Stereo Track only records on top channel

I’m using Audacity 2.1.2 on Windows 10. When I record on a stereo track it only records on the top channel not the bottom. So it only plays back on the left not right.

What am I doing wrong?

Thank you,

My guess is that you are recording a mono source (such as a microphone input).


I’m obviously new to this, I am using an m-audio box and a microphone. How does that prevent me from recording in stereo?

Thank you,

If Steve’s guess is correct…

A true-mono track will play out of both speakers. So, you can convert that stereo track with one silent channel to mono. Next time, you can configure Audacity to record in mono.

Because you are presumably only connecting to the left input of the m-audio. Input 1 is left and input 2 is right.

Following up on what Doug said, use the Audio Track Dropdown Menu to Split Stereo to Mono, then use the [X] on the track (top left) to close the silent track.

If you want stereo as part of a multi-track project, then after recording the mono track next time, use the L…R slider to left of the track to pan that track in the stereo field.


For future recordings, set Audacity to record “1 channel mono” in the “device toolbar” and then you will get a mono track (from your mono microphone) that plays out of both speakers.

Thank you all for your help in understanding this great stuff.

I’m obviously new to this, I am using an m-audio box and a microphone. How does that prevent me from recording in stereo?

I assume your M-Audio interface has two or more mic inputs?

[u]Basic stereo recording[/u] is done with two microphones. One mic is used to record the sound from the left side of the stage and another microphone picks-up sound from the right. Sounds from the middle are picked-up equally by both mics.

If you are recording a single voice or instrument, you’d normally record in mono unless you want to pick-up the reverb/room sound which is coming from all directions.

Modern studio recordings (and big-production live recordings) are multitracked. Multiple microphones and multiple tracks. Every singer and instrument is recorded on a separate (basically mono) track. (Usually several microphones/tracks dedicated for the drums/cymbals.) And frequently, the different instruments/vocals are recorded at different times. If you’ve seen video of singers recording, you’ve probably seen the singer being recorded while listening to the already-recorded backing track with headphones (with no band in sight).

The during the mix-down process, the various instruments are electronically or digitally panned (positioned) from left to right across the “soundstage”, with the lead vocal centered (mixed equally into the left & right channels).