From Audacity Manual
- Accessed by: (on a Mac
- Devices Preferences (shows default settings for Host and Channels).
- Click on any other Preferences sections in the above image to read about those Preferences.
Selects the particular interface with which Audacity communicates with your chosen playback and recording devices.
On Windows, the choice is between the following audio interfaces:
- MME: This is the Audacity default and the most compatible with all audio devices.
- Windows DirectSound: This is more recent than MME with potentially less latency.
- Windows WASAPI: This host only appears on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. It is the most recent Windows interface between applications (such as Audacity) and the soundcard driver. WASAPI was first officially released in 2007 in Windows Vista. WASAPI is particularly useful for "loopback" recording of computer playback. 24-bit recording devices are supported using this host. Playback is usually emulated. As a result, the playback slider in Mixer Toolbar will only scale the system playback slider's current level up or down rather than directly manipulating that system slider.
On Mac OS X the only choice is Core Audio.
On Linux there is often only one option: ALSA. Other options could be OSS and/or Jack Audio Connection Kit (also known as "Jack" or "Jackd").
- On Windows XP (given a recent computer), DirectSound's much shorter path to the hardware should produce much lower latency than MME.
- On Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8:
- Device: Selects the device used for playback.
- Device: Selects the device used for recording.
- Channels: 1 (Mono), 2 (Stereo) or the number of channels that are provided by the drivers of your sound device. On most inbuilt sound devices, especially on Windows, only mono or stereo will be available. For some devices on Windows, choosing Windows DirectSound in "Host" above may be more likely to reveal options for recording more than two channels. On some devices capable of recording more than two channels, an explicit "multi" device may appear in the "Device" dropdown for recording all the channels simultaneously.