I have a basic ASUS laptop, I am going out of a pre-out from a receiver, which is connected to a mixer. I confirmed that audio is coming from the pre-out. RCA cables run from the pre-out to an adapter, to the stereo mini into the laptop. The device setting is Microsoft Sound Mapper, into 2 Stereo Input.
The result is that left and right channel audio seems to be mixed between both channels. When panning hard right or left I still hear the other channel playing. The sound is, of course. horrible, with cancellations, no dimension and no true panning from the original source material. I have tried separating the stereo tracks but that results in a mess as well.
Has anyone had this problem? Can Audacity actually record true stereo?
Maybe a “surround-sound” type effect being applied by your sound-card, mixing in crossover, which can be switched off,
(i.e. a sound-card thing which has nothing to do with Audacity).
Alternatively try another pair of headphones … https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/headsets-unable-to-keep-channels-separate/29692/1
Audacity can record true stereo if you give it true stereo.
You need to connect to blue line-in of the computer. If you only have one input on the laptop it is not a proper line-in. It is either a mono mic input or a compatible input that accepts stronger line level stereo input if you connect a stereo plug to it. Stereo from a compatible input is typically not of best quality and may sound “phasey” or “spread into both channels” as you describe.
Also if you are on Windows Vista or later (you did not say) then you have to check that the input is set to stereo in Windows. If not, you’ll (probably) get a mono mix in both channels. To check, by the system clock, right-click over the Speaker icon > Recording Devices then right-click over your input > “Properties”. On the “Advanced” tab, in the “Default Format” section, make sure the drop-down menu is set to a “2 channel” choice.
By the way, sometimes a single mic input can be switched to line-in using a physical button or a software control, but that is rare now. Check your computer manual.
This computer, for example, no matter what you click on, has no stereo input.
People wanting to record high level stereo are pointed to the UCA202 as a good quality, stereo USB adapter.
have a basic ASUS laptop, I am going out of a pre-out from a receiver, which is connected to a mixer. I confirmed that audio is coming from the pre-out. RCA cables run from the pre-out to an adapter, to the stereo mini into the laptop.
Most laptops only have a computer-mic input… The microphone input is often mono and a microphone has about 1/100th the signal of line-level, so you typically get too much gain (distortion and noise)… You need a line-level input. If you don’t have access to a desktop computer with a regular soundcard and line-in, the cheapest solution is usually the [u]Behringer UCA202[/u]. (There are lots of high-end audio interfaces available, but most consumer “USB soundcards” are like laptops with only mic-in and headphone-out.)
As a simple test, unplug the right channel from the mixer and start recording. Then after 30 seconds or so, plug-in the right channel and un-plug the left. Looking at those waveforms in Audacity and/or playing-back should tell you if the computer is recording in stereo.
If that works, try connecting the receiver output to the computer, bypassing the mixer. How does the output from the mixer sound when connected to an amp or headphones?
If you short the left & right channels together (for example by using a mono Y-Adapter or cable), on some equipment you can get cancellation of the left & right signals, leaving only the “center” audio. I don’t think a mic input on a computer is wired that way, but it’s possible that the mono mic-input is shorting the left & right signals together. (The rule is NEVER short outputs together, because it will mess-up the sound and potentialy damage the equipment.)