recording device error

Windows 7

I set to microphone, clicked to record, and got this message:

“Error when opening sound device. Please check the recording device settings and the project sample rate.”

I am unaware of anything I’ve changed. I’m supposed to be recording a show tonight and I’m stuck. What could be the problem?

Well, if you really didn’t change anything and you have a USB microphone, could you have started Audacity and then plugged the microphone in? Always plug the microphone in first. Is it possible the USB connection is not firm?

If none of that is even close, you’ll have to supply the microphone type, connection method, all the little details that can give us a clue what you’re doing.

Read the words in your Device Toolbar.

Did you start using Skype or other Chat program? Those can profoundly change the sound services in your computer. If you leave them napping in the background, don’t.


Microphone (2-USB Audio CODEC)
2 (Stereo) Recording Channels
Speakers (Realtek High Definition)
Haven’t changed settings
Haven’t unplugged or replugged the mic
Checked everything plugged, seems firm
Shure mic, cable to USB Dual Pre, to computer USB
No skype, nothing else


I checked control panel under sound/recording, asked “show disabled device”.
it has ✓ beside “Stereo Mix, Realtek High Definition Audio, Default Device”

Never mind what I previously wrote below in this post. I don’t understand how, but now it’s back to recording. All I can ask now is “What could have happened?” I leave the computer without shutting down, then I come back and fuss with the volume again, and it’s okay?

My previous post is still accurate, but today something has changed. I no longer get an error message (which would not allow me to even start recording). Now, it will allow me to start recording, but the volume is so low that it is useless even at full input setting on Audacity. I have no explanation for the change, because i didn’t change anything, other than trying full input volume. Also, the system volume is as high as it goes. What other settings should I check?

How long is it since you rebooted the computer? USB devices require reasonably frequent reboot. Try that.


True, I do tend to leave the computer on a long time. How frequently do you recommend?

It depends on the device and possibly the data demands you put on it. If you record at very high sample rates it might need more frequent reboot than otherwise.

Rebooting every few days may be a rule of thumb, if you have not had to reboot for Windows update.