problem with playing sound over playback [SOLVED]

I use Audacity to record multitrack music, simply with an old analogue synthesizer and a guitar amp for amplification plugged into the computer. Now I have a new computer with Windows 10 and the new Audacity 2.1.1 installed (the version I previously used must have been from 4 years back). When I used to record a track I could play it back and play the synthesizer along, trying out new melodies, the sound of the synthesizer mixing with the track playing. Now this seems only possible when recording a new track along the existing track. What is going on? How can I change this?

You should not select Edit > Preferences > Recording: [_]Playthrough. You should select Overdubbing in that panel.

You should be recording from a very specific thing, not Stereo Mix or any other collection of all the sounds on your computer. If you like to record YouTube or other on-line sound, that is not the setting for overdubbing.

This is the tutorial for overdubbing with your soundcard:

I’m prompted to ask, do you have a Line-In or Stereo-In connection? Most new computers don’t have that connection (blue??) any more. I bought one of the last Macs which could do that. You can’t easily substitute the Mic-In or Headset-In connection now common.

Let us know.


I’ve tried out your suggestion -and a lot of other things- but it still doesn’t work the way I would like. When I want to play over an excisting track I now simply play that over the speakers while I can hear the synth through the guitaramp (or a headphone). For recording I then plug the amp into the computer -indeed a blue stereo-in connection. It’s a bit old-fashioned, all this plugging in and plugging out, but at least it is working… If this isn’t a normal problem in Audacity I suppose it must be computer- or soundcard related. Thank you for your swift respons to my question.

I presume that what you would ideally like to do is to have everything plugged in and be able to record and hear both the track(s) that you have already recorded and what you are playing at the same time (without having to plug/unplug things all the time). The ability to do that depends on the equipment (hardware). The built-in sound card in most computers do not allow you to hear the input without a noticeable and off-putting delay. Most external USB sound cards do allow you to hear the live input without a delay, along with what is playing on the computer. One of the cheapest USB devices that we know can do this is the Behringer UCA-202. One such setup is described here:®_UCA202_Stereo_bidirectional_USB_Sound_Card If the only thing that you are recording is your analog synth, then you probably don’t need the mixing desk - with appropriate cables you can probably connect the synth directly to the UCA-202.

Thank you very much for your advice. I got myself a Behringer UCA202 and it indeed is a cheap and easy solution to my problem. Without the constant changing of plugs making music and recording is fun again. Thanks!