scarlett solo studio & audacity for dubbing

OS: Windows 7 prof version Audacity: 2.2.2.

Hello I have several mp3 tracks what I want to accompany with my harmonica and record the result. Can someone point me to something that tells me how to record while a track plays… or provide some orientation?

I have just purchased Scarlett Solo Studio 2nd generation and have set up the protos in Audacity -I can hear the tracks just fine through the headphones … it is adding the additional track and to record over that is the issue.

Thank you, any help appreciated. :question: :question: :question:

I make a distinction between Simple Overdubbing and Perfect Overdubbing. Perfect Overdubbing is when you can hear yourself in real time in perfect mix with the backing tracks as you perform. That almost always takes specialist hardware such as the interface you bought.

You can’t plug your headphones into the computer to do that. The delays and echoes drive you nuts. That’s Simple Overdubbing where you only get to hear yourself in the mix later.

If you’re singing, headphones are required. If you’re playing a hard-wired instrument (music keyboard) you can do the whole thing on speakers.


[u]Tutorial - Recording Multi-track Overdubs[/u].

scarlett solo…

With most of these 2-channel interfaces, if you only record from one input you either get a half-volume mono file or a stereo file with one silent channel.

But, half-volume is OK if you’re mixing and you’ll generally also have to lower the volume of your MP3 backing-track to prevent clipping (distortion) when you mix.

Thanks for those observations.
I followed an advisory on this in the Audacity Manual but it doesnt mention these things. The base track I have has a R and L track, do I need to eliminate one of them? How do I record over this? The recording always starts as the end of the base track so it is being added at the end with no accompanyment… which, of course, isnt much use … does anyone know how to sync the basetrack with the recording?
Thank you
:frowning: :neutral_face: :bulb:

With most of these 2-channel interfaces,

No, no, no, no, no.

The Solo and its sisters are native mono devices. They mount mono with no oddities or sound damage. The Behringer UMC22 and UM2 are two others.

True native stereo devices have two (or more) microphones on the front. They can cause serious problems.

The unit will mount stereo and in that case, you will have your microphone, correct, on the left and the guitar on the right—and you can’t change it. The guitar is never available by itself in mono.

Software drivers may mess with this config, but just plugging the interfaces into the computer and mounting them mono works a treat. These three are also recommended for audiobook reading and podcast production.

What kind of microphone have you got?


do I need to eliminate one of them?

No. I need to come back.


It should be possible to mount the Solo as both “Speaker” and “Microphone” in Windows speak. Push the Direct Monitor button on the Solo and you should be able to hear the backing tracks in your Solo headphones.

In the Recording panel, select Overdubbing but not Playthrough.

Having a new track jammed on the end of the old one is a setting. In the new Audacity, the R key does an add-on recording. Shift-R starts a new track. Older Audacity versions were backwards. And, you can reverse them back in a setting that I don’t remember the location of.

Let us know if you get that far. The Behringer UM2 has a cute trick. It jams all the headphone tracks together because it’s impossible to predict what you’re doing to want. So at least in this case, it doesn’t matter if the backing tracks are stereo or mono.

A mono track natively plays to both left and right even though it’s only one blue wave. It should mix perfectly with the backing tracks.


You knew there was going to be a “but.” Doing production against MP3 tracks can cause problems. Audacity doesn’t edit MP3. It copies the music into itself and then makes a whole new MP3 when you’re done. It can double the MP3 compression distortion.

So if your backing tracks start sounding honky, bubbly or talking into a barrel or wine glass, that’s why.


Here it is. In the Recording panel, [X] Always record a new track.


Dear kozikowski,

Thank you for your persistence I have now got something working on Audacity based on your orientation.

Just 2 comments followed by questions.

  1. The recording seems to pick up only after about 2-3 seconds (so if I try to start WITH the baseline track nothing is recorded for maybe a second or two) However once it starts it is in real time.

QUESTION 1: Do I change some setting or do I avoid attempting to start at the beginning?

  1. My harmonica sounds a bit “thin” or “tinny” - this might be me or acoustics BUT I am playing directly into the microphone … I notice that the harmonica is being rescorded on just one line i.e. not in stereo and this MAY BE is why it sounds thin in contrast to the baselinetrack which is in stereo. The baseline track is mp3 and it sounds really good. I had to increase the mic gain a lot to pick up anything.

QUESTION 2: Will the system record in stereo even although I have one micrphone so as to feed both channels of the baseline track?

Thanks for your help on this.


My harmonica sounds a bit “thin” or “tinny”

You should look for and turn off Windows sound processing.

The processing is there to help with voices in conferencing or chat. It hates music.

I had to increase the mic gain a lot to pick up anything.

You never said what the microphone was. What is it?

harmonica is being rescorded on just one line

That’s correct. It should say MONO on the left somewhere. That means it will play to both left and right of the show even though it’s only one blue wave.

The recording seems to pick up only after about 2-3 seconds

That’s the hard one. I have no idea why this is happening. Do you have a bunch of other stuff running on your machine?

Do the backing track and the harmonica line up after you get done? There is an adjustment process where you set Recording Latency. Do you remember that?

I guess you can fudge this by starting everything late. Do you have a lead-in? In real life this would be the drummer doing rim shots so everybody starts at the same time.

Tick, tick, tick. tick. Music.


There’s another one. I forgot about this.

I have a Shure X2U microphone adapter. It mounts mono with Shure branded USB identity.

It’s pretty cool. It’s has 48v phantom power if needed, zero latency monitoring for overdubbing, headphone jack, etc, etc. It even comes with a mounting strap for field work.

It does have two problems. It’s noisy and low volume. I keep it in a nice box in the garage.


Thanks for reply

I will look at this later this evening when I get into the music mood …it is Friday after all. :wink:

On the microphone I am using the Scarlett Studio condenser microphone that comes with the kit → CM25

They are a bit minimalist when it comes to detailing what you get in the box but it makes a nice change from this lavish exaggerated oily sales-type blurb you get on other systems… :slight_smile:

I will let you know how I get on…

Thanks again


Ok I ran this systems last night and everything works fine, the thin harmonica sound is cause by my being too far from the mic so by cupping and being closer sound really good. That delay at the beginning before has disappeared so Im not sure that that was.
BUT now I have an issue which might not be exactly your department.
I ran through something like 50 baseline tracks to edit them (throwing away what I dont want) I did this by listening to then in Audacity, noting the bad ones, closing them and then deleting them in the open dialog and then selected the next track.
This morning all of my audio drivers have disappeared and in Control I have the following audio devices out of commission:

–AMD High Definition Audio
–Conexant Smat Audio
–MS Streaming Quality Audio Proxy

all of which pop up the following bubble: “Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19)”

Now, I know this isn’t a Window’s tech service but people here have probably come across this audio device isse before and know how to fix it - so far on the web I havent been able to find the drivers or how ro fix the registry.
Help very much appreciated.

Modifying the the registry is like DIY brain-surgery, don’t try it.
Instead do a System restore to a date before the driver problem occurred.
System restore puts the registry & drivers back the way they were.

Do you have copies of these drivers or know where to find them? We know Windows 10 had a recent update that killed things right and left, but you’re on Win7.

Sudden Computer Insanity makes me want to run my virus software in diagnostic mode—the one where you can’t use your computer for several hours (or overnight).

Most Virus software runs in graceful/invisible mode where it mostly stays out of the way. But they have a heavy mode where you go drink coffee and they check behind every credenza and under every sofa. They warn you the computer may not be available for several hours.

Also, less likely, check the drive.


Thank you both,

In the end I had remembered system restore and this sorted eveything out, so lets see what my next adventure will be.

There are a lot of registry fixes now online from various vendors but I am afraid I dont trust this sort of thing having suffered in the past from attemtping this.

I used to have a colleague who would do this brain surrgery on the run but he is in Budapest!

Thank you again for your help.


lavish exaggerated oily sales-type blurb

A Studio Broadcast Professional Yeti Microphone is a Yeti.

“Yeti Pro” is a completely separate sound product with more professional features, better quality, more stability and $120 usd higher cost.