Recording Multiple Stereo Channels?


Is it possible in theory to record multiple stereo channels simultaneously in the latest Audacity? I’m using a Layla24 sound card on a new machine under Win10. I ask as I’m struggling to configure Audacity do this.

Many thanks, David

You can record Mono, Stereo or Multi-Channel. I don’t think there is a multi-stereo.


Thanks kozikowski
I can think of several ways this would increase the usability of Audacity; in my case, transferring multiple tapes at high speed to take advantage if the sample rate conversion (speed change) that Audacity does so well.

One reason there is no multi-stereo is Audacity doesn’t support more than one sound device.

transferring multiple tapes at high speed

High speed transfer is not recommended. Tape machines assign the wrong equalization and velocity compensation when you play a tape at the wrong speed. OK if you wanted to transfer poor quality voices, but music wouldn’t make it.

Also you’d have to find an interface that went way up beyond human hearing and then to put a cap on it, you could never use the most common sample rates. They poop out below 20KHz.

If you boosted a 3-3/4 tape up to 15 ips, it would have about the sound quality of a telephone no matter what the original quality.


Hi kozikowski

Yes thanks, this is indeed correct. But in this case I have 84 six hour-long, 4 track transcription tapes recorded in the 60’s & 70’s at 1 7/8 ips. This is the best way to do them as any machine available capable of 1 7/8 ips is going to be a very dodgy domestic thing. I have two Otari 5050II’s that can do them at 3 3/4 both sides at once (to digital reverse). The results are fine as they are voice only. In fact I put a filter on at 5.5 k as there is nothing above that except muck. If it were music I’d not be considering this.
What I’ll do is record in Sonar and speed shift in Audacity. I’d hoped it were possible in Audacity as it would involve one step less.

Still, for recording multiple synths etc, it would be good to have stereo multi in Audacity?

Many thanks, David

Still, for recording multiple synths etc, it would be good to have stereo multi in Audacity?

You can do it right now with one of the multi-channel devices known to work with Audacity. Once the multiple channels are recorded, it’s a snap to group speed change them all and then split them off for stereo or mono export. You may even be able to get Chains (batch processing) to help you.

This also avoids the problem of two or more different clock speeds. They warn you about that when you try to use Aggregate Devices on Macs. OK, exactly which clock signal would you like us to use?

This is assuming your machine is up to it. It’s easy to write a check your machine can’t cash.

Nobody is chomping at the bit to make Audacity manage multiple devices. If you look over forum postings, a lot of them are from people having trouble getting one device to work. (How come my music is stuttering?) That and everything you do at the hardware level has to be written for all three computer types.

Behold the Audacity World Headquarters in Land’s End, Cornwall, TR19 7AA


Most multi-track recording is multiple mono tracks which are panned & mixed to stereo (or multi-channel surround). You can pair-up the appropriate tracks in post-production

Audacity isn’t great for multi-track recording and very few (if any) people are using Audacity for that. (It’s not so unusual for people to “overdub” multiple tracks with Audacity but it’s not the best program for multi-track mixing either.)

There are lots of mult-track [u]DAW[/u] (digital audio workstation) applications but they are quite a bit more complex than a "simple’ audio editor like Audacity. [u]Cakewalk[/u] (formerly Cakewalk SONAR) is currently FREE.