Hearing keyboard going into Audacity

I’m sure this is an easy answer, but it might save me a half-hour of plugging things in all over the place.

I have a keyboard (Yamaha PSR-185) plugged into the line-in port of my iMac from its aux-out/headphone jack (1/4’’ to 3.5mm if that matters). In Audacity, I set this up (best as I can recall at work) as Input = Line in and Output as on-board. However, while this allows Audacity to “hear” and record the keyboard just fine - albeit in mono - I can’t hear the keyboard being played, even when using the headphones. So what’s going in isn’t playing over the Mac’s built-in speakers or over the headphones, and I can’t listen via the keyboard b/c the aux-out IS the headphone jack.

Some solution I’m missing here? I have a Presonus Firebox audio interface that I can throw in the mix if need be, just so I can hear what’s going in. I can hear it on playback, I should mention, but not while it’s actually being recorded.


Go to Transport > Software Playthrough.

However, there will be a delay between the time you strike a key and the time you hear it. This is the time it takes the OS and Audacity to buffer and process the sound samples and there is nothing you can do about it.

So using the Presonus and its headphone output would probably be your best choice.

– Bill

@Bill - Thanks, I’ll give it a try.

Oh, and one other thing I forgot to ask: any possibility that a splitter coming from the aux-out/headphones jack of the keyboard could split off a signal for both headphones and the line-in? Might not quite work that way, but…


To the first point, check that your adapter cable (1/4" → mini) is stereo at both ends.

To the second point, yes it should work as long as the splitter is stereo.

  • Bill

Cool - I’ll pick up a splitter then. Might already have a cheapy.

As for going in mono: I thought that odd, too, but was just psyched it interfaced so easily. I’ll check to see that they cable is stereo b/c my other thought was that the iMac port was Mic-in, not Line-in, but checking the specs online, they used the verbiage “Line-in”, so…

Appreciate it.