sounds move from left channel to right channel sporatically

I have Windows XP. When recording, the monitor sounds great. But the Audacity recording at times has problem.
(1) The right channel is consistently more quiet than the left, even when the monitor sounds balanced.
(2) At varied intervals, the sound of the right channel moves to the left, for a second or so, and then back to normal. There is no pattern.
How do I resolve these problems. It is at times to the point that the recordings are totally unusable.
Please help.

If this has suddenly started happening about the same time that you found both channels were the same, try XP’s System Restore.

Channel balance problems of the sort you mention above indicate to me that your sound device drivers are incorrect or outdated. Please read for help updating sound device drivers. If you want help with that, please tell us what sound devices you are using and what you are trying to record.



Thank you for offering to help.
As much as I can find, the sound card is intel(r) 82801 CA/CAM CA’97 audio controller. Provider is Microsoft. Date is 7/1/2001. Driver version is 5.1.2535.0. Digital signer is Microsoft Windows Publisher. What else do you need from me?

I was trying to copying the sound from PowerPoint presentations, and YouTube videos.

One point that hasn’t been clarified: do you hear the same sound “movement” when you play the Youtube videos in Youtube and when you play the Powerpoint presentations in Powerpoint? If so, the problem lies in the original source material and not in your hardware/software setup.

The original sounds are normal. When recording, I heard it on the headphone, and they sounded normal. When I play back after recording through Audacity, they were bad. I suspect it was the recording.

If that is the inbuilt audio device, and the driver provider is Microsoft, that is the cause of the problem. You must have sound device drivers provided by the motherboard or computer manufacturer. When you go into Device Manager and expand “Sound, Video and Game Controllers”, are there any other devices listed in that section?

What is the make and model number of the computer?



Under Sound, video and game controllers
Audio codecs
imaadp32.acm – microsoft IMA ADPCM CODEC
mcadp32.acm – Microsoft ADPCM CODEC
msg711.acm – Microsoft CCITT G.711 A-Law and u-Law Codec
msgsm32.acm – Microsoft GSM 6.10 Audio CODEC
tssoft32.acm – DSP Group Truespeech™ Software CODEC
msg723.acm – Microsoft G.723.1 CODEC
Windows Media Audio Codec – Windows Media Audio
Sipro Lab Telecom Audio Codec – Sipro Lab Telecom audio codec
Indeo audio software – Indeo audio software
Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec – Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec (advanced)
Microsoft PCM Converter – Microsoft PCM Converter [all of the above drivers are enabled and functioning properly]
Intel(r) 82801CA/CAM AC’97 Audio Controller – Audio Devices, MIDI Devices and Instruments, Mixer Devices, Line Input Devices [all use the same controller, and functioning properly ]
Legacy Audio Drivers – working properly
Legacy Video Capture Devices – working properly
Media Control Devices – mciavi32.ddl; mcicda.dll; mciqtz32.dll; mciseq.dll; mciwave.dll [all enabled and functioning properly]
Video Codecs – iccvid.dll; Indeo video 5.10; ir32_32.dll;; iyuv_32.dll; msh261; msh263; msrle32.dll; msvidc32.dll; msyuv.dll; tsbyus.dll [all enabled and functioning properly]

The computer is COMPAQ Presario 1700 Windows XP home edition version 2002 service pack 3 55277-OEM-0011903-00101 Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Mobile CPU 1000 MHz 729 MHz. 256 MB of RAM

Thanks. It sounds like the Intel audio controller is your sound device, then.

I suggest you go here and enter your exact information to look for an audio driver.

If HP do not offer an audio driver, ask on the Community Forum explaining to them that you only seem to have a Microsoft driver for the onboard audio.


I tried both suggestions. So far, no luck, yet. Keep looking.
Would Audacity run without XP services packs, 1, 2, or 3?

I would not recommend uninstalling Service Packs unless your current issues started directly following installation of SP3.

Have you tried that System Restore yet?

Have you considered other applications to record stereo mix? This one bypasses your sound card entirely by grabbing audio from the application itself: .

Have you considered downloading the YouTube videos instead of recording them as they play. Search Google for how to do that.


Sound leech works. It is not as good and convenient as Audacity. Thanks. I will try your other suggestions later. Have a good day and God bless.