Input from audio cassette

Newbie here. Looking at some of the posts, I realise that my knowledge is very basic, as I hope my question is. I wanted to use audacity (2.0.3 on Windows 7) simply to record my old tapes onto my computer. I started by using an old music cassette which worked perfectly. I then tried my speech recording. All the indicators seemed to be OK but all that would play is like someone hammering in a wind inside an aviary. Ah! I’ve just tried to upload a .wav file so that it could be heard and see from the “upload attachment” it would appear that .wav isn’t one of the files I can do that with, or can I?

2.0.3 is very old now so I suggest you update to 2.1.0 from

If you want to record from a mic you need to change the recording source in Audacity’s Device Toolbar to the input appropriate for your mic. What is the make and model number of the mic?

You can attach WAV and most other files up to 2 MB in size. Please see here for how to attach files:


Thanks for this Gale. Although I intend to use a mic in the future, I’m using a USB cassette capture device just now to put some of my old recordings into MP3 files. My last post was a mistake. I finally realised that I also had my outside CCTV camera (with sound) also connected to my computer. I unplugged the sound. I still got straight line recording levels. After much trial and error (mainly the latter) I got it to record beautifully. I came back to it this morning and have tried for some time but cannot repeat that success and no matter what I select, I can only get straight line recording levels. I would be so grateful if you could help me to get this working. The recordings I began to get are something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Thanks.

What do you currently want to record that is flatlining - a mic or the USB cassette device?

You have to use Audacity’s Device Toolbar to select the playback and recording devices you want to use.

If you want to record the USB cassette deck, make sure Windows is recognising it. You should be able to see the USB device on the Recording tab of Windows Sound.

When you see the device in the Recording tab of Windows Sound, restart Audacity. You should now be able to select the USB Audio CODEC or similar name as the recording (input) device in Device Toolbar for recording cassettes. The USB Audio CODEC may be called a “microphone” (even though it isn’t a microphone).

Choose your built-in speakers or headphones for playback (output) device.

It should look something like this:
Remember that if you connect the USB device after Audacity is running, Audacity won’t see the device until you either restart Audacity, or use Transport > Rescan Audio Devices in the Audacity mnu bar at the top.