Recording in stereo

I am using Audacity 2.02 and OS X 10.8.2. I don’t know how I installed audacity - whats is the dmg or zip?

I have successfully uploaded about 10 audio tapes. Each recording had two tracks appearing after I hit the record button. i.e a slightly different blue squiggly line in each track. I assume that the top track represent whats coming out the left speaker and the bottom track whats coming our of the right speaker. Is this correct?

Yesterday I was uploading and I am getting one blue squiggly blue line in the top track and a flat blue line in the bottom track. Is this an unbalanced stereo recording? If it is what do I do to correct the problem and if it isn’t can you tell me whats happening.

I checked Why I get an unbalanced stereo recording in FAQ and recording input channel is set to 2 (stereo), connections are OK and in applications - Utilities - Audio-MIDI Setup - audio Devices I had is set on the USB.

It also states I can correct the problem later using the Normalize effect - where is the Track control Panel?

Grateful any assistance

Lynne Hunt

Indeed correct - see this page in the manual:

It’s either a dead right channel on your kit or leads - or possibly you have got Audacity set to record in momo rather than stereo. See this page in the manual:

You can only correct for having one channel stronger than the other with the Normalize tool - it won’t work when one channel is dead.

See this page in the manual:
and this one again:

Have you seen this set of tutorials in the manual, they may help you:


Thank you for the information

Re dead channel or problem with cable

I went and bought a new cable and the problem still persists. So I might have a dead channel in my kit. How do you fix this??

When I change the third tab on the device toolbar to Built in Microph I get a two squiggly blue lines in both tracks but I think it is recording in mono. Which setting should I have this on -

Built in Microph, Built in input or USB PnP Audio Device.

Grateful any advise.


Lynne Hunt

I infer from this that you are using a USB tape device. If that is the case then you inpu should be set to be the USB PnP Audio Device


Does the tape unit have RCA sockets that you can connect to a hi-fi device or boombox to test to see if it outputs two channels there? Or does it have a headphone jack that you can plug headphones in to test for two channel stereo.

Neither of these tests would rule out faulty USB services on the in-built soundcard in the USB tape unit.


And the fourth tab on the device toolbar is set to stereo right?


Fourth tape is set to stereo - Yes.

One other thing - the bottom track squiggly line isn’t a thin straight line its a fuzzy straight line - does this have any significance?

The tape device is a Lenox Turntable Player TT500. The audacity software came with the device. Do you know much about them??

thanks Lynne Hunt

Take the stero track you have recorded and split it into two tracks - click in the trackname in the Track Control Panel to get the drop-down menu.

Delete the good track.

Use Effect > Amplify on the bad track

What does it sound like - music or noise?


I see the Lenox Turntable Player TT500 has a turntable too - do records record ok in stereo with it?


I followed your instructions -

I split the stereo track into two tracks, deleted the good track used effect amplify on the bad track and it just made this fuzzy noise - no music.

Unfortunately I don’t have any LP records that I can test only audio tapes.

Grateful anymore suggestions

Lynne Hunt

I’m running of steam and running out of road here.

It’s increasingly sounding like a duff piece of kit (I hope you kept the receipt).

You should be able to find a very cheap LP at a charity shop (thrift store) to test LP playback.

You are using the USB lead to connect to the Mac (not a Mic in)? Just checking …


Thanks for all your help. Unfortunately I bought the piece of equipment over 2 years ago in Australia. Currently in West Africa so I will probably have to delay this project until I get back to Aust and try and get the turntable/cassette player fixed.

Many thanks again.

Lynne Hunt

Yes I am using a USB lead to connect to the mac.

It was working OK for most of the day (2 days ago) and then this problem arose. Weird.


Does the player have RCA leads our as well as the USB - or does it have RCA sockets. If so you should be able to jack-in to your MAc’s line in (it does have a line-in?). This will by-pass the soundacrd in your TT/cassette deck and use your MAC’s onboard soundcard instead.

Or do you by any chance have a stand-alone cassette deck that you can similarly plug direct to the Mac’s line-in?


I’m guessing there may not be too many of thos in West Africa … :slight_smile:


Thought I would let you know I rang a Lenoxx Service Centre in Australia and explained the problem and they think I have a dirty head on the tape player. Will try to clean tonight and see how I go.

One other question

I have been recording each song individually i.e. save project as for each song they are being saved as per the following

James Bond theme_data
James Bond theme_aup

When I save I get a message that I need Audacity to play back etc.

After saving in this format (aup) can I export to another format??

Also can I export to an I pod??

I intend to do the tutorial when I return to Australia (March 2013).I bought the system in Australia while on holidays 18 months ago and returned to Zimbabwe. The internet bandwidth there wasn’t good enough to do the online tutorials. Very slow .

Grateful your assistance.


Most of us find it easier to record a whole album (or one side of it) in one go and deal with it. You can place labels at each track start point and then use Export Multiple to export a set of audio files - see:

You can’t use Audacity project in anything but Audacity so you must export audio files if you want to play them on an MP3 player or iPod or any software player. See this page in the Audacity manual:

You can use many different export formats on an iPod - you could use WAV or AIFF but these produce huge files and will overfill your iPod quickly - most folk would use MP3 or AAC (Apples compression format). You can export MP3 or AAC from Audacity (tou need to download LAME and FFmpeg software for that). Personally I export 16-bit WAVS import those into iTunes and use iTunes to convert them to AAC (I use 256 VBR). This is my workflow for that which I documented for the Manual:

This worklflow for LP capture (most of it applies to tape capture too) may also be useful to you:

The workflows and track splitting are part of this set of tutorials: