Plugged instruments to PC problems

Hi, I have windows 10 and audacity version 2.1.2 obtained from audacity web.
My sound PC drivers are, for recording internal microphone IDT high definition codec. And for reproduction speakes/headphones IDT high definitions codec. The main driver is MME.
I don’t know how to change and get the specifcally options to get plugged an instrument on my PC and get sond well started using Audacity son let me record it.
Before this message I do many things changing options on my PC and drivers oprtions on Audacity but can’t get sound a recording.
Thanks for your help.

Newer computers have no Stereo Line-In connection for sound mixers, music keyboards, or other instruments.

What instrument do you have? Details are good. Model numbers? Web page?


First, thanks Koz for your answer.
My PC have stereo line-in connection. I use an electro-acustic guitar and a Yamaha digital keyboard. Both of them have the properties to be plugged with a cable and I used Fender professional cable to plugged them in my PC.
The thing is that when all is plugged in and try to use Audacity with the test mic bar, no sound is getted or just one channel is heard but with noises so don’t know how to solve this problem.
Tahnks again.

Make sure you’ve selected line-in as your [u]recording device[/u].

The keyboard’s line-out or headphone-out should work with line-in.

The guitar may work but the signal may be weak and you may get poor tone. Guitar’s typically need a special interface with a high impedance guitar-input.

Thanks DVDdoug, but what options I hvave if the selected options are Microsoft assignment sound or Internal Microphone from IDT High Definition Codec.
And only when I plugged in any of the instruments mentioned in the Mic lin-in of the PC, appears Headphone Microphone from IDT High Definition Codec.
There was no trouble at all on before ocasions using my instruments with Audacity. This becames when updated Windows to 10.
I can only use the internal microphone but this doesn’t record any good nothing. Really need help. Maybe is something easy and I don’t see it.

If that is the only input, it’s the wrong input - not as good as a Line-In (blue) meant for strong signals and separate from the mic input. The guitar may sound better than the keyboard if you only have the one input. The only exception to this would be if your sound card had a switch to change the one input between microphone and line-in. Otherwise for the keyboard you would be better with a USB interface that has a proper stereo Line-In. See

If you really do have separate line-In and microphone inputs on the computer, then you must right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”.

Right-click click anywhere inside the Recording tab and choose “Show disabled devices” then right-click again and check “Show Disconnected Devices”.

Right-click specifically over the Line-In and choose “Enable”. Right-click over Line-In again and choose “Set as Default Device”.

Restart Audacity then choose Line-In in Device Toolbar.

Note that you may get bad sound or may not see an external mic or Line-In to choose from unless you actually have proper Windows 10 audio drivers for your built-in device. Assuming you have a branded computer like HP, you must go to that computer manufacturer’s site to obtain the correct audio drivers for your specific computer model. See


Thanks Gale.
By the time, I updated all system and sound issues from HP support web (that’s the name of my PC) and uninstall and install Audacity last version with all it’s lame and ffmpeg issues. So now I have all components updated in my Windows 10 PC version.
I also change the parameters of the internal sound system of the PC to make run Audqacity efficiently.
I had proved my instruments and now they can be listen on my headphones. But there’s a problem; I can hear them only in the left channel (allthough the input is setted for left and right channels).
What can still happens?

How many inputs do you have? If you only have one input, you still have to face the fact that you’re probably not getting the best sound you could if you bought a USB interface with a dedicated stereo line-in.

If the input you are using is only intended as a mono microphone input, you probably have the answer right there.


from HP support web (that’s the name of my PC)

What’s the model name/number of your computer? Is it a laptop?

But there’s a problem; I can hear them only in the left channel (allthough the input is setted for left and right channels).

If you are only recording one instrument at a time, that might be OK… It can be fixed…

If you [u]convert your left-only track to mono[/u], the sound will come out of both speakers… A true-mono recording will play from both speakers.

Or, if you are recording one instrument (or one microphone) that’s mono (one channel) and you can set-up Audacity to record in mono (and again, the sound will come-out of both speakers).

Or, you can record/create two mono tracks and then mix them to a stereo track with the guitar on the left and the keyboard on the right. That’s how pro multi-track recordings are made… Every instrument & voice is recorded on a separate mono track and a stereo mix is done by panning (positioning) the various tracks across the “soundstage”.

Thanks again Gale.
I have 2 inputs in my HP Pavilion g4 notebook. One for microphone and the other for headphones.
I’d just try with the options you suggest and find that recording on one channel (the keyboard por example plugged in the mic jacket) the reproducing can be heard in the two channels of the headphones and that is ok, because I can record and create with final stereo sound.
But when recording, there’s a static noise and don’t know how to cancel or eliminate it.
Your suggestions had been very useful. I hope I can work without further problems by now.

One for microphone and the other for headphones.

That means your computer does not have line-level inputs.

I’d just try with the options you suggest and find that recording on one channel (the keyboard por example plugged in the mic jacket) the reproducing can be heard in the two channels of the headphones

Does that sound OK, or are you hearing static?

You should be able to record with the same quality you’re hearing in your headphones…

If you are hearing static in your headphones as you record, that’s probably related to the fact that you’re using a low-quality microphone input instead of a line or instrument input.

If you need something better the [u]Behringer UCA202[/u] is a popular, inexpensive, USB audio interface with line inputs. The [u]UCG102[/u] has a guitar input. Or, you can find more expensive [u]audio interfaces[/u] with two or more mic, line, or instrument inputs.

DVDdoug, as I said, my notebook have one input for microphone and other for headphone. I usually monitored with the headphones what I’m doing in the otrher input (connecting the instruments or microphones and recording them one at time). That’s what using Audacity helps me to compose.
The sound is not Ok and I’m hearing static.
The mic for voices is a Shure one specially for vocal records and for the keyboard and electro-acustic guitar I use a professional Fender cable.
What if that maybe the notebook is the problem?

A headphone is an output (sound comes out of it), not an input (where sound goes into it). So you don’t have a proper stereo Line-In input meant only for strong signals, such as from a keyboard. It won’t sound as good as if you had an external interface with a proper stereo Line-In.

If you are monitoring in headphones attached to the computer you are going to hear yourself late. If you used an interface to connect your instruments or microphones to, then you could monitor without latency by connecting your headphones to the interface.

But forget the monitoring for now. When you stop recording and play what you recorded, does it sound bad? Do the waves have flat tops? If so you are recording too loud or the input is not suitable for strong signals like a keyboard (or possibly not suitable even for your guitar cable). Do the microphone recordings have the same problem?

You could post a sample of what it sounds like. See this link: How to post an audio sample .

The notebook is probably only the problem because you are trying to use it in a way that is not intended. It does not have a proper Line-In meant only for strong signals.