Recording and playback

I am new to Audacity. I am trying to record to my Mac from a cassette recorder connected via USB, but the tracks do not show up. I can record thru’ the microphone, but when I try to playback I get an error message: Check output device setting and preset sample rate. I am using Mac OS x 10.4

Make sure you have your USB devices plugged in before you start Audacity.

Audacity > Preferences > Devices > Recording.
So you see your device or maybe “USB Audio Device?”

Audacity > Preferences > Quality: 44100, 16-bit.
Audacity > Preferences > Devices: Stereo

Those are the most generic settings for consumer capture.

Press Play on the player and Record on Audacity. Do you get bouncing red meters and blue waves like this:


Koz, thanks for the info. I am still not able to record!! Any other suggestions?


I do not get the wave pattern while trying to record from my device, but I do see the wave pattern when using my voice.


So you have the input device in Audacity Device Toolbar set to “USB Audio Codec” and you just record a flat line?

Do you get a hissy copy of the recording if you do Effect > Amplify and OK?

Have you listened to the cassette recorder by putting headphones in it (to see if it makes any sound)?


Under device it shows ‘USB PnP Audio Device’. The cassette player works with headphones.



Have you turned up the input slider in Audacity (the right-hand slider in this image)?

That’s why I asked you to try amplifying the recording, to see if you were getting a recording but it was too quiet.

Restart Audacity. Double-check you are selecting the correct USB device in Device Toolbar’s Input Device box, and turn up the input level. If you still are only recording silence then you can record from the headphones out of the cassette player if you get an appropriate cable.

Exactly what is the make and model number of the Mac? Does it have a line-in audio input where you can attach a cable that has a 1/8 inch plug?


Gale, thank you for your patience and help. I am now seeing the wave patterns but there is now sound at playback. I am using an iMac OS X 10.7.5

What fixed that - was the input volume too low?

You mean there is no sound at playback? Where, in Audacity? Is there error opening sound device, or just no sound?

I would look again in Device Toolbar. This time look in the second box from the left (output device). Set that to your built-in output, or to whatever device you intend to play back to.

Also turn the output volume up (left-hand slider in Mixer Toolbar):