External Sound Card Problem

I have a Roland Duo-Capture Mk2 which I use with Audacity on an old Toshiba laptop to digitise classical LPs playing on ancient Bang & Olufson equipment. This works very well giving me excellent sound quality.

The operating system is Windows XP with Audacity 2.0.5 installed from the .exe

Sometimes, I want to record historic recordings from YouTube, but I can’t presuade Audacity to do this via the Roland sound card (rather than the very basic Realtek card installed by Toshiba) so that I can get a good quality recording. The Roland card is showing in the appropriate boxes in Contol Panel / Sounds and Audio Devices and also in Audacity OK. The Roland card outputs to Line Out fine and I can hear the music on headphones, but when I click Start Monitoring in Audacity the meter is dead. Clicking on Rescan Audio Devices in Transport doesn’t help.

Am I trying to do the impossible?

Or am I wasting my time because there would be no difference in the recording quality from the Roland and Realtek cards when recording direct input from the net rather than using an analog signal from a turntable playing through an amplifier.

Sorry for such a long question, but any help will be very much appreciated as this had been puzzeling me for some time.

You may be just missing a step. It’s unlikely that the soundcard driver software is going to support what you’re doing, but you can jam a short jumper cable between the Line-Out and the Line-In of the device. Play to the device and Record from the device. Since the two are connected to each other, that’s the completed pathway. Sometimes monitoring what you’re doing can be a problem. Use the device Headphone connection for headphones.

It’s not a perfect solution because you’re going through the digital to analog and the analog to digital converters to get there, but that does work.


Please be careful with XP. It is a security risk given Microsoft no longer supports XP with patches. See https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/audacity-not-saving/35590/3

If you had Vista or later you could almost certainly record YouTube playing to Roland digitally (without the analogue cable), using the Windows WASAPI host in Audacity. You won’t see that on XP.

Or save yourself trouble and download the videos by using browser extensions or visiting certain web sites then there is no quality loss. Of course we assume you have copyright holders’ permission to record or download the videos.


Very many thanks to both.

Although Koz’s work around makes for rather weak input, using the high gain setting on the Roland and setting all the volume controls to about two-thirds produces an Audacity capture that, when amplified, is very acceptable.

I’ll follow up the browser extension tip too, but I’m afraid that it will take a lot to part me from XL.

It is the desperation method. Also remember when you use the cable method, both the playback and the record controls work. This frequently gives the complaint that there’s no way to control the speaker or headphone volume. All the volume controls are busy doing something else.

You might try running all the soundcard controls all the way up. It’s not unusual for all the controls to be reducers and no boosters. It will save you boosting it later and maybe a little noise.


Yep! That’s good.

WIth all controls right up I get nice peaks in Audacity at about -6db without using the high gain setting on the Roland. Finally normalised at -3db that is far better than what I was doing before. Unfortunately I’m not a techie and I was afraid that with all the volume controls at max I would run into distortion.

As I have an old pair of Sony headphones with volume control that problem is solved too.