Idiots guide to Audacity

I purchased a Sound Lab Iphono unit which came with Audacity software. Unfortunately, with my limited technical knowledge I find that I cannot even get any sound from my computer even when I try a simple task like playing a record. A list of basic commands to achieve this operation would be a good start. Can anyone help? I run Windows 8.1 if this is relevant.

Make sure you have Audacity 2.1.2 from

Then have a good read of

To get you started: Set your Audacity recording device in Device Toolbar to the USB Audio CODEC for the turntable and the playback device to computer speakers.

To hear the LP when you record, enable Transport > Software Playthrough in the Audacity menus at the top. If you want to hear the LP in the computer speakers before you start recording, click in the Recording Meter (where it says “Click to Start Monitoring”) as well as doing all the above.


Thank you for your reply.I have downloaded, as requested, 2.1.2 unfortunately however I am unable to locate USB Audio CODEC under the Device Toolbar, I have managed to complete the rest of the instructions but I get no result. I also cannot find a system clock and therefore cannot right click over the speaker icon.More help if possible.

speaker icon bottom right corner of screen.png

Try restarting Audacity with the turntable already connected and recognised by Windows. Audacity doesn’t automatically see a new USB device that you connect after Audacity is already running.

Alternatively if you connect the USB device when Audacity is already running, you can do Transport > Rescan Audio Devices at the top of Audacity.


Once again I thank you for your information. After some considerable effort I have managed to work my way through your latest instuctions. Unfortunately the speakers on my computer remain silent. Any further thoughts would be gratefully received.

Please be more specific about the circumstances in which the speakers remain silent. Can you hear a song playing in Windows Media Player?

If you Generate > Tone and click OK in Audacity, then play the tone, can you hear it?

If you are trying to hear the record player in Audacity while Audacity records from it, don’t forget to enable Transport > Software Playthrough. If you want to hear the record player in Audacity before you start recording from it, don’t forget to click in the Recording Meter, as well as enabling Software Playthrough.


I am able to play and hear music in Windows Media and I am able to hear the Audacity tone .Is it possible the problem is still caused by my inability to locate USB Audio CODEC in the Device Toolbar ?

If USB Audio CODEC or similar is not a choice in Device Toolbar, you won’t be able to record from or hear the turntable in Audacity.

Have you switched the turntable on? Is the USB cable connected tightly at both ends? Does Windows see it on the Recording tab of Windows Sound? If Windows does not see it, Audacity won’t. If Windows already sees it, use Transport > Rescan Audio Devices at the top of Audacity then the USB CODEC should be listed in Device Toolbar.

If Windows does not see the turntable, try this:

  1. Exit Audacity.
  2. Unplug all other USB devices, then use the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon by the system clock. When Windows says it is safe, switch off and unplug the turntable at the USB connection and at the mains.
  3. Plug the turntable into an empty USB port (not a USB hub), and switch the turntable on.
  4. Wait a few minutes then hold the Windows key on your keyboard and press X. Choose “Shut Down”. This ensures the USB drivers are fully re-initialised.
  5. Restart the computer.
  6. When the computer has finished rebooting, launch Audacity.
  7. If Audacity still does not recognize the device, try another USB cable, then repeat steps 1 to 5.