Multi-channel Recording in Audacity

I joined the forums looking for interface software to go with the hardware I am building.

My project is a simple open source multichannel (DIY or Kit) interface that will connect to any mixer or multiple input devices and output multichannel to USB and/or firewire (haven’t decided yet, how versatile to make the outputs).

From the Audacity specs I have gleaned there does not seem to be any reason why this hardware project shouldn’t work beautifully with Audacity unless there just isn’t a common driver or set of drivers to use. That being said can anyone tell me why certain hardware works ‘out of the box’ for multichannel recording with Audacity?

I did not find any thing like this except for one person wanting to develop a USB driver… Is there anyone or group attempting such a project that you could refer me too?

My hardware design is pretty straight forward and would help bring Audacity into the professional realm as well as making pro recording atainable for the average Joe.


Regarding multi-channel recording in Audacity, it’s mostly about driver support.
Audacity can currently support just one input device and one output device.
Multi-channel playback is not currently supported.

Audacity can not be distributed with ASIO support due to licensing restrictions, so on Windows that means that a multi-channel Windows driver must be available.

Some multi-channel sound cards work by running multiple instances of a 2 channel stereo driver. This will not work with Audacity as only one device driver can be accessed, so only 2 channels will be available.

Some multi-channel sound cards only work in multi-channel mode with ASIO drivers and have severely crippled WDM drivers that only support basic 2 channel I/O.

Provided that multi-channel drivers are available the sound card should work with Audacity, though testing has been quite limited due to a shortage of hardware to test on.

OK I still have the same riddle though…

Fact: We have a list of hardware that works with Audacity on Windows with multichannel recording out of the box with Audacity. They are USB or Firewire interfaces.

Question: What feature of Audacity multichannel recording makes these just happen to work as is. Or another way to say it; How does Audacity accept multichannel signal through Win OS an/or MAC and/or Linux.

Like Steve said we can’t really do much testing for lack of equipment. But, I really want to know more about Audacity so I can make equipment that works well with the Software vs finding the equipment that just happens to work. I hope this makes sense.

As it stands I can make a 8 to 16 channel USB interface for super cheap very high quality that most people with soldering skills can build themselves. I just need to know how the existing multichannel input needs to be configured with Audacity. I do not want to make a special build. I plan to have configurations with full EWDM on high speed USB If that is all it takes then great but I like to have things planned out before I put the code in the machine and I want the best possible interface I can achieve with Audacity. Details, details, details :ugeek:

Just had a thought, I need to clarify… My interface is not a sound card! it is a stand alone multiple input device with audio through put and a digital converter to USB. So it could be used with any number of inputs or inserted inline with any mixer board, dj mix, individual audio equipment, etc. My personal goal is to be able to record live sessions with small bands and then remix later if needed. Not so much for over dubbing etc. but if I can get a quality low to no latency connection with Audacity then overdubbing will be on the menu.

This sounds like a great piece of hardware P.C.Hunter and possibly exactly what I want, have you made anymore progress on it yet?