Panning not working properly on Win10

Hello folks,

When I’m trying to pan 2 audio tracks (one with a back track of a song to the R channel and the click to the L channel) the audio bar meter on the software is showing everything fine. However, listening to the output I can hear the click from the left channel on the right side of the speaker/headphones, the volume is way down but when the song is silent you can clearly hear the click where it shouldn’t be playing.

I made a test on youtube of left/right stereo sound and the issue persisted, so I tried the Windows configuration. For my surprise when I drag the stereo sliders down to 0, on either side, I can still hear sound coming out of them. More surprises: I dragged the master volume down to 0 and I could still clearly hear the do-re-mi, mi-re-do from the sound test. Does anybody know what is going on?

This might not be a problem with Audacity itself, rather a Windows interacting with the audio software issue (as I got a similar problem on Reaper), but as I got no response from other forums I’m running out of ideas. I’m wondering if you guys have any clues of what is possibly going on.

Play that.

That has noise on the left channel and nothing at all on the right.

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 8.00.28.png
If your system plays anything on the right, then something after Audacity is mixing the two channels.

Problems like this aren’t unusual. There is a microphone recording error that only appears on some computers because of unexpected mixing of left and right sound.

I got a similar problem on Reaper

What did the solution to that turn out to be?

Do you have any Windows Playback Effects applied by accident? I got a Windows machine from the Systems people and it wouldn’t pass sound tests no matter what I did. Turns out someone left Windows “Cathedral Effects” applied by accident. Dig in Windows Control Panels. Speaker icon lower right? I’m not a Windows elf.


Windows audio can introduce some crossover between left & right.
Solution is to turn off (uncheck) all enhancements in speaker properties …

If that’s not the solution, there may be another layer of audio enhancement you need to disable.