I can't get Audacity to record a stereo signal in Windows 10...

I’m sure this topic has been covered here in other places, but due to the poorness of the search engine I could find no examples.


Running Windows 10 Home, Version 1903
OS Build 18362.720

Audacity 2.3.0

I FINALLY learned how to enable Stereo Mix. It shows up in Audacity, but the stereo signals from a vinyl LP don’t get across. I just get two channels of a mono signal, which means that in some cases, one only hears a faint hint of what’s going on in the other excluded channel.

For a brief period earlier this year, I was able to record in stereo. I didn’t write down the voodoo incantation that made this possible. I thought (ha ha) I’d solved the problem. But it persists.

If I’m recording mono vinyl, I guess it’s not a problem, but it renders the USB Turntable (a Sony, Model No. PS-LX300USB Stereo Turntable System) useless for anything else. It’s maddening, because there shouldn’t be an obstacle to getting a stereo signal from the turntable.

The correct things are selected on the Audacity toolbar. Stereo Mix shows up. But I only get two identical audio signals.

I’m able to import a two-channel stereo recording into Audacity and have it play the track in stereo. I just did that with a track from one of those early 1960s “Stereo Action” LPs, where the music wanders from one speaker to another. That works fine. But to record from my USB turntable, nothing but mono, mono, mono.

I hope I’ve given enough data for someone on this forum to help me out. Thanks in advance for any response.

PS: I changed settings in Sound to record a 2 channel stereo signal. Audacity now records in stereo, but I can’t hear what I’m recording until I’ve saved it as a WAV or mp3 file. Can’t play it in Audacity, but it plays fine in VLC Media Player. I guess that’s not the end of the world, but I’d sure like to be able to monitor the recording in real time, in case there’s an issue with the vinyl like a skip. I remain baffled but willing to learn…

I got all my problems figured out. Getting the second part figured out was the easiest one, but both can be done.

but I can’t hear what I’m recording

Enable [u]Software Playthrough[/u].

I have the same problem. Audacity 2.3.3., Windows 10.
My turntable is stereo, the A/D converter works well, but when I try to record a LP the sound is mono, even via headphone or speakers. Also the record, left and right channel, are two identical mono tracks. I do not find any way to save the record in stereo.
Maybe you can help me, thanks


I found the problem which causes only mono instead of stereo: It is written in the manual under “device toolbar”.

Inputs seen by Windows as “microphones” default to mono recording: While most microphones and microphone inputs are mono, some external microphones such as USB microphones or microphones connected through external mixers or interfaces may be stereo. However any input regarded by Windows as a “microphone” (including not just USB microphones but USB turntables and cassette decks) will default to mono recording. If this happens, recording a stereo device with two input channels chosen in Audacity’s Device Toolbar will merely duplicate one channel into both channels of the track, making it dual mono. To make Windows send stereo input to Audacity:

In the Windows System Tray (by the clock), right-click over the Speaker Icon > Recording Devices or click Windows Start, navigate through the Control Panel to “Sound”, then click the “Recording” tab
Right-click over the device you are recording from and choose “Properties”
On the “Advanced” tab, in the “Default Format” section, change the dropdown menu to one of the “2 channel” options (“2 channel 16 bit 44100 Hz” will usually be the optimal choice).

This change to stereo microphones solved the mono problem :slight_smile:

Hi guenter, I’m just seeing your answer now.

Something has changed with Windows 10. There is no longer a “Recording” or “Recording Devices” tab that I can find. I remember there was once a pop-up window with different tabs, but I can’t find that any longer.

All I can see, when I right-click on the speaker icon on the taskbar, are:

Open Sound Settings
Open Volume Mixer
Spatial Sound (Off)
Troubleshoot Sound Problems

Judging by the images in this article:

I am missing the “Sounds” option. This must be caused by a Windows update. They keep taking away useful tools, the bastards.

I’m completely stymied. One thing I keep hearing about is a “virtual audio cable.” Would it be helpful for me to install one of these?

I’d love to be able to record from vinyl in stereo consistently, and without having to go crazy figuring it out every time. Audacity’s manual is useless to me because the “Sounds” option is missing from my computer.

Thank you.

UPDATE: I thought to google this problem and, yes indeed, a recent Windows update moved the “sounds” panel, with its tabs, as a hidden part of the Volume Mixer. You now have to open that, double click on the icon that says “Applications - System Sounds,” and that brings up the elusive “Sound” tabs. I just changed my default to Stereo Mix, and am going to see if it works now.

It didn’t. No sound whatsoever in any manner. I looked into my audio drivers and got this message:

Device HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0867&SUBSYS_10280868&REV_1000\4&2569ab77&0&0001 requires further installation.

Have no clue what to do now.