Difference between revisions of "Mixer Toolbar Issues"

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(Recording Device: fix link - the page is now in the Manual)
 
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'''Input selector greyed-out, or lacking the expected choices'''
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{{advice|This page contains important information for users of current Audacity on Windows about [[#cp|enabling inputs in the Windows Control Panel]]. }}
  
==Introduction==
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== Mixer Toolbar issues and input device selection ==
 +
In [https://web.audacityteam.org/download/ current Audacity], all available inputs are selected in [https://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/device_toolbar.html Device Toolbar] or [https://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/devices_preferences.html Devices Preferences].
  
One of the common problems encountered with the Mixer Toolbar is that its input selector can appear greyed out, thus apparently preventing the user choosing the recording source. The purpose of the selector is to link to the current mixing device (where it offers a choice of input sources) and thus
+
=== Recording Device ===
save the user going through a series of system menus to choose the source.
 
  
It is often assumed that Audacity controls the sources that are displayed, but in fact the displayed sources are governed by the drivers of the sound device that is currently selected as the recording device at Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O tab. Drivers are a big issue on Windows machines, and it often happens that machines purchased new will only be supplied with generic Microsoft drivers which may prevent the input selector from displaying all the the options that are available, or any at all.      
+
It is often assumed that Audacity controls the input sources displayed, but in fact the sources offered are governed by the drivers of the sound device that is currently selected in the Audacity Preferences. Drivers are a big issue on Windows machines, and it often happens that machines purchased new will only be supplied with generic Microsoft drivers. This may prevent the audio device linking properly to the system mixer, so you may end up always recording from line-in, or cannot apparently record at all (whatever input source you choose). Another issue may be that you won't see all the inputs that your device potentially offers.  
  
The first step towards rectifying a greyed out toolbar is to go to the Audio I/O tab of Preferences and check that the playback and recording devices are explicitly set to your sound device. Similarly if you have multiple sound devices (e.g. built-in sound and an external USB adaptor), you need to choose the ones you want to use in the Audio I/O tab. If you are on Windows and experiencing input selector problems, choose your sound device explicitly, not Microsoft SoundMapper (which is intended to map to the currently selected default Windows sound device, but does not always do so correctly).  
+
So the first step towards rectifying input problems is to open the {{menu|Preferences}} and choose {{menu|Devices}} . Find out what inputs are available and ensure that the playback and recording devices are explicitly set to the correct device you want to use. For example you may have multiple sound devices such as built-in sound and an external USB device, so you need to choose between them. If you are on Windows and experiencing problems, choose your sound device explicitly, not Microsoft Sound Mapper (which is intended to map to the currently selected default Windows sound device, but may not always do so correctly).
 +
{{tip|'''Note that on [[Windows 7 OS|Windows 7]] and later, initial driver setup typically disables all the inputs except for the built-in microphone.''' It is strongly recommended to use the [https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/windows_accessing_the_windows_sound_controls.html Sound Control Panel] to show and enable all disabled devices so that recording applications like Audacity can see them.}}
  
Note that if your selected recording device is a USB or Firewire interface
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==== Device selection for inbuilt devices on Windows ====
device, these normally do not have multiple input sources to choose from,
 
and so Audacity's input selector will grey out. This is normal, and just means the selector is not needed. Any necessary configuration should be done on the device itself, or in any control software that comes with it. Examples of devices which will normally not require use of Audacity's input selector are the Griffin iMic, the Numark and Ion USB turntables and a wide variety of USB and
 
Firewire mixers and interfaces.   
 
  
Also check your sound device is not already in use. If you are on OS X
+
Note that some sound devices have individual analog to digital converters (ADC's) for the different inputs such as microphone and line-in. Where this is the case, these inputs are treated as separate recording devices on Windows (for example, "Line-In: Realtek" or "Microphone: SoundMax"). These inputs can be most conveniently selected in [https://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/device_toolbar.html Device Toolbar] in [https://web.audacityteam.org/download/windows current Audacity] but in legacy Audacity before 1.3.13 they must be selected in the Audio I/O or Devices tab of Preferences and not in the Mixer Toolbar selector which will be greyed out.  
or Linux and start to record with the sound device in another application,
 
Audacity may not be able to access it for recording and the Mixer Toolbar  
 
input selector will appear greyed. Generally, this is not a problem on
 
Windows.
 
  
If you've got this far and the problem is not solved, then read on below.
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Windows 7 and later always treat recording sources as separate "devices", so on these systems the Mixer Toolbar selector in legacy Audacity will be greyed out and inputs must be chosen in the Audio I/O or Devices Preferences.
  
== OS X-specific issues ==  
+
===USB and Firewire recording devices ===
  
OS X has a very different audio hardware interface to most other operating
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Note that if your selected recording device is a USB or Firewire device, these normally do not have multiple input sources to choose from, so Device Toolbar or Preferences will only list the device as a single choice and the input selector in legacy Audacity will grey out. This is normal, and just means that input choices must be made in the device itself, or in any control software that comes with it. Examples of devices which will normally not allow input selection in Audacity are the Griffin iMic, USB turntables or USB cassette decks and a wide variety of USB and Firewire mixers and interfaces.  
systems. As a result, there may be no (or greyed out) Mixer Toolbar, or only one audio recording source available to Audacity, which will be identified as "Default Source". You will need to click on the MAC hard disk and then click on Applications >  Utilities >  Audio-Midi Setup and select your required recording source (e.g. line-in) as the default one you want to use. In OS X 10.0 and 10.1 there was no Audio-Midi Setup, so choose your recording source at System Preferences > Sound in the Apple Menu.
 
  
If you are on OS X 10.3  or higher and want to try our Beta version (1.3.2 at the time of writing) this has a later version of our Portaudio interface and may enable you to select sources in Audacity's input selector or possibly in the Audio I/O tab of Preferences.
+
[[Multichannel Recording|Multi-channel recording devices]] do allow limited input channel selection in Audacity where the drivers support this, though only [[Multichannel Recording#Suggested devices|a few devices on Windows]] allow recording more than a pair of two channels at once unless you compile Audacity with [[ASIO Audio Interface|ASIO]] support.  
  
== Problems mainly applying to Windows ==
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===Device already in use===  
  
 +
Also check your sound device is not already in use. If you are on Mac or Linux and the sound device is already being used by another application, Audacity may not be able to access it for recording. As a result, Device Toolbar, Preferences or the legacy Mixer Toolbar input selector may be empty of devices. Generally, this is not a problem on Windows as long as you choose MME host in Audacity, though issues with some applications are known. For example, speech recognition in Word, Skype or the Fraps screen capture software may prevent other applications from using the sound device to record from a microphone.
  
* '''Card Not Supported'''
+
===Further help===
 +
 +
If you've got this far and the problem is not solved, go to the appropriate section below your operating system:
 +
* [[#Windows_Problems|Windows]]
 +
* [[#OS_X-specific_issues|Mac]]
 +
* [[#Linux-specific_issues|Linux]]
  
 +
and then if you still have problems, go to our page on [[Updating Sound Device Drivers]].
  
This applies mainly to high-end multi-channel cards. Many of these cards don't use the standard Windows mixer interface and Windows volume control, but instead supply a custom mixer application which Audacity can't hook in to. In these cases you need to select the recording settings and levels using the custom mixer application shipped with the sound card. Recording should work as normal with the card however.
+
<div id="win"></div>
  
 +
==Windows Problems==
 +
{{advice|We strongly suggest you obtain the [https://web.audacityteam.org/download/ current version of Audacity] then read our further information about [[Windows 10 OS|Windows 10]], [[Windows 8 OS|Windows 8]] and [[Windows 7 OS|Windows 7]].}}
  
* '''Windows Control Panel issues'''
+
===Card Not Supported===
 +
Some high-end multi-channel cards on Windows systems don't use the standard Windows mixer interface and volume control, but instead supply a custom mixer application which Audacity can't hook in to. In these cases you need to select the recording settings and levels using the custom mixer application shipped with the soundcard. Recording should work as normal with the card however.
  
 +
=== Recording Devices ===
 +
In current Audacity select recording inputs at {{Menu|Edit > Preferences: Devices tab}}, in the {{Menu|"Recording Device"}} dropdown.  In current Audacity, recording devices can also be viewed in [https://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/device_toolbar.html Device Toolbar]. To enable this toolbar, click {{Menu|View > Toolbars > Device Toolbar}}.
 +
 +
If selecting a particular input does not work, or you don't see the input you want, try selecting it in the Windows Control Panel (see the next section below).
  
If the sound device you are selecting as recording device in Audacity's Audio I/O tab is presenting only one input source (or none at all) to Audacity, its input selector will grey out. However it may still be possible to go into the system mixer, select the input source you want there, and record with Audacity. On '''Vista''', click Start > Control Panel > Sound, click on the "Recording" tab, and click and highlight the input you want to use. On '''Windows XP or earlier''', click Start > (Settings) > Control Panel > Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices > Sounds and Audio devices (or right-click on the speaker icon in the System Tray > Adjust Audio Properties). Then click on the Audio tab, on "Volume" under the "Sound Recording" panel, and select your input. 
+
   
 +
<div id="cp"></div>
 +
<div id="vistacp"></div>     
 +
==== Accessing the Windows Sound controls ====
 +
See [https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/windows_accessing_the_windows_sound_controls.html Windows: accessing the Windows Sound controls] in the Audacity Manual for full details - ''this former Wiki section has been transferred there''.
 +
{{tip|Accessing the Windows '''Sound''' controls and trying to select your required input there may often allow you to record into Audacity, even if the input you want isn't in Device Toolbar or Devices Preferences, or isn't recording properly. }}
  
If the input source you want does not exist in the Windows Control Panel, or if you want the convenience of selecting your source in Audacity's Mixer Toolbar, see "Updating the Sound Device Drivers" below.  However on Windows XP or earlier it's often the case that input sources are available to use, but hidden. To check this, click "Volume" under the "Sound Recording" panel again, then Options > Properties. Select your sound device in the Mixer Device panel, and ensure all the boxes in the window below are checked. Click OK.  If the source you wanted was in the window list, it will now be available to select in the recording Volume Control, and you may find Audacity's Mixer Toolbar has now been re-enabled.
 
  
 +
<div id="osx"></div>
  
* '''Updating the Sound Device Drivers'''
+
==macOS /OS X specific issues==
 +
See the [[Mac OS X|macOS]] page.
  
 +
<div id="linux"></div>
  
If your problem is not yet resolved, the sound drivers must be updated to the current version for your computer model produced by the card or motherboard manufacturer. These are often available by going to the manufacturer's website, however Windows users are recommended to try updating their drivers via Device Manager in the first instance. To do this:
+
<div id="no_devices"></div>
 +
<div id="mixtool_disabled"></div>
 +
==Linux specific issues==
 +
See  the [[Linux System Mixer]] page
  
1- Click Start > (Settings) > Control Panel > System
 
  
2- Click on the Hardware tab, then on the "Device Manager" button on the Device Manager panel.
+
{{CategoryTroubleshooting}}
 
 
3- Expand "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" by clicking on the + sign, right-click on the sound device and click "update driver".
 
 
 
After the update, right-click on the device again, click Properties and then on the Driver tab to check the "Driver Provider".  You don't want drivers from Microsoft as these are only low quality generic drivers. If you can only get Microsoft drivers, go to the websites of the sound device or motherboard manufacturers for assistance. Many will offer driver downloads. You should look for a driver update which is specific to your computer model and version of Windows. If you are on Vista, it's essential that the drivers are specifically intended for Vista.
 
 
 
== Linux-specific issues ==
 
 
 
 
 
'''Input Selector and input/output sliders missing'''
 
 
 
If Audacity's entire Mixer Toolbar (including the output and input level sliders and the input selector) are missing this usually means that the version of Audacity you have installed has been built without [[PortMixer]] support. This could be because your Audacity version was built wrong, or because you have an (experimental) [[PortAudio]] v19 version of Audacity which hasn't got [[PortMixer]] support.  Help > About should give you both a version number and a list of which libraries were enabled at build time. Install from a package which has [[PortAudio]] V18 or compile it from source using [[PortAudio]] V18. You can download the stable source here:
 
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/latest/audacity-src/audacity-src-1.2.6.tar.gz
 
See here for instructions on using the source code to compile Audacity: [[CompilingAudacityForBeginners]]
 
 
 
If you do want to compile Audacity with Portaudio V19 (which gives ALSA support in Linux) and mixer control you need to use the unstable 1.3.2 version of audacity. You can use 1.2.6 with Portaudio V19, choosing your inputs in ALSAmixer, but this is not supported any more.
 
 
 
'''Input selector minimised''' (so unable to select any sources)
 
 
 
If the selector just appears as a small lump but you have the input and output volume sliders, this usually means that there is currently no audio device available to, or recognised by Audacity for recording on your system. There are various possible causes for this. They include:
 
 
 
1.  Another audio program like XMMS is using the sound device
 
 
 
2.  A sound daemon like esound (ESD) or aRts is using the sound device, often because
 
 
 
3.  You have system sounds on in a desktop environment like Gnome or KDE
 
 
 
4.  You don't have the correct permissions to access the sound device 
 
 
 
5.  OSS emulation modules for ALSA are not installed. (If you are using audacity 1.2.x).
 
 
 
6.  The recording device you currently have selected on the Audio I/O tab of   
 
Preferences only has one input source, and so there is no choice that can be
 
made. Many USB and Firewire Input/Output devices fall into this category.
 
 
 
If you use OSS, you need to check that /dev/dsp (the OSS device) is present.  If you use ALSA, you need to get the OSS emulation for ALSA installed, unless you are using Audacity 1.3.2 which supports ALSA natively. You can launch Audacity from the command line as
 
<code>
 
$ aoss audacity
 
</code>
 
which will load OSS emulation modules for ALSA if you have them installed.
 
 
 
On many distributions you need to add your user to the "audio" group so they have permissions to access the sound devices.
 

Latest revision as of 11:12, 24 August 2021

Warning icon This page contains important information for users of current Audacity on Windows about enabling inputs in the Windows Control Panel.

Mixer Toolbar issues and input device selection

In current Audacity, all available inputs are selected in Device Toolbar or Devices Preferences.

Recording Device

It is often assumed that Audacity controls the input sources displayed, but in fact the sources offered are governed by the drivers of the sound device that is currently selected in the Audacity Preferences. Drivers are a big issue on Windows machines, and it often happens that machines purchased new will only be supplied with generic Microsoft drivers. This may prevent the audio device linking properly to the system mixer, so you may end up always recording from line-in, or cannot apparently record at all (whatever input source you choose). Another issue may be that you won't see all the inputs that your device potentially offers.

So the first step towards rectifying input problems is to open the Preferences and choose Devices . Find out what inputs are available and ensure that the playback and recording devices are explicitly set to the correct device you want to use. For example you may have multiple sound devices such as built-in sound and an external USB device, so you need to choose between them. If you are on Windows and experiencing problems, choose your sound device explicitly, not Microsoft Sound Mapper (which is intended to map to the currently selected default Windows sound device, but may not always do so correctly).

Bulb icon Note that on Windows 7 and later, initial driver setup typically disables all the inputs except for the built-in microphone. It is strongly recommended to use the Sound Control Panel to show and enable all disabled devices so that recording applications like Audacity can see them.

Device selection for inbuilt devices on Windows

Note that some sound devices have individual analog to digital converters (ADC's) for the different inputs such as microphone and line-in. Where this is the case, these inputs are treated as separate recording devices on Windows (for example, "Line-In: Realtek" or "Microphone: SoundMax"). These inputs can be most conveniently selected in Device Toolbar in current Audacity but in legacy Audacity before 1.3.13 they must be selected in the Audio I/O or Devices tab of Preferences and not in the Mixer Toolbar selector which will be greyed out.

Windows 7 and later always treat recording sources as separate "devices", so on these systems the Mixer Toolbar selector in legacy Audacity will be greyed out and inputs must be chosen in the Audio I/O or Devices Preferences.

USB and Firewire recording devices

Note that if your selected recording device is a USB or Firewire device, these normally do not have multiple input sources to choose from, so Device Toolbar or Preferences will only list the device as a single choice and the input selector in legacy Audacity will grey out. This is normal, and just means that input choices must be made in the device itself, or in any control software that comes with it. Examples of devices which will normally not allow input selection in Audacity are the Griffin iMic, USB turntables or USB cassette decks and a wide variety of USB and Firewire mixers and interfaces.

Multi-channel recording devices do allow limited input channel selection in Audacity where the drivers support this, though only a few devices on Windows allow recording more than a pair of two channels at once unless you compile Audacity with ASIO support.

Device already in use

Also check your sound device is not already in use. If you are on Mac or Linux and the sound device is already being used by another application, Audacity may not be able to access it for recording. As a result, Device Toolbar, Preferences or the legacy Mixer Toolbar input selector may be empty of devices. Generally, this is not a problem on Windows as long as you choose MME host in Audacity, though issues with some applications are known. For example, speech recognition in Word, Skype or the Fraps screen capture software may prevent other applications from using the sound device to record from a microphone.

Further help

If you've got this far and the problem is not solved, go to the appropriate section below your operating system:

and then if you still have problems, go to our page on Updating Sound Device Drivers.

Windows Problems

Warning icon We strongly suggest you obtain the current version of Audacity then read our further information about Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Card Not Supported

Some high-end multi-channel cards on Windows systems don't use the standard Windows mixer interface and volume control, but instead supply a custom mixer application which Audacity can't hook in to. In these cases you need to select the recording settings and levels using the custom mixer application shipped with the soundcard. Recording should work as normal with the card however.

Recording Devices

In current Audacity select recording inputs at Edit > Preferences: Devices tab, in the "Recording Device" dropdown. In current Audacity, recording devices can also be viewed in Device Toolbar. To enable this toolbar, click View > Toolbars > Device Toolbar.

If selecting a particular input does not work, or you don't see the input you want, try selecting it in the Windows Control Panel (see the next section below).


Accessing the Windows Sound controls

See Windows: accessing the Windows Sound controls in the Audacity Manual for full details - this former Wiki section has been transferred there.

Bulb icon Accessing the Windows Sound controls and trying to select your required input there may often allow you to record into Audacity, even if the input you want isn't in Device Toolbar or Devices Preferences, or isn't recording properly.


macOS /OS X specific issues

See the macOS page.

Linux specific issues

See the Linux System Mixer page