Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

If you successfully use a multi-channel sound card with Audacity, please list it here.
Please also list your operating system and any special drivers, limitations, or set-up procedures.

For stereo sound cards, please go to this topic:

Currently on the forum the following devices have been reported to work:

Edirol m-16dx
Set recording to 18 channels.

M-Audio FastTrack Ultra 8R (usb)

M-Audio Delta 1010 LT
On Windows it requires old drivers from 2007 (
Select “Multi” for recording 8 channels.

The following cards have also been reported to work:

Alesis multimix firewire 16

RME Multiface II + PCI

M-Audio Delta 1010

Alesis Multimix 12 Firewire (first 8 channels)

Alesis Multimix-8 USB 2.0 (requires USB 2 interface on the computer)

Alesis iO4 on Ubuntu 12.10. The iO4 must be plugged in before you boot your computer. The input volume is quiet and you must crank the gain to maximum for each iO4 input. Cranking up the input volume in Ubuntu’s sound settings or within Audacity has little or no apparent effect.

MOTU Traveller firewire/USB (On Mac OS X)

Presonus AudioBox 1818 fails on Win7 64 bit. Records 8 channels on XP machine (32 bit)

TASCAM US-1800 Win 7 64-bit but only worked after compiling Audacity with ASIO support

Note there is a comparable list on the Wiki “Multichannel Recording” page. I’ve just updated that with the information from this topic, and some information based on other reports.

Just to be clear, this topic is about Windows and possibly Linux, is that so? I thought multi-channel recording in Audacity usually worked on Mac because multi-channel hardware normally works in Core Audio without requiring ASIO (Koz suggested off-forum to me this wasn’t always so).

There’s also an overlap with Recommended Sound Devices on the Wiki but perhaps that should be confined to cases where we have a detailed report.

BTW the link in the above post to M-Audio FastTrack Ultra 8R (usb)
( doesn’t seem to have anything about FastTrack Ultra.


Excellent, I’d not spotted that page but I was hoping to use this topic as a “feeder” for such a page on the wiki.

I don’t know. That’s an issue where we depend on user feedback. I’ll add a note to the OP asking for people to state their operating system version.

I’m aware of that - and there’s an overlap with the Sound Card Reviews topic on the forum, but I think that multi-channel sound cards should be kept on a separate page (in both the wiki and the forum). Users will usually be looking for advice on stereo xor multichannel sound card.

I think a link on each of the wiki pages to the other would be useful.
I’ll add similar links to the two forum topics.

There’s a problem with how the forum makes links to posts - they don’t always work properly on multi-page topics.
On the second page of the topic liselorev said:

OK, so I’ve done that on the WIki as you suggest. Though if we had a more meaty review of a multi-channel device we might not want to post all that detail to the “Multichannel recording” WIki page.



Also note that although we have first-person experience and reviews on many audio techniques and operating equipment, that’s not true with multi-channel equipment. That puts us squarely in the Manufacturer’s Hype and Urban Legend territory. “I don’t personally have this stuff, but my sister knows a guy where she works…etc.”

“Produces multi-channel recordings on all computer platforms from Amiga to Zeos!!”

Sure it does.

We also have people who forced a multi-channel presentation with oddball equipment and obsolete software on one (1) computer platform. Possibly only one (1) computer. We’re happy for you, but we need something with a little broader appeal.

I do believe that ASIO software packages can manage multi-channel gracefully under many difference circumstances. I also believe that you can compile Audacity with internal ASIO functionality. I compiled a program once in 1985. I still have the limp on wet days.

There seems to be a requirement that if you do get one of these systems to work, that you not speak about it to any other living soul. Like you sign a form at the registry office or something. Further, since they tend to be expensive, people are not willing to blow the bux on a device until they’re sure it’s going to work. It’s not like I spent $19US for my Logitech microphone on a lark.

So all of these things are players in why you can’t just march into Frys Electronics and pick up a nice six channel audio setup for use with Audacity.

It’s a bit more challenging than that.


The requirement if you compile Audacity with ASIO support is quite specific. You can tell whoever you like, but you can’t distribute that ASIO build to them. You can help them with making an ASIO build themselves.


I think Koz is referring to the Secret Order of Igams (dum dom dumm - terrifying sound effect on timpani drum).
Allegedly the Secret Order of Igams specifically forbids members to reveal the dark secrets of which sound cards work and how to set them up (on pain of having their sound card ripped out and replaced with a Sigmatel HD).

Some people say that the Secret Order of Igams, aka “I’ve Got A Multi-channel Sound-card (and I know how to use it)” is purely fictitious, citing as proof their near total absence on Google searches, but others say that only proves how secret the organisation is.

Would it be possible (theoretically/practically/legally) for a programming wizard to write a script that automated the process of building Audacity with ASIO support, thus requiring users to (only) register with Steinberg, download the ASIO SDK, put it in the same folder as the Audacity source code and run the script.

I’ve given my take on that at .


I am trying to record from both the EXTERNAL MIC and the INTERNAL AUDIO from the computer at the same time however I only seem to be able to select one to record from…is there any way I can record from a Dual-Source…thanks!!

It may be possible to record sounds playing on the computer and the microphone at the same time, but doing so is riddled with pitfalls and bear traps. There’s probably a better way to achieve the same result. What exactly do you want to do?

Newbie here with a question pertaining to multi-channel recording. My apologies if this question has already been addressed, but I haven’t been able to find a clear-cut answer after digging for a while through the forums/wikis.

I have two vinyl turntables connected to a mackie d.2 pro mixer by RCA cables (out of curiosity, if I want to simultaneously record both tables in stereo, is this considered 2 or 4 channels?), which is connected to an external firewire port in my Dell Inspiron 1545 (had to purchase an adapter, because this computer doesn’t come with a firewire port). I’m able to record just fine from one turntable or the other, but can’t record from both simultaneously. So, to scratch vocals over an instrumental track, for instance, I must record the instrumental, then change the recording device in my control panel settings and in audacity’s preferences to record the vocal scratch as another track from the second turntable.

I’d very much prefer to have the ability to record from both turntables simultaneously. I understand that this may be a function of having the right sound card AND drivers for the sound card. I have the Dell’s factory sound card and have not changed drivers (aside from auto updates on them). Does anyone know what I must do to be able to record from both of my tables at the same time (i.e. 1) change drivers 2) purchase new sound card 3) both of the above 4) other ideas).

Your help is much appreciated.


A stereo track has 2 channels (left and right). Two separate stereo tracks would be 2x2 = 4 channels.

Adapter from firewire to what? USB?

Audacity can only record from 1 device at a time. So if you have to select two different devices for recording all that you want you won’t to be able to do it with audacity. You’d need 1 source outputting 4 channels rather than 2 sources outputting 2 channels each.

What you can do is to mix the signal coming from both tables into one. Don’t your mixer allow you to do that? The drawback is that you get only one stereo track in audacity with the sound coming from both tables already mixed. Therefore you won’t be able to process separately voice and instrumental tracks.

Hi bgravato,

Thanks for your response.

My firewire adapter fits in my computer’s expresscard slot (I guess it’s a controller card rather than an adapter, per say). No USB connection is involved.

The output I hear through my speakers from the mixer is a mixed signal from both turntables. However, the signals from the turntables seem to be maintained separately when they go from the mixer to my computer via firewire for some reason, because as I mentioned, I can only record from one t-table at a time. I look forward to any further thoughts you or others may have.

Which options do you get on Preferences → Devices (regarding your external device)? Which ones do you need to select for recording one turntable or the other? Any other option beyond those two?

I get 7 different analog input options in addition to microsoft input mapper (see image)

A couple of each analog input option correspond to each turntable, but none allow me to record from both simultaneously. The Microsoft input mapper doesn’t appear to work.

Unfortunately it looks like Mackie are using multiple stereo audio drivers rather than a single multi-channel driver. Audacity can only record from one “device” at a time, but due to there being multiple stereo drivers, as far as Audacity is concerned you have multiple 2 channel stereo devices and no multi-channel devices. For Audacity, if there is no multi-channel audio device driver, then recording more than 2 channels at once is a non-starter. You may however be able to record using other software - in particular, and multi-channel recording software that supports ASIO drivers, as the ASIO drivers will almost certainly support multiple channels.

Well, in the spirit of the original post, I’ll write down what I have.

Our computer system has a MOTU setup. I have a PCI424 card with a 2408Mk1 and a 2408Mk2… I have 2 Behringer ADA8000s hanging off one 2408, and an ART TubeOpto off the other. That gives me a total of 40 channels: 24 XLR, 8 1/4", 8 RCA.

I followed the directions on the ASIO web page. Any deviation from the directions got me into trouble, but following them step by step worked fine. (I tried a newer version of the compiler and hit a wall quickly…) I have a decent amount of programming background, but it’s been a while, and very little is on a Windows platform.

The system I have seems pretty stable. I have recorded all 40 channels for about an hour in one session doing a live band. Audacity gets a little sluggish, but it all seems to work fine. After getting it all recorded, I break a set into individual songs, do a quick mix on each one, and turn it into a CD that I give to the talent, mostly for a reference. I’m not taking the time to produce something professional… (yet)

Hope that helps!


Then can you plug that output into a line-in input in the computer and record from that?

Other possibilities (apart from compiling Audacity with ASIO support) could be (long shot) to try the Windows DirectSound Host in the Audacity Devices Preferences or (slightly shorter shot) see if there are alternative drivers from Mackie that might give you a “multi” device you can record from.


I am (trying) to use the Presonus AudioBox 1818 with a Digimax 8B to get 16 channels. I am running Win7 64 bit. I was able to record 8 channels on my old XP machine (32 bit). While I could see the inputs on the Digimax I was only able to record 2 Digimax channels at time (unless I’ve completely misunderstood the device panel). However when I tried to migrate to the Win7 64 bit machine, I could only record two channels at a time. I’ve loaded the Presonus driver software and ASIO for all.

Does anybody know how to get Audacity to see all 8 channels on the AudioBox? All 16 including the 8 on the Digimax? Do I need the 32 bit version of ASIO?

thanks for indulging a newbie!

Audacity as shipped does not support ASIO drivers. You can compile Audacity with ASIO support (strictly for your own private usage only) but it is time-consuming and possibly complex if you have never done anything like that before. See: .

If Audacity on XP saw 8 channels (without ASIO support) this may be because the Presonus driver set has changed. It is not uncommon for later drivers to remove multi-channel ability from their WDM (non-ASIO) support. Or, it’s possible you did not have ASIO drivers installed before and because Audacity as shipped does not support ASIO drivers, their presence is creating the problem. Or you might have been using an earlier Audacity before where multi-channel support happened to work up to a point with the driver set you had.

So the only sure answer (on WIndows) to get multi-channel recording is to compile Audacity with ASIO support.