I am using Audacity version. 2.1.2 with Windows 8 on a Toshiba satellite laptop.
I am attempting to send a signal from my digital Zoom MRS-8 Digital 8 track to Audacity, I have plugged a stero output-to-mini jack cable from my 8-track to the headphone/mic input on my computer to try and send the signal to Audacity. The problem is Audacity isn’t picking up this signal but is instead picking up sound from the internal microphone built into my computer. I naively assumed that once I plugged in the mini-jack input into the port on my computer that the internal mic would be over-riden and the signal from my 8-track would be recognised by Audacity however this did not happen. I then attempted to solve the problem by selecting the ‘recording devices’ option on my computer to see if I could amend anything, further I experimented with the microphone options on the Audacity userface, all to no avail. I have googled the problem, searched on Youtube and spent several hours attempting to fix this issue but I cannot figure it out. I’m almost certain that it can be done as an old Friend used Audacity in the past and hooked up the very same 8-track device and recorded the signal into audacity. I apologise if my question is utterly asinine and you must excuse my complete ignorance of all things technical, my knowledge of computers and software is pitiful!
When I hit record with the mini-jack plugged in and the track on my 8-track playing Audacity is recording the signal from my internal mic, when I play back with the mini-jack still plugged in I hear nothing but when I remove the mini-jack the signal from the internal mic(not the signal from the 8-track) is played back. Thus it appears when I plug the mini-jack in it is still acting as a headphone output and not a microphone input.
Any and all help received in solving this conundrum is greatly appreciated, it is most perturbing to me!
Probably you want to connect from the RCA master output on the Zoom.
You would choose the input in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.
You would have to make sure Windows sees the combo audio port as a mic and not an output. The control for that could be in Windows Sound or in the control panel for the sound card.
That type of combo port will probably need a TRRS plug on the computer end of the cable. And that port will be the problem, because the external mic input on the computer will probably be the wrong type of input for a strong high quality signal - definitely so if it needs a TRRS plug.
The answer is to buy a USB interface like the inexpensive UCA 202 that has a line-in input meant for strong signals. Connect Zoom to UCA 202, UCA 202 to USB input on computer, then choose the USB input in Device Toolbar.
Thank you for your prompt and thorough reply. I will work through the points you have raised to see if I can resolve the issue. The only thing confusing me is that when my old friend recorded from the 8-track to his computer I’m pretty sure he used the same cable I’m using now. Regardless of this I will implement your recommendations.
Thanks again for your help and insight, it is greatly appreciated.
But he presumably had a different model of computer. If it was an older desktop it may have had a proper blue stereo line-in separate from the mic input.
Your computer manual may tell you whether the audio input is TRRS. If it says TRRS or four-position you can give up at that point and buy a USB interface, because you just don’t have a suitable input.
If you get stuck I recommend you post the information from Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity. That will let us know what audio devices Windows sees.
I think you are indeed correct. His computer was an older model which no doubt had a seperate line-in port. After following your recommendations it appears that the stereo-to mini jack cable I’m using is TRS and not TRRS, thus it is not being recognised when I check in ‘recording devices’, hence Audacity can’t receive the signal and is thus just recording the signal it is receiving fom my computer’s internal microphone. I think for simplicity’s sake I will just purchase the USB connector you recommended and follow your instructions.
Thanks for your prompt, clear and instructive advice on this matter, I would have been needlessly fumbling around like a fool for quite some time had it not been for your assistance. Have a great weekend!