Not able to record with headphone/mic combo jack.

Using a brand new Lenovo Ideapad with windows 10, Audacity version 2.2.1, looking to dub some old audio cassettes. Have tried plugging in cassette player, microphone and I-phone into combo earphone/mic jack and have not been able to get it to record from those sources. The headphone function works fine. It does pick up my voice from what I guess is an internal mic somewhere, maybe what you would use for Skype etc. Recording device dropdown gives choice of Realtek High Definition Audio or Microphone Sound Mapper. Audio host offers MME, Windows Direct Source and Windows WASABPI. Speaker dropdown has Realtek High Definition and Windows Sound Mapper. Have tried all manner of combinations with no success.

Have tried the suggestions in control panel and settings, but nothing has worked. Realtek settings and configuration offers limited adjustments. Just got rid of a 2 year old Asus laptop that was a piece of junk, but it did recognize the aforementioned inputs when plugged into the combo jack. The local big box retailer was no help.

Is it a problem with Realtek? Would a analog-USB coverter device work better? Love the Audacity program, have converted many tapes to CD with it. Would like to use it to record live music if I can get it to work. Any help is appreciated.

This is a Behringer UCA-202 between my analog sound mixer and a laptop without a stereo connection.

It works both directions and it’s certified for Perfect Overdubbing for the musicians.


Would a analog-USB coverter device work better?

Yes, but make sure it has line-level inputs. (Regular “USB Soundcards” have only mic-in and headphone-out.)

There are 3 problems with your combo jack… You need a special 4-conductor TRRS plug to make the microphone connection, a microphone input is too sensitive for a headphone-level or line-level signal, and it’s mono.

Would like to use it to record live music if I can get it to work.

That’s a different situation… What kind of quality do you want? What kind of music in what kind of environment? For basic recording you can just use the microphone built into your laptop. For something better you can use a “studio-style” USB mic (AKA “podcast mic”) or a pair of [u]studio condenser mics[/u] and an [u]interface with mic inputs[/u]. Or, you can get more mics and a multi-channel interface for multi-track recording. Interfaces with switchable mic/line inputs are common if you what to go that way. Note that stage/studio mics work with USB audio interfaces, mixers, and PA systems, but they are NOT compatible with laptops or regular consumer soundcards.

That white device is listed as a “Stereo USB SoundCard,” but it really only duplicates the two natural connections in a Windows laptop. Stereo Headphones and Mono Microphone. The illustration is adapting my special purpose mono telephone recorder microphone to a laptop that had no Microphone connection.

It’s useless for recording stereo.


Thanks for the great suggestions. Turns out the big box store I bought the computer at suggested this contraption called a Roccat Juke USB stereo sound card and headset adapter, about $. Has separate mic and earphone jacks. Was successful in outputting the signal from a 24 channel Soundcraft audio to the laptop. Audacity recognized it. Ditto for music from I-Phone and I-Pad. Gets me started for now, but will consider your suggestions. Thanks again, very pleased to get this working.

Gets me started for now, but will consider your suggestions.

As above, one of the common shortcomings of these devices is stereo. Magnify your blue waves and make sure they’re different.

Attached is a small segment of a Bette Midler stereo tune. If you look close, the blue waves are similar but not the same. That’s what a natural stereo show looks like. If there is no difference in top and bottom waves, then you are really recording mono or two copies of Left.
Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 11.37.43.png
There are a number of slippery words the makers use in their promotional messages. FULL STEREO (headphones).