Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel?

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel

In Audacity, audio editing requires precise work. During podcast or voiceover recordings, you will need an amazing microphone. This microphone could be mono or stereo. Mono microphones are mostly used for a single recording. It means there is no right and left channels in it. 

Using a stereo mic, you must be careful about the balance while recording. The recording must be on both channels. Moreover, if you are using a studio to record in Audacity and the mic is not directly connected to the computer. You could face this recording issue.

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel?

In Audacity, there are specific settings to record any audio. This issue can be caused by wrong setting configurations, wrong audio track addition, hardware malfunction, stereo settings, outdated Audacity, and direct connectivity issues. All these issues could resolve using simple procedures.

Setting Configurations: Developer’s settings of Audacity are best for recording voiceovers and podcasts. If you use different microphones, you will need to configure them. Sometimes we configure the settings wrongly. It also leads to recording channel issues in Audacity.

Audio Track Addition: If you use a mono microphone and accidentally select the stereo track to record, this might cause Audacity to record either the left or right channel. 

Stereo Settings: Always pay attention to your operating system’s and Audacity’s stereo settings. These settings must be configured correctly before proceeding to record. 

Hardware Malfunction: Hardware malfunctioning is another common issue leading to recording problems in Audacity. Their issues could be a sound card, microphone pin or other attached devices. 

Outdated Audacity: Outdated old version of Audacity doesn’t have the compatibility to work with recent operating systems. So, if you are using an old version, it might be time to update it.

Audacity Settings Configurations

It is necessary to set your Audacity before starting your voiceovers. These settings ensure that both audio channels are recording properly. All these settings are related to your microphone type (Mono/Stereo). These settings are very simple to follow.

  • First of all, open Audacity on your computer. Then go to “Edit” and click on “Preferences”. 
  • A new window will pop up on your screen with different options. Look for the “Devices” option and click on it. 

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com

  • Now you will see different recording options. Navigate to channels and select the stereo if you use a stereo mic. 

Correct Audio Track Addition

Audacity has both mono and stereo media recording features. These features allow the users to select preferences before the audio recording. If you are using a mono mic, you must ensure that you have added a mono track in Audacity. The procedure to add an audio track is very simple.

  • Go to “Tracks” from the file menu and then to “Add New.”

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com

  • Here you will find different options, including mono track, stereo track, label track and time tracking
  • Select the track that suits your recording and microphone. 

Note: Each time you record a new track, you must select the type from the same list.

Stereo Settings

You can find the configurations for your stereo system in Audacity and your operating system, such as Windows. Recording issues can arise due to these settings being incorrectly configured at times. If you want to record, you must ensure that both of these settings are configured appropriately for the stereo microphone. Follow these simple steps to fix your stereo settings. 

  • First, go to the windows “Sound” settings from the right-click file of the sound icon.
  • Now go to the “Recording” section and right-click on your microphone icon. 
  • Once the file is opened, select the properties. 

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com

  • In microphone properties, go to the “Advanced” section and, here, sample the default rate. 
  • If the default rate is “DVD quality”, open the file and select “2 channel studio quality.”

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com

It is how you can do stereo settings in Windows operating system. Now you have to set up the stereo settings in Audacity. There are the default settings, meaning every time you open Audacity for editing, these settings will be there.

  • Go to preference settings in the Audacity and then go to “Recording” tab. 
  • Here you will find the “Devices” option. Select and open the file. From here select “2 Stereo.”

Hardware Malfunction

The software is not always the issue behind the recording problems. Sometimes hardware like a sound card, microphone pis or other attached devices could be the reason. Before assuming your software is not working, you must check if any hardware is unplugged or malfunctioning.

Check the microphone pin first. Is it inserted in the sound card properly or not? Is the sound card attached to your system? These are some questions that you must ask yourself before anything else. Here are a few tips:

  • Unplug and replug the headphone pin. 
  • Check your sound card on another computer.
  • Check the mic by recording on other devices. 
  • Thoroughly check the audio pins for any damage.

Update Audacity

If you are still using the old version of Audacity, then it might be time to update it. The new updates have many bug fixes and other improvements. So, you should always check for updates and install them as soon as they are released.

  • To update Audacity, go to “Help” from the file menu and then click on “Check for Updates.”

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com

  • If there is an update available, it will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Reinstall Audacity

The last resort to fix Audacity recording problems is to reinstall it. It will delete all the old files and settings. However, it is always recommended to take a backup of your project files before uninstalling Audacity.

  • Go to the control panel and then uninstall programs. 
  • From the list, select Audacity and then click uninstall.

Why Is Audacity Only Recording Either Left Or Right Channel? | integraudio.com


There are many potential reasons why your Audacity recordings might not be going as planned. It could be a problem with the software or the hardware you’re using to record. Before you give up on Audacity, try some of the troubleshooting tips we’ve provided here. If those don’t work, then maybe it’s time for an upgrade in terms of software and hardware.

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