I'm trying to record audio with my voice on my computer using my typical desktop microphone.

Unfortunately, when I play the sound back, it only plays on one side of my headphones. (I know that the headphones work well so that's not the issue).

Also, in case this is related, I am hearing significant background static.

Does anyone know how to get the sounds to record to both channels?


Im am on Windows 7 and I am using a microphone very similar to this: enter image description here

  • Can you tell what OS you are using? It might change the answer. – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 1:17
  • @Imray, What software are you using to record? – Brad Aug 19 '13 at 1:54
  • Camstudio, but also good old Sound Recorder – CodyBugstein Aug 19 '13 at 18:16

Your microphone is a monaural device (mono, not stereo).

Most likely its the software you are using that is recording the mono track from the microphone to a single track on a stereo recording.

If you tell us the recording software, we might be able to tell you how to resolve the issue.

  • In most cases you should be able to simply duplicate the track to the other side, I think – Journeyman Geek Aug 19 '13 at 1:36
  • I believe that even if a microphone is monoaural, both the left and right track, in ideal conditions, would record the same. That is ,barring from the problems I said before and some sort of software mishap. – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 1:45
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    @DoktoroReichard, That depends entirely on the software doing the recording. – Brad Aug 19 '13 at 1:53
  • @Brad Can you give sources for that statement? I myself am speaking mostly from personal experience. – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 4:01
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    @DoktoroReichard, I too am speaking from personal experience which includes writing audio software and being an audio tech, so no I do not have any other sources for you. The microphone is in mono. Whether or not the recording software chooses to duplicate the mono audio on a stereo track is up to it, not something else. If the device is opened as stereo, the underlying system will generally split that mono channel in to a stereo pair. Since this isn't working, it's up to the software which knows the device is mono, and is configured to record on one channel. – Brad Aug 19 '13 at 4:09

Maybe the balance is wrong or something with the audio drivers is wrong.

About the balance, If you are using Windows Vista/7 this should enlighten you on how to check (and possibly fix) this problem.

About the drivers, make sure you have them up to date. I'm currently on Windows XP and I can't hear anything that comes from my mic because the Realtek drivers refuse to boost it's sound as on Vista, that has slightly more up to date drivers.

  • How do I make sure the drivers are up to date? – CodyBugstein Aug 19 '13 at 1:20
  • Do you have a dedicated sound board or are you using the onboard sound or are you doing this from a laptop? – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 1:22
  • Its a desktop - probably the onboard sound. – CodyBugstein Aug 19 '13 at 1:24
  • Then you should check your motherboard. After knowing your motherboard model, you can then probe around the manufacturer's site for the drivers. If you can't check your motherboard, try checking Device Manager for your sound controllers, it might give a hint. – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 1:26
  • Another way to check is by using CPU-Z as described in this page. – Doktoro Reichard Aug 19 '13 at 1:28

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