How do I monitor input?

How can I monitor the recording input source to know when to “punch in” and start recording?


You’ll need to give more information. What / how are you recording?
What have you got working so far?
What equipment are you using?

I I want to be able to direct what is coming in at the recording input to the playback output while monitoring so that I can know from what I hear when to punch the record button. The equipment is whatever is attached to the recording input and whatever is attached to the playback output. It is not device specific. I can record from and I can playback to the devices I’ve selected but I can’t find a way to listen to what’s at the input to determine when to start recording it.

Monitoring the input is device specific. For example, with most USB sound cards you can plug headphones into the sound card and hear the input.
For built in sound cards it is necessary to configure the sound card settings so that the input plays through the output (nothing to do with Audacity).
Some devices (notably many cheap USB mics) provide no way to monitor the input without a delay.

I’m still not clear why you need to hear the input through your headphones - can’t you hear the input acoustically?

Perhaps this tutorial will help:

Audacity cannot do what is usually meant by “punch in” (record over an error at the same place in the track, or just insert a recording at a particular place in the track).

The corrected or new piece of recording will be in a new track underneath the old track and can be cross-faded into the surrounding audio (for the best results).