Is there a setting in Audacity where I can only record the piano? I'm trying to record with a track which is also on my laptop. While I am playing the track or MP3, I also play the piano alongside, though my current setting records them both. Is there a setting where Audacity only records the piano output?

  • 5
    Can you describe your set-up more in detail? For example, are you playing a piano and recording with a microphone via an interface? Or you are playing a keyboard, connected to the computer via MIDI? Or via USB into a DAW?
    – FrK
    Apr 9, 2020 at 6:56
  • The setting is most probably somewhere in the operating system's (Windows?) and/or audio driver's settings, and there's nothing that Audacity can do to it. Audacity gets its input from the operating system, and it doesn't know where it comes from and what's inside. Most probably you need to tell the operating system and/or sound card drivers not to "record" its own playback. Apr 9, 2020 at 9:17
  • It's quite unusual for Windows to record something it is playing back itself plus another sound from an external source. Many people struggle making it do that… so yes, we need much more information about how you have all this wired up, both in hardware & in software.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 9, 2020 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


What gets recorded is not primarily controlled by Audacity, but by Windows' mixer settings.

The general principle is that Windows has a "Recording" channels (that's what Audacity gets) and you may or may not be able to send different sources to it. The default setting is usually the mix of all the sounds in the card. But perhaps, depending on sound card, and depending on how you connect the keyboard to the computer, you may be able to take only the keyboard as the source of the Recording channel in Windows.

Having said all that, there's also a much simpler solution: copy the MP3 to your smartphone, play it from there, and record the piano through the computer, without any interference.

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    Upvoted for the suggestion to copy the track to an external playback device. Put an obvious sync point on both the playback and the new recording - a count of two bars on the original, with a staccato note at the first beat of the second bar of the piano recording for example - to make it very easy to sync up the tracks when you merge the piano recording to the other tracks - and you’re in business May 13, 2020 at 6:37
  • And use headphones for the playback or else you’ll get leakage, which will complicate and muddy your final mix May 13, 2020 at 6:40

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