Problem with right channel when recording.

Hi there,

I seem to have a problem when recording with audacity in the right channel. Even when I just record with nothing playing the right channel seems to be picking something up. I am using a computer with windows xp and audacity 2.0.2.

I just cannot find what is causing this. Anyone else had any similar issues? This seems to be happening with the line in input.


audacity shot.JPG

That is an extreme case of “DC off-set”.
Do you have anything plugged into the “line in” of your computer?
What are you trying to record?
Has this ever worked?

This seems to be happening with the line in input.

Thank you for the illustrations. That’s an insane amount of DC Offset. That blue horizontal line in the bottom track is supposed to be at 0.0 like the one on top.

What’s the possibility you don’t really have a Line-In? Many Laptops have a Mic-In or a sound input which is supposed to do both Line and Mic. None of them work particularly well. So we can trouble shoot the existing connection with little hope of success, or you can do what I did and buy a simple Stereo USB adapter.

That’s a Behringer UCA-202 connected between my sound mixer and Windows laptop. I have two adapters. Both work well.

You are also using a very old version of Audacity and you can do audio production on a Windows XP machine, but you should not connect it to the internet.


When I took the pic there was nothing plugged into the line in port at the time. It seems to happen when “Realtek AC97 Audio Line in” is selected. I was recording vinyl using Audacity a week ago and it was working at the time. I managed to record about 4 lps and then this started happening.

I’m using a desktop computer. I do have two other computers, a laptop with windows 8 and another desktop with windows 7. The laptop doesn’t have a line in and the other desktop only picks up my turntable at a really low volume. The obsolete machine was the one interacting best with my turntable until this started happening.

Only sound is supposed to get through the system. The older analog systems were really lucky if they could handle just the sound, so they could have a certain amount of problems and nobody would know.

Digital systems have no restrictions. If you have any of the battery voltages running around inside your computer leak into the sound, Audacity will cheerfully try to record it as if it was part of the show. It’s not. It’s entirely silent and it’s only job is to completely screw up that sound channel.

It’s certainly possible that soundcard has reached the end of its life. DC Offset is very difficult to troubleshoot because it’s silent. I’d be getting out my voltmeters to see if I could figure out where it was coming from.

That UCA-202 is not a bad investment. They make a UFO-202 that has a built-in Phono Preamp. Stand-alone turntable right into the device, right into USB.


I presume that you have not updated the sound card drivers since then and the machine does not update from the Internet?
If that is not the case you could try reinstalling your old sound card drivers.

I think it is more likely that the sound card has died (possibly a capacitor has broken down, which can happen with age). If this is the case, you need a new sound card for recording. As Koz wrote, the UCA202, UFO202 and UCA222 devices have been popular for good sound quality at a low price. As USB devices they also have the advantage that you can use them on other computers. Note that these models do not have a microphone input (one way that they keep the cost down).

Thanks for your help guys. Looks like my best option is to get one of those UCA202 things. Cheers.