Hardware, Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Why You Can’t Hear While Recording in FL Studio (14 Tips) 

Written By : Andrew Siemon

There are many reasons why you can’t hear yourself recording in FL Studio, but the answer usually has something to do with either your DAW’s input/output settings or your audio interface (if you’re using one).

Simply put, you can’t hear while recording in FL Studio because your monitoring button has been disabled, you’ve accidentally muted or isolated your input and output tracks, you haven’t configured your audio settings properly in the DAW, or your audio interface is improperly connected or broken.

14 Reasons Why You Can’t Hear While Recording in FL Studio

1) You Need to Switch on Monitoring in FL Studio

As we’ve already discussed, the way monitoring works in FL studio is not just an on/off switch like in GarageBand. It works by ‘routing’ the input track (where you have the microphone connected) to the master track (by default), to another mixer track, or to its separate output.

By default, all tracks are routed to the Master track but if you’ve managed to switch that off by accident, here’s how to get it working again.

A) Routing to the Master Track

To route any track to the master, all you need to do is:

i) Open the Mixer
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Click this button here. You can also hit fn + F9 to bring this up if you’re using the macOS version like me.
ii) Select the Track
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Then you want to select the track by clicking on it.
iii) Click the Input Button at the Top Right of the Mixer to See Your Input Options
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The input options are where you find out where things have been routed from.
iv) Select your Audio Input
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In most cases, you’ll want to click on the Mono version, unless you’re recording in Stereo (which I almost never do, actually).
v) Click the Arrow Under the Master Track to Route Your Selected Track
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If you’re using macOS like me, the arrow is going to look just a bit different, but ultimately the feature is the same.

B) Routing to Another Track

Unlike GarageBand, which is really my main reference point at the time of writing, FL Studio is quite advanced in terms of how you can route tracks around. Here’s how to route your audio around in the DAW.

i) Select the Track
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Again, click on the track.
ii) Choose the Input Button at the Top Right of the Mixer
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Click on the Input button just like before.
iii) Choose your Input
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You’re probably getting used to seeing this.
iv) Click the Arrow Under the Track You’re Routing To
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Choose your insert.

C) Selecting a Separate Output

If you have a separate output you would like to monitor yourself from, aside from the master, you need to select that output from the mixer.

i) Select The Track
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Select your insert once again.
ii) Choose Your Input
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Same deal.
iii) Click the Output button at the Bottom Right of the Mixer
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Now if you want to change your output, you do that at the bottom of the mixer instead.
iv) Select your Output
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Select your output and then you’re good to go.

The next selection has to do with your monitoring button on your audio interface, assuming yours has it. I’ve got about 5 audio interfaces, and the Scarlett 2i2 is the only one that has a Direct Monitoring button like this (here’s my guide on monitoring vs. direct in case you need it).

2) Direct Monitoring Is Switched Off On Your Interface

Click on the Direct Monitoring button like what’s shown here on the Scarlett 2i2. This means it’s currently enabled in Mono. The double circle overlapping inside itself means it has been enabled in stereo.

As I explained earlier, this means you’ll get the signal directly into your headphones or speaker monitors before it’s processed by your DAW. This will do a few things for you, but the main one is that it’s going to completely obliterate any potential latency which I’ve discussed elsewhere, including for GarageBand and TikTok.

3) You’ve Muted or Isolated Your Tracks By Accident

If the input track (where your mic is connected to, where you’re recording), or the output track (where you routed the input track to), is muted – maybe due to soloing one of your tracks or by a mistake – you won’t hear yourself. Simple stuff, but it’s easy to do if you’re not paying close enough attention to the right things.

Click The “Mute/Solo” Button to Unmute a Muted Track

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When it’s not green, it means it’s muted or turned off. But if it’s green, it’s on.

4) You Have Not Chosen a Microphone Input

If you don’t have any microphone selected under input, then there would be no audio coming into FL Studio, and you won’t be able to hear yourself.

A) Select the Track You’re Recording To

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Click the track that you want to record on.

B) Choose an Audio Input Source

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Choose your Audio Input.

Once you have done this and every other thing is as it should be, then you should begin to hear yourself properly.

5) Incorrect Input/Output Settings on Your Audio Interface

Scarlett 2i2 Settings - How to Connect the Scarlett 2i2 to GarageBand
Here’s a diagram that I made that features nearly all the controls on a Scarlett 2i2, for example. This should help you make the right choice, at least during the hardware phase of the setup.

If your audio interface has multiple input ports, you have to make sure that when choosing your microphone, you select the exact port where your microphone is connected.

For example, if your instrument/microphone is connected to port one on the interface, then ensure that when choosing your mic input, you select port one. I pretty much always choose the first input. 1st input is the guitar and then the second input is for the microphone if I need to do more than one.

What my set-up currently looks like on my old Saffire 6USB from Focusrite.

6) Audio Interface/Soundcard Is Not Connected Properly

How to Connect a Mic to a Scarlett 2i2 - Image
Here’s how to set up a microphone with the Scarlett 2i2 (this image originally appeared in my dedicated guide).

The issue might just be a simple connection problem. If your audio interface is not properly connected to your computer, then FL Studio will not recognize the interface and by extension, your microphone.

Make sure to correctly connect the audio interface and microphone. I’ll refrain from telling you to check that your cable isn’t faulty because I know how annoying that tip is.

7) Input/Output Settings on Your Computer

What the input and output look like in the System Preferences of a macOS device.

This one isn’t super relevant, at least for me, because the input/output settings are almost always set up in the DAW, and not in the actual computer. I included it anyway, just in case you’re using a different setup than me.

If you still can’t hear your voice/instrument, you might have to go back to your computer settings and ensure you have the right audio devices selected.

Make sure your microphone is recognized by your computer as an input device and have it selected, then return to FL Studio and reset your input settings.

8) Wrong Audio Device Selection

Always select the audio device to which you are recording. By default, FL Studio uses ASIO drivers (for PCs anyway), but you probably may have another audio device/driver that you’re using.

If you’ve selected the wrong audio device or none at all, you will have to go to FL Studio’s audio settings to appropriately select your audio device. To select the right audio device, take the following steps:

A) Click “Options” In the Menu Panel

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B) Select “Audio Settings”

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C) Open the “Device” Drop-Down Under the Input and Output Section

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This is what it’ll look like if you’re on PC, although, it isn’t much different on macOS.

D) Select the Audio Device You Use for Recording

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Your audio device selection might be different from mine, this depends on the audio device(s) you have connected.

9) The Track Is Not Armed for Recording

Another reason behind not hearing yourself while recording is that the track is not armed for recording. Let’s discuss why this happens and how to correct it.

Simply put, when a track is not armed for recording, FL Studio is not configured to record audio on that track. This could be due to a variety of factors like failing to press the button, selecting the incorrect input source, or selecting the incorrect audio device. Here’s how to fix it.

A) Select the Track You’re Recording To

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B) Choose the Correct Input Source

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C) Click the “Arm Disk Recording” Button Beside the Volume Fader

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On macOS, it’ll turn red.

D) Click Record

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10) You’ve Not Set Recording to Capture Audio

Another reason for not hearing yourself may be that the recording process is not capturing audio. FL Studio does not record any sound from the input device when a recording is not set to capture audio.

Because of this, when you press record, no audio is recorded, so you won’t hear yourself. To check and solve this, you can follow the steps below.

A) Click the Record Button

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It’ll turn red once it’s enabled, but it doesn’t mean it’s recording – it just means it’s ready to do so.

B) Choose to Record Audio: Either into the Playlist or into Edison Editor

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Choose where to record it. I usually record directly into the Playlist to keep it simple.

By default, the “recording filter” pop-up appears when you click the record button. Here, you can select what you want to record. There are two options for recording audio – Into Edison, or straight to the playlist as an audio clip. Recording to the playlist is pretty straightforward.

Choosing to record into Edison creates an instance of Edison on the mixer track you’re recording (or uses an existing instance) and records your audio into it. This allows you to do more advanced edits before adding the audio to the playlist.

If you find out that when you click record, the “recording filter” pop-up does not appear, then you have probably enabled the option that says, “Don’t ask this in the future”. This prevents the recording filter from popping up every time and you can only record what you’ve previously selected.

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To see the recording filter again, right-click on the record button, then select “Audio” from the list. This way, when you start recording, audio will be captured, and you will be able to hear what you recorded.

11) Outdated/Incompatible Sound Drivers (PC Only)

From what I understand, if you’re using a PC or something other than macOS, outdated drivers are another common cause of why you can’t hear yourself in the recording process. (I’ve never had this problem with any DAW on macOS, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist).

Input monitoring may be affected if you are using an outdated or incompatible audio driver. Fortunately, updating the driver is often all that is required. This is generally accomplished by visiting the manufacturer’s website and downloading the most recent drivers for your computer.

It is necessary to restart your computer after updating the drivers to ensure the changes take effect. After restarting your computer, launch FL Studio and go to the audio settings. Make sure your audio device is set as the default input and output device in the audio settings.

I also recommend getting the ASIO driver, if you don’t have it. It is compatible with FL Studio and other DAWs as well. It also is very easy to configure, and you can follow the step-by-step method on how to properly configure the ASIO driver on FL Studio.

12) Low Input Gain

Here’s a guideline for how your Scarlett 2i2 is doing in terms of input gain. You want it to go in the Green pretty much at all times.

The volume of your recording input is controlled by the input gain. When the volume is too low, you won’t be able to hear yourself. It has an impact on the quality and clarity of your recordings.

While some audio interfaces have specific input gain knobs, others let you change the input gain using the software. The input gain should be increased appropriately until you can hear yourself.

13) Your Speakers/Studio Monitors/Headphones Are Not Properly Connected

14 Headphones Adadpter - Why You Can't Hear Your Recording in FL Studio
This audio interface is over 15 years old now so I’m not sure whether it’s the headphone adapter or the input that’s giving me trouble. Either way, if one of these things isn’t working properly, you’re not going to get sound.

You need to figure out if the problem is with your headphones/monitors. One way to do this is to try different headphones or monitors with your recording setup to see if the problem persists. Also, try a new headphone adapter if you’re using one.

If the problem disappears when you use different equipment, then you should check the connections and the conditions of your previous equipment.

Confirm that your headphones or monitors are well plugged in and that there are no loose connections. Check the volume on your headphones or monitors and ensure it is adjusted to the appropriate levels and the necessary switches/buttons are correctly placed.

14) Faulty Headphones or Studio Monitors

Etymotic ER3SE's and recording in FL Studio
I’ve also been using the same Etymotic ER3SEs for almost 4 years, and they desperately need new filters because one side is always cutting in and out. I’ll probably get the Etymotic ER4SRs (on my Product Page) when the ones I own currently finally kick the bucket.

If the problem is with your headphones/monitors, and you have secured the connections, and the issue persists, I think It’s time for you to get them repaired or for you to get a new set of monitors.

Make a good investment in recording headphones or studio monitors as they will help you hear yourself clearly and accurately while recording and it will also increase the quality of your overall recording and production process.

Important Things to Note About FL Studio

1) There Are Some Differences Between Operating Systems

I’ve already alluded to this fact a number of times, but it’s worth pointing out in a more highlighted fashion that while FL Studio is largely the same across operating systems, there are some minor differences. So keep that in mind. For the most part, this article is for Windows and peppered in with references to macOS.

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Andrew Siemon is the principal creator of ProducerSociety.com, a website dedicated to all things music, including music production, music theory, recording, and how to use the most popular DAWs. Starting out as a metal guitarist, Andrew has since moved into other areas of music production including hip-hop and fusion

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