Trying to run my bass directly into Audacity.

I have a “Woodees” instrument adapter (1/4inch to 3.5mm) and am just trying to plug-in,record, and get playback.

The program seems to recognize when the bass is being played as the graphs move when I hit a chord, but there is no sound on playback.

I’m on a very tight budget and so… I don’t really want to buy any more gear. I’ve looked at numerous webpages and they all make it out to be as simple as what I’m doing. This is basically what I’m trying to do:

Do I need to adjust some levels somewhere or click some certain option? I’ve been tinkering with it all day and haven’t found any solutions. I feel like I’m close, and the mic is working. And the bass IS registering something when I play it. But no sound is recorded (or at least played back).

Help? Please? Anybody? :question:

Please don’t post the same message twice. I deleted your other copy of it.


First, congratulations on getting an actual recording which you know about by looking at the Audacity meters. I can’t tell you how many people assume they’re not getting a recording because they can’t hear it. Those are two different systems.

Click the pull-down next to the speaker and find out where Audacity thinks it’s sending the sound. It’s also possible that Windows is trying to send the sound to the wrong place.

I’m not good with Windows and apparently, we never wrote anything on Playback. Recording, yes, but not playback.

Start > Control Panels > Sound > Devices
I’m in fizzy water here. Can you tell where Windows has its playback set? Built-In Speakers? Headphones? Something called AC97?

If you plugged a USB microphone or other sound device in, Windows may be trying to send your playback back out to the microphone. I’m not kidding.


I posted the same time as Koz, so I am just letting my post go as is (in case the wrong input is being connected to, even if it’s apparently recording).

Is this the adaptor you have ?

That may be only for smartphones, not computers.

I suggest you look at the adaptor instructions to see if it is meant to be used with a computer and if so whether you are meant to connect it to the computer’s mic port or line-in port. If you don’t know, connect to the line-in (blue) first, then to the mic (pink) if you cannot get enough volume. You may damage the mic port if the adaptor is only meant for a line-in.

When you have decided where to connect the adaptor, look in Device Toolbar in Audacity:

and choose the input device you are connected to (line-in or mic).

If you do not see line-in or mic, click here if you are on Windows XP or here if you are on Vista, 7 or 8 to enable the input you want in Windows.

Set the output device in Device Toolbar to the computer audio device you have your speakers or headphones connected to.

Use the input slider (on the right) in Audacity Mixer Toolbar:

to adjust the input volume. Use the slider on the left to adjust the output volume.

You can turn on Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity to hear the recording as you make it a fraction of a second after you play the chords. This is not immediate playback of the recording. You may be able to plug headphones into the Woodees to listen to yourself with less delay, depending what adaptor you have.