Help with second track

Hello All! A couple things to help u understand why I need to post:

#1. i JUST downloaded Audacity last night
#2. i am a disabled vet who took quite a shot to the head, so I need a little help sometimes
#3. i am slightly autistic, SLIGHTLY, meaning when I look through tutorials, all the pictures and tons of verbage tends to overload my circuits.

Now my problem…I set up my M-audio interface to use with Audacity, running my guitar into the M-audio hardware interface, then USB into computer and into Audacity - adjusted the gain level on my M-audio thru trial and error, and laid down the first track beautifully. I don’t think my guitar has ever sounded better, to be honest. Only problem was…it was one speaker only…should I have chosen “stereo” as the option for the 1st track, or do i want only 1 speaker?

Then the REAL problem: i then added another track, and tried to record some harmony with a second guitar track. Used same guitar, same gain level, same everything. On the first go-round I heard NOTHING during the playback - it was scrolling, but it hadn’t recorded anything! I switched SOMETHING, and the second and third times, I could BARELY make out my second track. There is no waveform on the 2nd track on the screen like on the 1st, and BARELY any discernable sound.

Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? What settings I need for track #2 so it can be heard?

Coulld someone please help? want to get this song down so a family member can hear it before she is gone. sure appreciate it!

If you would like, my email is jb0579yahoocom - might be easier, I dunno…I’m the new Guy!

Jim in Minnesota, North Central USA


First of all. If you where to be autistic, then I would say that you would remember about every little detail in the tutorial, but still not getting it :mrgreen:

Then to the problem of yours:
Do you SEE the wave form at all? You might touch the mute-button for that last track or having enabled solo for the first track. Chechk those first.

Also you might have disabled the mic or set itæs gain to almost zeero. Check that too.

That’s what I said…reading all that stuff overloads my ciurcuits. I have mild autism, in fact, at first they thought it was dyslexia - there is still some debate there. There a lot of forms of autism, you either know someone with it and think theirs is the only kind, or you have some studying to do. Sometimes autistics get frustrated with too much info and this bombardment of the brain over loads it.

Anyway…No waveform at all on the second track, I made sure the muting was not hit, and the gain wasn’t touched from one recording to the other, I promise. Now, the mic IS a possibility. I remember on the 1st track it was using the computer’s mic and I had to switch it to the M- Audio Moble pre pickup. I’ll try that. any other suggestions?

If you want the sound on that recording to come from both speakers, see the link below, and change the channel from Left or right to “Mono”, (see tick in image below) …

Aaahhhhhh, now that’s what I’m talking about. Is there a reason why you’d want a guitar track to just be coming out of one channel (as we used to call it in the radio industry) or speaker? One would think that unless you are going out of one speaker for “effect” you’d want the sound thr eminate from both.

Also, since I am clicking “Mono”, am I recording in Mono? will i have to someohow learn to convert the whole project into stereo??

JB from MN, USA

If you record a mono track it will come out of both speakers, just like if you play a mono radio station on a stereo radio.

Forgive me my ignorance, I’m new at the recording thing…but does what you’re saying mean that I essentially have a stereo recording, or is it like listening to AM non-stereo radio. If that’s the case, how do we get to stereo? So sorry. Don’t mean to frustrate you!!

If you record with a single microphone, or a single plugged in guitar, or any other “single channel” input, the recording is “mono”. That’s what “mono” means - there is only one audio channel.

A mono recording may be on a single (mono) track, or it may be duplicated so that it is on two channels, but it is still “mono”.
If you play a CD of an old (mono) recording then your CD player will play 2 channels. Normal audio CDs always have 2 channels (left and right), but if the original recording is a mono recording then both left and right are identical - it is “2 channel mono”.

If you make an audio CD from a mono recording the CD burning program will (should) automatically duplicate the mono onto both left and right channels - the recording is still mono, but it is on 2 channels because the audio CD format specifies that the audio should always be 2 channels.
some very old CD burning programs could not handle making audio CDs from mono audio files but all modern CD burning software should be able to handle mono correctly.)_

For “true” stereo, the sound coming out of one speaker is different from the sound coming out of the other.
An example of this may be if you record a guitar and a vocal you may want it to sound as if the guitarist is a little to the left of centre and the singer a little to the right of centre. Even though the guitar track and the vocal track are both single channel (mono) tracks, you can create a “stereo mix”.
To do this you would “pan” the guitar track a little to one side, and pan the vocal a little to the other side.
(“pan” is like the “balance” control found on many stereo players - it shifts the sound left/right across the stereo field. In Audacity there is a “pan” slider on the left end of each audio track. See here: )
If there are off-centre tracks, then when you Export the finished project Audacity will automatically mix down the tracks to a single stereo track.

If you want the recording to sound as if the player is dead centre then there is usually no point in using two channels for a mono recording because it just requires twice as many data bits but sounds identical (each “bit” or data is duplicated).

If you are only recoding with one microphone then it is by definition monophonic.

If you used two mics placed in different positions or in different orientations it would be true stereo … Stereophonic sound - Wikipedia

It is possible to produce simulated stereo (pseudostereo effect) from a mono recording …

Ok,makes sense, so maybe what I’ll do then is plug mny guitar into channel 1 of my Moble pre hardware interface, and then in channel 2 I’ll micthe guitar with an external mic - like a vocal mic or something - experimentwith THAT sound. Like I say…I am brand new to this, and having a slight brain injury doesn’t help…But I’ll keep pluggin’ away at it, and one day It’ll click and Bob’s your uncle,Etherl’s your aunt, it’ll make sense!

Thanks Steve - appreciate you taking the time…I was telling TREBOR the other gentleman helping that what i COULD do, is plug my picked up acousticguitar into channel 1, of my M-audio moblepre hardware interface, then on channel 2 i could mic it with an external vocal/audio mic or something,and voila. I was telling him I am so new to this recording stuff,adn a brain injury doesn’t help!