Recording both line-in and mic but hearing only line-in

Let me first describe the situation I am dealing with. I am an amateur musician playing an old Casio CTK-591 keyboard with a single headphones output. I use that output to connect it with my computer with a jack cable (as the line-in). To the other socket in my PC I plug in a simple VOIP microphone. The last computer socket that I use is output for headphones, so I could here my keyboard while recording.

Previously I used Windows XP and I had no problem with recording both the keyboard and my singing voice. I only ticked off both the devices I wanted to record (mic and line-in) and I could independently set up their volume level and recording sound level. Usually I muted the mic so I didn’t hear it while recording, because hearing my echoing voice in the headphones was really distracting and annoying. So I was only listening to my keyboard in the headphones and I was very happy with that solution.

But here came Windows 8.1 and ruined everything I had :frowning: Now I can freely select the audio devices I want to record. I have to go to the control panel and select the option of “listening to the device” in the microphone field. The funny thing is I don’t have to do so in case of the line-in socket because for some reason the keyboard is being listened to all the time although the "listen to " field is not ticked off o.O Anyways, and now I record them both by recording the “Mix Stereo” device, but that’s a huge problem… Because I can’t mute my mic so I didn’t hear it now. There’s no use in muting it with the microphone equalizer in Realtek settings, because Mix Stereo hears it anyway and it is the mix stereo output what I hear. So this is my question. Is it somehow possible to record both line-in and mic but hear only line-in as the output?

Ideally you would use a small “mixer”.

Connect a microphone (not USB - a “proper” microphone with a 3 pin XLR connector) to the mixer, and plug your keyboard into the mixer. Connect the mixer to the computer (possibly via USB or a “line” input. NOT through a “mic” input). Then plug your headphones into the mixer. Most mixers allow you to hear a mix of both keyboard and vocal (without any delay on the mic). All except for some very small mixers will also provide an option to listen to just the keyboard if that is what you prefer.

I agree that it is a strange idea of “progress” that what was once simple to do is now much more complicated, but I’m sure that Microsoft must have their reasons.

As another alternative (more time-consuming but no financial cost) you could record the keyboard tune first, then choose the mic input in Audacity’s Device Toolbar and record your vocal with Transport > Overdub on so that you hear the keyboard tune.

If you turn Transport > Software Playthrough off, you won’t hear the mic while you record.


Overdubbing has its advantages. You can fluff and not kill the whole song.

You can keep recording the music bed and patching and polishing it until you get it perfect. Then use that as a bed and record the vocal parts again and again until they’re perfect. Obviously, you don’t have to stop at one vocal pass, either. Can you sing three part harmony with other people? Now you can do it to yourself.