No Stereo!

I use a USB plug in adaptor for inputting audio into my laptop and recording on to Audacity. Everythings fine with one exception - it only records in mono. Ive checked the mic input on the adaptor - its wired for stereo OK. Audacity is set to New Stereo Track. In preferences, its set to 2 stereo channels, recording device - USB input. Ive tried the above on my mini notebook, but with the same result. I really need to record in stereo. Any ideas please? Thanks. (for the record, Ive tried connecting the laptop`s headphone out to the mic in, and played some audio on the PC. This records in stereo ok, but with relatively poor sound quality).

That’s normal for recording from one microphone. Most microphones are mono.

But Im not recording with mics - I`m going line in from external device, via USB port with the sound card/adaptor.


I take your point, stevethefiddle, but I said mic, as the input on the USB adaptor is marked with a mic icon. However, as I stated, Ive had the cover off the gadget and theres no doubt that the input socket is wired for stereo. As Im inputting with a stereo signal thro a stereo lead, shouldnt I be getting a stereo signal into Audacity??

Mono microphone sockets have two connections, but they’re not both sound.
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This socket has 3 connections - it is wired at the 3 points where the connecting points of the stereo jack make contact - namely, tip, ring and sleeve. If it were mono, it would only have tip and sleeve contact points. Theres no doubt that its wired for stereo. I think the problem I`ve got is within the laptop, somewhere between the USB in port and Audacity??

What’s the make and model number of your USB adaptor/sound card?
Do you have the spec. or instruction manual for it, and does it definitely say it has a stereo input?
Most USB sound cards use RCA sockets, not 1/8" jacks for stereo inputs, and the fact that it says mic-in suggests that it is, in fact, mono. If you look at the second picture in Koz’s link above, you will see that the ring connection provides power for the microphone, and not a second input channel.


In addition to the post from Irish, where is the stereo input source coming from? (what’s plugged into the USB device?)

Thanks, again, irish and stevethefiddle. I dont still have the info on the USB adaptor. Its fairly bog standard, and your comments re kozs 2nd diagram may well apply, although it was supposedly for stereo transfer. Id be happy to invest in another, but how can I define whether one is stereo or not? All the ones Ive seen seem to have the mic` icon over the input port. Your help is much appreciated.
(The stereo input source is from CD player, stereo cassette player, etc.).

Does it look like this?

Or this?

It`s like the 2nd one (soundprofs), with metal casing; LH port for headphones, RH with mic icon.

Having looked a little closer at the griffintechnology item, it seems that this is the item I require for the desired stereo input??

Both of these are firmly at the “budget” end of the scale, but the iMic can be switched to stereo line in and should be able to do the job.

Many thanks yet again! Ill be getting one of these. Ill post how I get on.