What should stereo recording look like [SOLVED]

I have connected a phono preamp to my record player and and plugged it to my computer. I am using Audacity 2.0.3 to collect the sound data and save it into files. I have the input in Audacity set to “2 (Stereo) Recording Channels” and the cabling from the preamp to the USB input device connected to my computer is all stereo. When I am recording an LP, the Audacity display shows the two tracks, but the signals displayed are always identical. Is this normal? I would think that at least some song or another, if not all of them, would have different signals coming through the left and right channels. Is there any way I can test this?

They’re never identical. Even through simple manufacturer variations one of the two sound meters maybe slightly higher than the other. Vinyl noise is always in stereo.

preamp to the USB input device

You can break the connection there and touch first one connector (on the computer side) and then the other. If both sound meters lift, you have a problem somewhere on the computer side. If it’s in stereo there, then the problem is on the turntable side…


You’re in Audacity 2.0.3 which had almost useless default sound meters. You can pull the sound meters much larger for diagnostics.


Sorry, I forgot that I updated the version of Audacity I am using a few weeks ago. I am running 2.1.0.

When I unplug the leads and touch one of them, both channels light up. When I touch the other one, nothing happens.I guess this means that I have a problem with the Behringer UCA202 interface that I am using. Either it is defective or there is some configuration that needs to be done to it or in my computer. I don’t see anything in either place that I could do.

Probably not. I don’t know of a UCA 202 that’s ever failed. It’s Left, correct? A system that tries to convert stereo to mono usually uses Left.

What does the Audacity microphone symbol say? It should say USB Audio CODEC.


The UCA202 has built-in diagnostics. The headphones can be switched to the Stereo-Out service (for Overdubbing/Sound-On-Sound). Monitor ON.

is that Stereo? You should leave Audacity off for this test. If you have Windows or Audacity sound services set wrong, that can sound confusing.


Then you did not update from our site Audacity ® | Downloads otherwise you would have the current Audacity 2.1.2. The audacity.sourceforge.net site has not been our site for some time.

Have you tried resolving your issue by setting the UCA to stereo in Windows as per this FAQ: FAQ:Recording - How To's - Audacity Manual ?


I thought I had checked everything, but I overlooked setting the USB Audio CODEC’s default format on the Advanced tab to 2 channel, 16 bit, 44100hz. So I can record in stereo now, and this problem can be chalked up to PBKAC (http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/PBKAC). Thank you all for your helpful responses.