Only getting one channel

XP Pro SP3 installed via .exe.

I recorded some music off the radio by using a cable that plugs into the headphone jack on my tuner, the other end to the line-in jack on my computer’s integrated soundcard. An ASUS motherboard about 4 years old? that uses SoundMax drivers.

On playback, I noticed that sound was only coming from the left speaker. Turning the balance all the way to the right confirmed there was no sound on the right speaker. I also notice that I don’t think I’m getting anything on the right channel even on record, as only the left meter seems to show a waveform. Normal listening to the radio without Audacity, both speakers work just fine.

Don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’m very computer literate, but pretty ignorant when it comes to Audio in general, and while not completely new to Audacity, my usage is limited to simple tasks like recording and playback.

Thank you in advance.

If you record a stereo track, you should be able to see two channels in the recorded track like this:

Is there a wiggly waveform in both left and right channels?

Only the left channel has a waveform.

First, check that you are plugged into the computer’s “Line In” jack and not “Mic In” jack. Microphone inputs are usually mono and will only record one (the left) channel of a stereo signal.

If that is not the problem, check the leads and connections between the tuner and the computer.

If that is not the problem, check on the ASUS web site that the sound card drivers are up to date.

Hard to tell which jack I’m using, they have nothing but “universal icons” which are next to useless. Both appear to be nearly identical, neither is very clear as to what the icon means. However, my mic has a pink plug, and I’ve got it plugged into the pink jack. So I think I’m safe on jack usage.

There is one wire/cable between line-in jack and tuner. Not much to check, both ends are pushed in all the way.

Drivers are up to date.

In a strange twist of events, I was trying to help someone use Google Voice/Phone to record outgoing calls. After doing some research I was able to determine google phone didn’t provide this feature for outgoing calls - only incoming calls. So, I downloaded and installed something called “Free Sound Recorder” . After trying it out, I determined that it wasn’t going to be of much use as there didn’t appear to be a way to record from both microphone input and soundcard output at the same time - something necessary to record both ends of the phone call.

Then it dawned on me that audacity would probably be the way to go on that issue (though I would have preferred something much simpler for my friend), so I went to the audacity window I already had open from playing my recorded radio music in one channel (working on taking an 8 hour broadcast and breaking it down into 30 minute chunks w/out commercials).

I also opened up Yahoo Messenger to use voice chat to test audacity on recording both mic input and speaker output simultaneously. I clicked on the record button, and for some reason even though it opened up a new track to record, it was playing the music track at the same time! I was not expecting that. I also noticed, that it was playing two channels!!!

I’m guessing, that Free Sound Recorder kicked something loose, I have no idea what.

I couldn’t figure out why it was playing the music track so after trying a couple of things I closed the track.

So, I guess the problem is solved, though I don’t know what solved it. I guess if I have the issue again, I’ll install Free Sound Recorder again and see if that works again.

However, there’s still the issue of how to record both input & output at the same time. I’ll post this problem in a fresh new topic so as not to muddy the forums.

Thanks for the help!

Transport > Overdub. It’s on by default.

Are you also now recording two channels?


I forgot, I also installed googles talk plugin to make calls. I also installed iCall. And Linphone. I’ve been busy

With that said, I’m now utterly baffled because no it’s still only recording in one channel and playback is no longer two channels. I uninstalled and attempted to reinstall both google talk plugin and sound recorder but that didn’t help. Worse, when I try to record from yahoo chat I now get feedback whereas I wasn’t before.

So I’ve clearly hosed things and am at a total loss as to where to go from here.

OK, some updates…

I was able to get rid of the feedback - I think it was because I had two instances of audacity running without realizing it. Since I was only actually working with one instance I don’t know why there’d be feedback but there you have it.

Next, after following the directions in the other post regarding recording both sides of a conversation, I noticed that I can record Yahoo chat in 2 channels, but the radio still only records in 1 channel. So the problem remains.

Wait! I just used the Windows Recording Control to switch back and forth between Stereo Mix and Line In - and then back again, and suddenly I’m recording radio with 2 channels!!!

As I switch back and forth between playing and recording, and line-in and stereo mix with both Recording Control and Audacity, I’m suddenly back to 1 channel and I can’t get it back to recording radio with 2 channels again. What in the world is going on?

I would assume both Recording Control and Audacity need to be set the same way - Line In to get radio(should I even be mucking with Recording Control??) but Stereo Mix for Yahoo Chat (and phone conversations later - to be discussed in the other post where I have yet to ask - how do I include the microphone as input?) Confused? I know I am.

Audacity only allows one instance at a time, and cant play or record in two windows at the same time.

XP doesn’t normally have any way to specify mono or stereo for the input (Vista and 7 do) . Line-in and stereo mix should both be stereo.

It is normally OK on XP to explicitly select one input such as Stereo Mix in Audacity while another input such as Line-in is selected in Windows.

Erratic behaviour like you are describing usually means the sound device drivers are outdated, inappropriate or broken and need reinstalling. You want to have XP drivers meant for your particular computer model, and made by the computer or motherboard manufacturer. Help here: .

Or you could just have a bad line-in port, or the cable is not tightly connected or is damaged.


You may want to read the reviews on before re-installing freesoundrecorder. There are over 200 complaints about it installing adware/malware without informing the user and providing no means to uninstall those additional programs.