Recording one channel only - Stereo setup

Hey all! I’m a complete beginner with Audacity, apologies for any communications gaps here.

I recently plugged a Shure SM58 mic in to MIC/HI-Z jack 2 on my Steinberg UR44 USB audio interface. I can hear audio in stereo through the computer speakers plugged in to the Phones 1 jack on the UR44 (not recording), but sound is recording only on the right channel, and playback only on the right speaker. Attached image 1

Then I discovered my guitar recording (plugged in to MIC/HI-Z jack 1) is now left channel only, playback on left speaker only (Attached image 2)- before I plugged the mic in, the guitar recorded on both channels and playback was in stereo, so my guess is something has changed, but I don’t know what. The guitar audio is still coming through the speakers in stereo (not recording).

I’ve been googling and troubleshooting with no success in getting the guitar recording back to both channels. I also want the mic to record in stereo- I assume it should, and that was actually the first issue I noticed.

I checked Audacity recording settings I could find for stereo/2 channels, reconnected guitar and mic audio cables to UR44, reconnected UR44 to computer, unplugged mic from UR44, restarted computer. I’m a little lost as far as where to look.

I hope this all makes sense and please let me know if any more information or clarification is needed. I have the latest version of Audacity (3.3.3) on Windows 10.

Thanks in advance for any help with this!


A single microphone (1) or a single instrument is mono. Vocals are often “panned” to the stereo center (identical in left & right).

A true-mono recording will play through both speakers. (2)

For stereo recording, you need a left mic and a right mic, or you can have guitar on the left and the microphone on the right, etc.

Modern pro-studio multitrack studio recordings are made with multiple “mono” tracks which are panned left-to-right during mixing.

if you Split Stereo Track you can click the “X” to kill the silent track, or you can copy the sound from one to to the other (“dual mono”).

Audacity often “has trouble” with more than 2-channels so you may only be able to record from channels 1 & 2 (left & right).

You can probably record in mono but you may have to configure both Windows and Audacity for mono.

When you record in mono, Audacity cuts both channels in half for mixing, so if you’re only using one channel you can’t go over -6dB. (Again you’ll probably get only inputs 1 & 2, or 3 & 4.)

I believe your interface came with Cubase which should allow multi-track recording in case you want to record more than 2-channels.

(1) There are some stereo mics with two mics built-into one housing)

(2) If you just have one vocal and one guitar, you may want to make a mono mix so both come out of both speakers. Or you can record the guitar part twice, putting one copy in the left and one in the right with vocals in the “center”. (It’s important to have 2 separate recordings… True double-tracking… It doesn’t help if both are “digitally identical”.)

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