Using Audacity/Scarlett 2i2 to record radio programs

I want to record some radio programs onto my PC using Audacity and a Scarlett 2i2.

I assume I would connect a cable to the “Tape Monitor - Rec Out” on my stereo, then on the other end use a 1/4 jack plug into the front input of the Scarlett 2i2. When using a jack plug it is automatically configured as a “line” input.

Make sense so far ?

Then I assume I’d use a low sample rate if the radio program is just talk, but a higher sample rate if it is music … and if is music, make sure to set Audacity to record in stereo.

Is that correct ?


The Focusrite has two mono inputs and they switch between Line and Microphone. This thing isn’t a mixer. Everything on the left of the unit appears on the left of the show. So you would adapt your music system to two tip-sleeve 1/4" connectors and put one in the left and one in the right – in the middle of the two XLR connectors. Throw the two switches to “instrument.”

Leave Audacity set to 44100, 16-bit, Stereo for everything. The Focusrite may not have the ability to deal with ad-lib sample rates and bit depths and you’ll be back here wondering how to dig yourself out of an incompatibility error.

Saving your work in WAV is recommended, but as you noted, you don’t need stereo for everything. You can reduce the talk shows to mono and save half of the storage space. Tracks > Stereo track to Mono.

We recommend this process even though it seems wasteful because you can’t recover from MP3 damage. Once you make an MP3 of the show, all you can do is listen. No more opening it up and do effects or cut a new show from existing pieces of old shows. If you try that, the compression honky, bubbling sound damage will double – or the files will get very much larger – or a little of both.

If you’re willing to sign documents that you will never want to do any post production, then yes, MP3 is a terrific way to build a library for portable music players and ringtones. Audacity needs you to add the “Lame” software package in order to make MP3s.


Thanks … was I right about using the stereo output labeled “Tape Monitor - Rec Out” … I figured that would be a relatively low amplitude signal and would be fine for the Scarlett input.