Stereo Issue

Hello…I’ve been using Audacity with Windows Vista and 8.1 versions for years and love it. Retiring my old Korg 16-track recorder for recording music, today I downloaded Audacity into a laptop (Windows 7) and am accessing it via USB with a new Focusrite audio interface. No matter how many ways I try to configure the input choices, the audio will only record onto one (the right) of the two stereo tracks.

Monitoring the audio interface with headphones, everything sounds fine going in, but Audacity records it into only one channel.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thank you…
Doug in FL

Which model?
Most USB pre-amps give you two independent channels. Channel 1 being “Left” and channel 2 being “right”. If you are using channel 2 as your input, then the device sends that as “right channel” to the computer.

Focusrite calls this their 'New Generation 2-in / 2-out Scarlett Solo. Input 1 is for mic only, and Input 2 for any instrument(s). Plugging a 2-channel drum machine (adapted to one 1/4" phone plug) into Input 2 sounds great using headphones and the Focusrite monitor, but records only to the right side in Audacity 'stereo" mode. If I change Audacity to ‘mono’, it hears nothing.

I can’t imagine Focusrite designing an interface which recognizes both left and right sound going in (through Input 2), but would only send one side (via the USB output) to one recording channel. Finished recordings would of course be useless with all of the music on one side, and nothing but vocals (recorded through Input 1) on the other …

With ASIO drivers it is possible to allocate which channel each input goes to, but Audacity cannot be distributed with ASIO support due to licensing restrictions, so in Audacity you will be using the Windows drivers, which do not support channel mapping. Therefore input 1 always goes to the left and input 2 to the right.

To record just the right channel in Audacity (which is of course a mono input), set Audacity to record 2 channels stereo (in the device toolbar), then after recording, split the stereo track to mono, and delete the empty track by clicking on the [X] in the top left corner of the track.

First, thank you for both very prompt replies. I printed your text, as well as the information in the links.
This looks relatively easy to achieve, and you saved me a lot of time, head-scratching, and aggravation today.

Thanks very much…


In the next version of Audacity there’s a ‘slightly’ easier way, which is to create two mono tracks first, and then record into them (so avoiding the need to split the stereo track).

Not relevant now, but as a point of interest, I’ve been talking today with one of the developers about the possibility of selecting just channel 2 as the recording input. I think it’s quite possible that we could have that in a later version, which would be nice and convenient for devices like the Scarlett Solo, but that’s for the future.

Do you mean Append Record, Steve? But why does that not work in the current 2.1.2?


Does it work for 2.1.2? I don’t know, I don’t have a copy handy. I know it works for 2.1.3 alpha.

If we are talking about Append Record (SHIFT + R), yes it should work fine ever since we had that feature. Either select both mono tracks, or none of them, then Append Record should record in both tracks.


What got you here, is that direct monitoring is mono. So you hear one channel in both ears.

There is no real stereo input, hence the name “Solo”. The left input is mic level (and line level with the gain at minimum), the right channel is a mono instrument input.

To record stereo, you need a custom cable, with a male XLR on one side and a 6.35 mm TR jack on the other side. That cable would end in whatever fits your drum machine, presumably a 6.35 mm TRS stereo jack. I’m prettu certain this kind of cable isn’t available in the shop. Still, these mono inputs have different impedance and might sound a tiny bit different, depending on the source.

I can’t imagine Focusrite designing an interface which recognizes both left and right sound going in (through Input 2), but would only send one side (via the USB output) to one recording channel. Finished recordings would of course be useless with all of the music on one side, and nothing but vocals (recorded through Input 1) on the other …

The Scarlett 2i2 would have avoided this problem completely, as it has a stereo input.

I will look into that as another option.
Thanks for taking the time to suggest this…

Hey, Steve…

Just wanted to thank you again for your advice regarding splitting the stereo track into two mono’s so the audio playback will show up in both ears. Works great, so thanks very much.
One other question: When I open a second track and try to record on that, no audio comes from the first track at all, no matter what I try. Obviously, it is impossible to record a new track(s) playing along with a previous one(s) which you cannot hear.

Incidentally, this morning I made up my mind to read the entire Audacity tutorial, to learn as much as possible (including the above) so not to pester you with every issue, but that box comes up which demands the selection of other search engines (msn or Bing) before allowing you to proceed (and no way I’m doing that).

OK, Steve…relative to my question of earlier today, I figured out why audio tracks won’t play while trying to record additional ones. “Transport / Overdub”.
Got it…sorry…

It occurred to me that the “msn / Bing” phishing box which blocks me from the tutorial on my PC might not be there if I tried viewing it on my laptop. It didn’t.

Thanks again for being so prompt and helpful during the past few days…

Doug in FL

That is nothing to do with Audacity. If you are using Internet Explorer on that machine, try Firefox or Chrome.


Just (I’m pretty sure) one more question, then I’ll (probably) leave all of you alone…

As I’d mentioned, with your help I was able to record and split the percussion for a song on one track (thanks again). Last night I tried adding bass guitar on the second track, but while playing both of them back, Track 1 (percussion) plays fine, while the added bass on Track 2 plays back completely out of rhythm and sync with Track 1. Not even close.

Your tutorial suggests going into the Windows Control Panel to check this and that and the other thing regarding Default Formats and matching recording and playback rates (which I will explore), but I’m not holding too much hope, since the Track 1 percussion plays fine, both by itself and when played along with the new (goofy) Track 2.

Any thoughts or suggestions you may have will be appreciated.


See the top two paragraphs of Why is my new track out of sync with the previous ones, or sounds crackly or at wrong pitch?.

In other words, time shift the second track to the correct place, or better, do the Latency Test to set the required correction automatically.

If you have more questions, I recommend starting a new topic.