Trouble shooting audio in audacity or maybe W10...

I have 2 versions of Audacity 2.3.2 and 2.1.0…I prefer the older version…same problem with either version…

Equipment…
Pioneer TT…goes into patch panel…
Win 10 Pro…
EVGA NU audio card…
Event 2020 powered speakers…

Problem…
When playing an LP on the TT…I cannot hear anything UNLESS I put Audacity into record mode…
This was never the case previously…I could start the TT and hear the music…then start recording whenever I wanted…

Somehow some setting in Audacity got changed…I think…

In other words to hear what’s playing on my TT I have to have Audacity in record mode…

So…I have a Pioneer R2R running thru the same patch panel…and the same thing…I cannot hear any output UNLESS I have Audacity in recorde mode…This suggests something with Win 10 setting…

I have gone thru various windows settings…trying different settings…all nada…

However…I can play any audio file…MP3 WAV etc and it’s fine using VLC…I hear all windows sounds without Audacity…

Thoughts and ideas appreciated…