Error Opening Sound Device


I am currently using Audacity 2.2.2 on Windows 10. Earlier this month, I replaced my USB mic with a Rode NT-1 condenser mic and Onyx Artist 1 mixer.

At first, I was able to record; however, the sound was so quiet, the recording window barely displayed any activity, and I couldn’t hear myself in my headphones. If I messed with gain and headphone volume, I could hear myself better (still not well), but as you might expect, the background noise was unbearable on playback (after normalizing to bring the sound up).

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I opened Audacity to try recording again and received the “Error Opening Sound Device” message. I checked all connections, restarted the software, restarted the computer, used a different USB port on my computer, found a tutorial on how to get Audacity to recognize my mic, etc. All to no avail. I came to this forum and checked out your FAQs - thank you - and completed all suggestions. The only thing that made a difference was turning off Software Playthrough under the Transport tab. It still didn’t work, but the error message went away when I hit the record button. Now when I hit the record button, I will get a fraction of a second of recording before it shuts off. I turned Software Playthrough back on, and the message is back.

In my computer’s control panel, the Onyx shows it is “working properly,” and the option to update the driver is grayed out. (I guess this means it’s up-to-date??) On the other hand, when I go to the Onyx device in Settings, it says the driver is unavailable. Is it possible the mixer or mic is bad? I’ve been working on this for 2 1/2 hours and leaving my computer to stress eat isn’t helping. I welcome ANY suggestions!!

PS - Don’t know if it’s important, but thought I would mention that the only bit rate available in the Onyx device tab in the control panel is 24. I did match this in Audacity, along with a Project Rate of 44100, also to no avail.

[u]Here[/u] is a little information about error codes.

You might try a different USB port or different USB cable.

and I couldn’t hear myself in my headphones.

This won’t help with error but your interface has a “direct monitoring” button so you can monitor without going through the computer. If you’re not getting enough signal from the microphone, make sure phantom power is on (usually there is a switch but I don’t see one in the pictures I found), and maybe try a different microphone cable.

In my computer’s control panel, the Onyx shows it is “working properly,”

I hate that! You can try “uninstall device” and then re-install the driver. (It might re-install automatically the next time you plug-in the USB and in some cases that will “clean things up”.


FYI- Not important right now, but that’s an “interface” not a “mixer”. There are USB mixers which can mix the audio channels before sending them to the computer, and there are multi-channel audio interfaces for multi-track recording where mixing is done later in post-production. A 2-channel USB mixer can work either way because the channels can be panned hard-left and hard-right or they can be blended (mixed) toward the center. There are some higher-end multi-channel USB mixers but most USB mixers send a 2-channel stereo-mix over the USB bus.