recording multiple tracks at once

windows vista
audacity 1.2.6

So, i bought a Scarlett 18i20 interface so I could record my drum set. I had the newest version of audacity but i couldnt find the audio i/o tab to record multiple tracks at once so i downgraded to my current version. I can’t get anything to work, keep getting a “error while opening sound device”. Can someone give me a step by step on how to go about doing this. i’m pretty new to recording.

You should probably be at the current Audacity release which is 2.0.5.

Then, after you get that sorted, make sure you plug everything together first, and then start Audacity. Audacity looks for new devices when it starts.

Then you might try changing a sound setting or two.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Recording: Mono/Stereo
If that’s wrong, sometimes Audacity will refuse to connect.


Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Quality > Sampling: 44100, 16bit


That’s just to get you to work at all. If you’re after many multiple sound channels, that can be a different problem.


Sorry but there is no support for 1.2.6 as stated in the pink panel above.

1.2.6 can crash on Vista and later when pressing Stop after recording so I suggest you go back to 2.0.5: .

I assume you are reading some outdated tutorial that refers to the “Audio I/O Preferences” in 1.2.6.

The Manual for 2.0.5 can be searched here: . Just type what you are searching for in-between the quotes in the address bar.

Audacity (even 2.0.5) doesn’t record multiple tracks at once unless you have hardware that is capable of recording multiple channels (more than stereo) at once.

Obviously you have such hardware, but often only the ASIO drivers that come with it will allow recording multiple channels. The problem is that due to licensing restrictions we cannot ship Audacity with ASIO support. The only solution in that case is to compile Audacity yourself with ASIO support. Please see ASIO Audio Interface for more explanation.

I can’t see any evidence that Scarlett devices will record multiple channels into Audacity without compiling Audacity with ASIO support.

What input devices do you have in Device Toolbar in 2.0.5? Is there a multi-device or do you see only a number of stereo Scarlett devices to choose from?

A good workaround is to record one mono or stereo track, then record subsequent tracks while listening to the previous tracks. This is known as “overdubbing”. It should work OK if you plug into the headphones of the Scarlett and set Scarlett as the playback and recording device in Device Toolbar. This should let you hear what you are recording in real time mixed in with the audio coming from the previous tracks.