Left and Right channel recording

OS Windows 10, Audacity 2.1.2, Behringer audio interface UMC204HD, microphone Behringer UltraVoice

Having problems getting Audacity to record both the right and left channels with the Mic (Interface connected to PC via USB Cable) and getting the sound to a level that I can hear it. Whether in monitoring mode or actually recording the Right-Left meter only shows activity in one channel (I tried both mono and stereo recording, same results). I also used Widows direct and MNE settings, same result.

The Behringer UMC204 HD shows up correctly in the Devices/Line field. Shouldn’t I see activity on both the left and right channel of the mic level meter?

Look in theWindows Sound Control Panel and ensure that the device is set to record “2 channel stereo”.

If you’re only using one mic you’re only going to get one channel…

Mono should work because a mono recording will play through both speakers.

If you’ve got one silent channel, click the little drop-down arrow to the left of the waveform and select Split Stereo To Mono. (Now you can edit the tracks independently.)

Then on the silent channel, click the little ‘X’ to the left of that drop-down arrow to delete the silent track.

Now, you’ve got a mono track that will play through both speakers.

…Or if you need a 2-channel stereo track, after splitting to mono, you can copy the good track into the silent track and assign one track as left and the other identical track as right.

Note that if you record in mono and you only use one mic, you may be limited to half-volume because the drivers are trying to leave room for the sound from the other mic.

Thank you for helping me figure this out, I am new to audio recording. Tell me if I am going down the right path.

  1. Mono mic recording is OK as it will play through both speakers. It is not a limitation from the equipment that I am using, or the DAW.
  2. If I want to record a voice in stereo I will need to use two mics or go through the steps you indicate below.
  3. I tried setting the device to “2 channel stereo” but it didn’t make any difference

Is there a particular reason I would want/need to record a voice on both the Left and Right Channels? Is mono recording a “standard” practice?

The general rule is, if you are recording a mono source (such as a mono microphone), record it into a mono track.

Note that if for some reason you need to make it sound like the sound is coming from the right or left, you can use the track Pan slider (Audio Tracks - Audacity Manual) on the mono track to pan the sound left/right. If one or more tracks are panned off-centre, then exporting will create a stereo track.

Thank you all for helping understand how it works…got it. :smiley: