Recording problems for a newby

Hi - New to Audacity and quite new to my Scarlett Solo microphone, so apologies for daft questions.

I have a number of teething problems but the most frustrating atm is recording my voice.
So far, Depending on the settings in Audacity and in Windows, I have managed to:
1 - record myself very loudly but it will only record in one channel.
2 - record myself very quietly and it records in both L and R channels
3 - Not record at all - just a flat line

Neither are really useable, and as a work round i use the 2nd method and adjust volume afterwards using the ‘amplify’ effect.

Perhaps most interesting is that whatever settings I am in, adjust the microphone volume on my Scarlett box makes no difference to the recorded volumes.

Really hoping someone can help me.


What settings do you currently have in the Device Toolbar?

Hi Steve,

Hopefully you can open this screen shot showing devices available

Is that a “Focusrite Scarlett Solo” interface and a microphone?
If so, what is the microphone?

I think you’re very close to getting this right, but it may take a few messages and little steps to get there.


Yes - The box says Scarlett Solo Studio, and Focusrite is in the bottom corner.
On the actual unit Focusrite is written on the top and Scarlett Solo on the front panel.

I have a scarlett Studio microphone and headphones

Does that help?
Never really sure what ‘Focusrite’ is?


“Focusrite” is the brand name.
“Scarlett Solo” is the audio interface unit (the red and black box).
“Scarlett Solo Studio” is a bundle that includes the “Scarlett Solo” interface, a “CM25 MkIII” microphone, “HP60 MkIII” headphones, and a couple of cables.

Before launching Audacity, ensure that the microphone and headphones are plugged into the interface. It is best to turn down the three volume controls on the front of the interface before plugging in or unplugging things.

Connect the interface to a USB 2 socket on your computer.

Ensure that the “48 v” button on the front of the interface is pushed in (so that “phantom power” is turned on for the microphone).

Ensure that the “DIRECT MONITOR” button is pressed down on the interface (so that you can hear the microphone through the headphones).

If you have a “pop shield”, it should be positioned between your mouth and the front of the mic. The front of the mic is the side with the Scarlett logo.

Position yourself so that your mouth is about 30 cm from the mic.

Speak loudly and clearly towards the microphone, and slowly turn up the level of the left hand “GAIN” control. You should see a “halo” LED light start to light up as you speak. That indicates that the interface is receiving a signal from the mic. Gradually increase the level until it flashes yellow, but not so high that it shows any red. If the halo light shows any red, the input level is too high and you need to turn it down a bit.

Carefully adjust the headphone level (the big knob on the front of the interface) so that you can hear your voice through the headphones.

When that’s all set, launch Audacity.

In the Device Toolbar, select the focusrite for both playback and recording.
Set the “number of channels” to “1 (mono)”. This is required when recording one microphone from the scarlett solo.

Make a test recording.

What does the waveform look like? You are aiming for a blue waveform that is about half the height of the track. If necessary, adjust the recording level slider in Audacity (see:

Wow - amazing, I think you fixed it.

The problem?
I had the number of channels set to ‘2’ assuming that would be right if i wanted stereo.
Weirdly to get stereo you have to set it to mono.
(I know its not real stereo - just the same sound from both channels)

One final thing.
All your steps were easy to follow and fine apart from the 30cm bit.
If I am that far away my microphone picks up very little.
I am hoping it was a typo and you meant 3cm?

Thanks so much for your help Steve.


A good first-guess spacing is a power fist away from your pop and blast filter.

If you don’t use the pop filter, then a Hawaiian Shaka spacing.

There’s not a lot of quality information on the microphone. It appears to be side-address, so you use it like the above illustration. It doesn’t matter if it’s upside down.

Were you able to get the knob to turn colors and the Audacity blue waves to half-way? It’s common with home systems that they run “quiet” and to get to good theatrical volume you have to run volume controls most of the way or all the way up.

Note when you’re that close to the microphone it will pick up volume variations with head spacing. So try to keep bobbing and weaving to a minimum while you’re being expressive. This is one of the reasons you wear headphones and listen to your live performance. That helps even out the show volume.


There’s not a lot of quality information on the microphone.

That’s more of a problem than you might think. The popular Yeti microphone is side address like yours, but they didn’t say so until buried deep in the instructions. Nobody read that far and I’ve seen many Youtube performances with people using it wrong.

Blue rushed out a new version of the Yeti instructions with a revised graphic.