Download for Windows

Was that when you were trying to record, or trying to play?
If recording, were you recording into an empty project, or did Audacity already contain other audio tracks?
What recording / playback devices are you using?

Thank you Steve. I’ve installed v2.3.2 with the same problem, though the error message is more specific.

“Error opening recording device. Error code 9997 Invalid sample rate.”

I also get transport bar type icons (play button, record button etc.) and/or edit bar icons superimposed over the drop down menus for audio source, playback, etc. which don’t go away when I click outside the area.

I am trying to record into an empty project using a stereo track.

The record/play interface is a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 which I’ve had for 5-6 years and used successfully many times before.

I’m using the Windows WASAPI protocol, and I was using the Focusrite loopback option in 2.1.2, but 2.3.2 won’t allow me to drop the menu.

The only thing I can think of to have changed since I last used Audacity successfully is that I have had to replace the original plain USB cable, which failed, with another USB cable which has one of those bead-like things at one end which I think is to eliminate noise. That was several days ago since when I have successfully played back through the Focusrite but haven’t recorded anything.

Thanks again for your help.


I don’t recognise that description. Could you post a screenshot of it?

Try setting the “host” to MME in the device toolbar.

Thanks Steve. Image of the Audacity 2.3.2 UI with icons overlying the toolbars is attached.

The underlying toolbars don’t function once they appear, which is immediate upon hovering or clicking in the toolbar area, so I can’t change the host or anything else.

Also, almost all the toolbars are selected in the View menu but few of them appear, and I have the impression that what is visible changes under some circumstances beneath the icons, which also change. At the start I see images of the Transport toolbar icons, but any hovering or clicking them produces a selection of Edit toolbar button images. They are images - they aren’t selectable either.
Audacity Capture.JPG

Ooh, that’s not right.

Try resetting the toolbars to see if that fixes it: “View menu > Toolbars > Reset Toolbars”

Ok! That has produced a range of toolbars, and the record button works in so much as the track begins to run but flatlines.

I notice there is no longer a loopback option in the Recording Device and Playback Device menu choices but it has defaulted to the single Focusrite option in both. Am now using MME as the host although the WASAPI option is still there.
Audacity Capture 2.JPG

That looks better :slight_smile:
That’s one problem down…

The loopback option is only for recording sounds that are playing on the computer. Is that what you are trying to do?

Yes, I’m trying to record the soundcard output. In this case it was a radio news broadcast, but normally I’m recording from music notation software to provide an audio file to match the notation.

Played through your web browser, or some other application?
What do you normally use as the playback device? (how do you hear the radio news broadcast?)

The radio news was via my web browser. The notation playback is via an application on the PC.

How do you hear the web browser? For example, do you listen through headphones plugged into the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ?

I have speakers connected via the Focusrite interface.

Go into the Windows Sounds control panel, and set the recording and playback settings for the Focusrite to “2 channels (stereo), 44100 Hz sample rate”.

Then in Audacity, in the device toolbar, set “host” to WASAPI, playback to the Focusrite, and recording to the Focusrite loopback.

Thank you Steve. I’m out of the house now but will follow your advice and update this thread tomorrow.

Recording and playback working again. Many thanks, Steve, for your advice and the speed of your response.

The toolbars are now visible but were unresponsive when I first opened Audacity this morning, and had to be Reset again. Looks possible that it may open in this state each time.

Regards, John

Perhaps some other application is changing the settings. Do you use Skype or other voip program? If you do, try looking in the settings of that app.

I don’t have anything like that on the pc. It’s no hassle to reset the toolbars given I know what to do, but may be a problem for other users upgrading to this release. Anyway, thanks again.