Losing the Stereo

Comparing 2.1.0 on Windows 7 with 2.0.3 on Windows 10.

I record a song from a cassette player connected to each PC into Audacity. The PC10 version doesn’t have the ‘stereo’ sound like it does on the PC7 system.

While recording I’m also watching the meters. The meters on PC7 are uneven, as expected. The meters on PC10 are locked together and show the same level being record, not expected.

I’ve attached documents showing part of the audio tracks from both systems. PC7 is the windows 7 system and PC10 is the windows 10 system.

I’m not an expert but it looks (and sounds) like PC10 is converting the stereo recording to monaural.

Am I right? Is there a setting on PC10 that I’ve overlooked that is causing this effect?

Also, I notice that version 2.4.2 is now the current version. Do you think I should update both systems with this version? Will 2.4.2 work on windows 7?


W10 recording is set to mono by default,
here’s how make it stereo … https://youtu.be/59QY0WL3f64

Yes, it is also in the manual, see here: FAQ:Recording - How To's - Audacity Manual

Well, no cigar. First, the You Tube video was for windows 7 but I was able to get past that. My settings are already set properly. See the attachments. The first one is the windows setting and the second is the Audacity setting.

By the way, these settings were already the default.

Any other ideas?

Audacity 2-App.png
Audacity 1-Windows.png

So here are some more thoughts. Are the PCs identical other than Windows version? Could this be a simple wiring issue ? Do they have similar blue line-in jacks? Have you tried using a USB input device ?

Both PCs are from Dell. PC7 is a tower system (XPS model) running Windows 7. PC10 is a laptop (INSPIRON model) running windows 10. I also downloaded Audacity 2.4.2 onto PC10. PC7 is still using version 2.1.0.

Both are using USB 2.0 connections.

I’ve been using PC7 for years. I just started using PC10 for this purpose about a month ago and discovered this problem when I was playing back a song I had transferred from LP to iTunes. It sounded funny and it was a group that LOVES using both channels. That led me to investigate a little further.

So I recorded the same song using both versions of Audacity and I could CLEARLY make out the separate channels on PC7 and not on PC10. As well as watching the recording meters behave differently. The meter on PC10 had both channels in ‘lock step’ with each other while PC7 showed them with different levels.


Try inverting one of the stereo-channels.
(i,e, split stereo to mono, invert one track, then rejoin into stereo pair).

plural? Just to be clear. You are using one USB cassette player using one USB cable plugged either into PC7 or PC10 ?

To Trebor:

The web site says this technique is used to "Find out how different the stereo channels are: Use the same steps 1 and 2 above on any stereo track. If the audio is just as loud after the steps as before, the channels are very different. “If the result is silence, the track is not really stereo but dual mono, where both left and right contain completely identical audio.”

I know they are different because as I stated earlier, when I record them on PC7, the two channels are very distinctively different. The stereo effect is very pronounced. On PC10 the stereo effect is lost.

To jademan, correct. One cassette device, one USB cable to one PC at a time.


Sometimes, it makes sense to double-check that you are getting full stereo separation from your headphones.

Check here: https://thegeekpage.com/stereo-sound-is-not-working-in-windows-10/
and here: Redirecting

Generate a tone. Play it. While playing, pan it from left to right. Does the sound move ?

It’s not the headphones playback (headphones or speakers).

It’s the recording. And it’s enforced by the meters in Audacity itself. I recorded the same song on both PCs. I watched the meters while it was recording. On PC7 the left and right meters registered differently. But on PC10, they were locked together. I played both projects on PC10 and the playback meters from the PC7 recording were uneven (just like they were originally recorded) while the meters from PC10 were identical.

So now, what I have to do is record the song on PC7 and finish the editing on PC10.

I can’t ‘retire’ PC7 until I get this resolved. This has really got me scratching my head.


I’m curious why that says “2 - USB”. What other devices are listed in the Recording tab of the Windows Sound control panel?
Is it a USB cassette player like this:

Perhaps you could post a larger screenshot, like this (but with your cassette player selected)

First, my cassette unit isn’t ‘like’ your picture. It ‘IS’ your picture. Same model.

Here’s the options from both system:

Microphone (Realtek(R) Audio)
Microsoft Sound Mapper-Input
Headset Microphone (Plantronics
Microphone Array (2-USB PnP AU

Microsoft Sound Mapper-Input
Microphone Array (2-USB PnP AU
Microphone (Realtek High Definition
I have never plugged my headset with the microphone into PC7 so it doesn’t show up.

Hope this helps.


Oops, clicked submit before providing your second request.

Image attached.

Sound Properties.png

It’s not the play back that’s giving me issues. For instance, I can record the song on PC7 and play it back on PC10, feeling the full stereo effect.

It’s the ‘recording’ on PC10 that seems to be dropping the stereo.