Greetings all. I apologize if many my questions have already been covered, but I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to computers, in general, and computer recording, in particular, and figured it would be best to start from scratch seeking information specific to my current set up. I have recorded extensively when I was younger on old Tascam tape recorders and worked a little bit with computers in the past (using N-Track for recording and Soundforge for editing). I liked N-Track because it was very simple and easy to use. I would just plug my keyboard into my laptop and press record. Fast forward to now. I recently got a new laptop (an Asus F555U, Core i5, Windows 10) and am trying to add some tracks (primarily keyboard tracks thus far although once I get the hang of it I would like to record guitars, vocals, etc. in the future) to a variety of music files a friend wishes me to record on. These tracks are in MP3 format but he wants me to send him the recordings I add separately as WAV files. This new laptop does not have N-Track, so my friend recommended I get Audacity instead (he said it would be as easy for me to use as N-Track was). He also recommended that I use a Presonus Audiobox device saying that it would sound better than plugging my keyboard directly into the computer (he said otherwise I would have latency issues). So I bought an Audiobox, downloaded Audacity 2.1.2, and have been having nothing but trouble thus far trying to figure it out, so I’m hoping you can help me with the issues I’ve been struggling with.
First, when I plug my keyboard (a Yamaha PSR-540) into the Audiobox (which is plugged into my laptop via USB input), I only seem to be able to record mono tracks. How do I rectify this?
Second, the input level coming from my keyboard in the tracks I add, aside from being mono, also seems very weak in comparison to the levels of the semi-finished tracks I am recording over. And when I try to raise the level in Audacity, the sound becomes distorted. Attempted to adjust the volume on the Audiobox and/or my keyboard leads to the Audiobox clipping light to flash. How do I rectify this? When I used to use N-Track back in the day without the Audiobox, I would just plug my keyboard directly into my old laptop and would easily be able to adjust the volume on my keyboard and in N-Track to get it to the perfect level. With this new set up (Audiobox and Audacity) I can only seem to record mono tracks and the levels are either too weak or distorted/clippy.
I apologize again if these seem like amateurish questions. I really am an amateur and am just trying to learn how to get the best quality, most professional sounding recordings I can possibly get. Any and all advice you more experienced folks might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everybody for taking the time to help me out.