Stereo tracks not stereo

When I make a stereo recording the both tracks show the same mixed left and right signal.
So it is not stereo at all.
I installed Version 2.0 on my new pc with Vista.
Another problem appears: Audacity blocks all other sound applications.

Are you sure the left and right channels end up exactly the same? One way to test is to separate the channels, make each one mono, use the Invert effect on one of them, and then play them together. If you get perfect silence, then perhaps something could be wrong with how Audacity is set up. But if you still hear some audio, then my guess is Audacity is seeing the two similar mixes as input, so the problem would be upstream of Audacity.


I have the same problem. Both left and right channel have the same level.
But I have version 1.2.6 installed on my PC (with Vista). I already checked all settings, but I cannot find the problem.

and why is that wrong?

What I meant was: When I start recording, there is no difference between left en right channel. So I suppose that is monorecording.

Not necessarily, most of the time the two stereo channels look pretty much the same - try zooming in (a lot) to see if they really are the same. Also try recording something which has a very definite difference between L&R channels - early Beatles albums are good for this: Rubber Soul and Sgt Pepper both have a very wide set stereo stage often with just one of the beatles singing entirely on one side of the sound-stage.


I too have a problem recording in true stereo. When listening to the vinyl I noticed the recording moved a voice from left to right and back. The voice did not move when playing my recorded Audacity stereo track. I followed Allen’s inversion test and I do get dead silence, as long as gain and balance are dead center.
Also, I suspected this before because both left and right appear the same and the levels never seem out of sync.

What could be wrong with my setup?


You could be recording on a laptop PC, with the sound source connected to your laptop via the laptop microphone input (wild guess). Since microphone inputs are designed for plugging in a computer microphone (a mono source), the microphone input is often a mono input. Some laptops have inputs that can record either a mono microphone or a stereo line level input, but very many of them are for a mono microphone input only.

I am actually having the same problem. I have just purchased the Audio-Technica AT-LP2D-USB stereo turntable. As a result, I’m using a USB connection rather than a stereo or mono cable. I am, however, using a laptop, and in preferences, my setting is “Microphone (USB Audio Codec)” because my system didn’t have one that was just USB Audio Codec. I’m wondering if this is an issue of my laptop’s USB audio codec automatically translating everything into mono, even when it’s stereo? And if so, is there any information on where I can go to change/upgrade the codec so that it recognizes and properly processes a stereo signal?

Edit: Okay, just by asking the question I found some settings in my system that may just have let me change things from 1-channel 44.1KHz to 2-channel… hopefully that will solve my issue and if so I’ll post exactly what I did in the hopes it helps everybody else.

Edit the second: Yes. That solved it. Now, this is what worked for my computer, which is a Toshiba laptop running Windows Vista Ultimate. I right-clicked on the sound icon in my tray, and then clicked on “Recording Devices” from the choices that appeared. I had two Microphone devices listed… one using my “Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221” card, and one using the “USB Audio CODEC.” I right-clicked on each one, and selected “Properties…” to check and compare the settings of each. Under the Advanced tab, there’s a section called “Default Format.” The Conexant was already set to “2 channel, 16 Bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality)” but the USB audio codec was NOT. I simply selected that setting from the pull-down menu and then hit “Apply,” and closed everything… and when I went back into Audacity and re-recorded a record track, I could very clearly see the channel differences in each waveform.