Recording from PlayAcoustic via USB

Hello - I have a new gadget (PlayAcoustic from TC-Helicon) that enables me to process voice (Core Pro dynamic microphone) and guitar (L.R.Baggs in-hole pickup) signals using various settings (Add Vocal Harmony, Reverb, etc.) that affect the outputs to an amplifier, PA system, etc. I can connect PlayAcoustic to my Dell Inspiron laptop (Windows 7) running Audacity 2.1.2 via a USB connection, and access VoiceSupport via the Internet that way, and the PlayAcoustic unit shows up in “Devices” as an “Uncpecified” Item, so I know they are connected via the USB port.

The PlayAcoustic manual says that “Stereo audio input and output via USB is also supported at 16 bit resolution with 44.1 or 48 kHz sample rate”. However, I can’t seem to get the input from PlayAcoustic to connect to my Audacity Version 2.1.2, so I can’t record anything by this means.

I can also connect the PlayAcoustic device to my laptop microphone input using its Headphone output (standard 1/8" bayonet microphone connector) - this does record the processed signals, however the playback sound quality achieved in this way is terrible.

Do you know of any solution?


Sid Stephen

Just to cover the top level failure first, did you connect the device USB, wait a bit and then start Audacity? Audacity checks for new devices when it starts.

You can also try Transport > Rescan…


Thanks for your quick reply. I tried your suggestions (restart and rescan), but it made no difference. I also checked the USB ports - they are working fine. And I can both monitor and record direct inputs from the laptop’s built-in microphones, and hear the recordings via speaker (both internal and external).

I thought perhaps the internal mic was over-riding the USB input from the PlayAcoustic, but muting the mic (or “plugging” it by connecting a unconnected patch cord into the input) didn’t help. Any other suggestions?


Check that you have the correct USB device selected as the recording device in the device toolbar.

Thanks, again, for the speedy reply.

The Device Toolbar is correctly configured. I also note that when I disconnect the PlayAcoustic from the laptop by means of unplugging the USB patch cord, Audacity/VoiceSupport immediately opens a window informing me that that the connection has been lost. When I replug it, a window prompts me to re-scan to reacquire the MIDI device.

Interestingly, when I try to notify Windows that I want to disconnect the PlayAcoustic by using the safe removal feature, there is no icon shown for PlayAcoustic. If I connect, say, an iPod, this does prompt a icon, and safe removal works as intended. Might this be the problem - Windows is not recognizing the USB input from PlayAcoustic? (Though is does show up as an “unspecified” audio device in my system menu.)

Anyway, it appears that Audacity is just not recognizing the 16-bit audio input via USB that PlayAcoustic is supposedly generating.


When Audacity is launched, it scans the sound system for available audio devices. It does not scan again unless you specifically tell it to:
(“Transport menu > Rescan audio devices”)

If you disconnect an audio device while Audacity is open, Audacity will lose its connection to the device and will not be able to find that device when you plug it in again unless you either:
A) Close and restart Audacity.
B) “Transport menu > Rescan audio devices”

Did you ever find a solution to this? I’m experiencing the same thing.

Did you try the suggestion in my previous post?

Windows 7

Right click on the speaker icon in the system tray.
Click on Recording Devices.
The Play Acoustic shows up as Analog Connector.
Right click on the Play Acoustic icon.
On my computer, it was disabled. Enable it.
Do the same for the Play Acoustic under Playback Devices.
The Play Acoustic will now show up as a recording device in Audacity.

Unfortunately, when I recorded guitar with the Play Acoustic output set to Stereo, the recording in Audacity was not stereo, i.e. both tracks were identical.

Thanks for your input. The “Play Acoustic” does work with Audacity. The exact settings may depend on your current operating system and release of Audacity.

In regards to stereo, from

Unfortunately PlayAcoustic’s USB audio capabilites are limited to just a stereo mix of your vocals and guitar - it’s not possible to separate the two into their own tracks. If you want them recorded separately, the only way to do this is use “Dual Mono” mode into another interface, or to record the guitar part first and then the vocals over that. Cheers!