Mic sound only partly recorded during overdubbing

Who has a tip for solving the following problem?

Just installed audacity on my new windows 10 laptop. All seems to work fine (recording and playback with external Presonus audiobox - headphones en usb mic).
Until I wanted to overdub.
The live sound from the mic seems to only get recorded if the sound from the playback track is low (silent). As soon as the sound from the playback track is louder, the sound from the mic is not recorded. As if it only picks up the mic sound when the background track is not ‘in the way’…
So I see some activity being recorded but not all that I am singing. And when playing back I only hear those few short pieces and not all i sang while recording.

It must be some simple setting but cant find it and have never experienced this before when using Audacity in the past!

Hope someone has an idea!

Please describe your setup in more detail. What playback and recording devices have you chosen in Audacity? Why would you use a USB mic when you have a USB interface to which you could connect a powered studio mic?

Have you installed Skype? That can interfere with levels of audio devices.

There are settings on the Communications tab of Windows Sound - you could set that to “Do nothing” - but I doubt it is responsible for the problem.

Are these gaming headphones with extra software to alter audio pathways?


Hi Gale,

Thanks for picking this up. And sorry for my not-so-techy description. Let me see:

  • playback: Audio Soundbox
  • recording: Microphone RealTek High Definition (I cannot select anything else)
  • Mic is not USB, it is a normal mic connected to a Presonus Audiobox which is connected to the laptop via USB.
  • Headphones are normal audio headphones connected to the Audiobox with normal plugin (not usb).

Recording single track works fine. Playback too.

But what I used to do doesnt work:

  • import mp3
  • hit record
  • sing

→ the singing is only visible in the ‘breaks’ in the mp3 (when the music is soft or during a short pause). I can tell from the equalizer that is not just that I dont hear it but that it is really not picking up my voice those moments.

Hope this clarifies the situation

What is “Audio Soundbox”? Is that what the Presonus Audiobox is called?

Recording from the internal microphone of the computer is the cause of your problem. You need to set the Audacity Recording Device in Device Toolbar to whatever the Presonus Audiobox is called, so that you can record from the mic connected to the Audiobox. Try Transport > Rescan Audio Devices at the top of Audacity and see if you can choose the Audiobox as recording device then. Audacity can’t automatically see external devices that you connect after Audacity is already running, so you must do that rescan.

Be prepared to change the Audio Host (first box in Device Toolbar) if necessary. The host can make a difference.

If you need more help, please save the information from Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity and attach it. Please see how to attach files to forum posts.


Yes!! It works… I had to choose Windows WASAPI (of which I have never heard before… :confused: ) but it seems to work now.

Merci beaucoup!