At last I can record in Audacity via Focusrite 8i6 (1st Gen) on Windows

The missing step for me was finding the Focusrite icon in systray, right clicking, selecting “Expose / Hide Windows Channels” and ticking “S/PDIF L + R”. This channel was then available to Audacity.
I’ve taken a screenshot while recording Dorico into Audacity, but it works equally with capturing sound from my web browser, which I do when transcribing music and lyrics.

I had tried this route before but had ticked “Loopback L + R” as the Windows channel since it’s the Loopback function of Focusrite that send the incoming stream back to my computer. But that didn’t work and I just got a “flatline” when recording in Audacity using the default settings. Then I thought why not try another setting. Ah, joy!

What was particularly confusing was that in Focusrite I do have to send my mix to Loopback in order to send data to my computer at all, yet I don’t need to select the Windows channel saying Loopback. I can only guess that the Focusrite Loopback sends both analogue and digital data back to my computer, and that I needed to select “S/PDIF L + R” as the Windows channel in order to access the digital data, which is what Audacity requires. Another confusion was that I use an S/PDIF cable to connect the 8i6 to my speakers, but there is no S/PDIF cable connection to my computer (so I was able to discount that). Guessing again, perhaps Focusrite identifies the incoming digital data to Windows as “S/PDIF L + R”. S/PDIF is of course an audio connection standard for transmitting high-quality digital audio, not just a label for a particular cable.

If anyone can enlighten me on these two guesses I’d be grateful.

I’m sure there are other ways to do what I want to do, but Audacity is free, and I find it easy to work with on an occasional basis. Labels are particularly useful. I’m using the latest version of Audacity 3.1.2.


I’m confused why you need to record dorico into audacity. Are you aware that you can export audio directly from Dorico?

Once you are looping audio around your computer, you are wholly in the digital domain, so analogue signals have nothing to do with it (spdif is digital signals anyway).

Also, check pg 24 of this manual for info about loop back:

And, I think you’re using the old software. That matches what I use for my old Safire pro 40, and not what is shown in the manual for 8i6.

Much appreciated, Romanos!

You’re right, of course, that the Loopback function in Focusrite can only be carrying digital data. With that clear I’ve now got a better understanding in my (rather literal) mind of why my solution works. When problem solving it’s great to be able to bounce off someone else to give the insight/reassurance that can be needed. Thank you again.

I’m pretty confident that I have the latest control software and driver for this legacy model. I’m still using a 1st Gen 8i6 that was perfect for my tech level and my needs when I bought it well over a decade ago.

Why record direct from Dorico? I sometimes work with snippets of audio taken from just part of a flow. I’ll start Audacity recording and then hit P in Dorico a second later to play from a particular spot. This is easier than exporting the whole flow and doing surgery in Audacity afterwards.


I didn’t realize the 8i6 was that old. Perhaps you’re right, but it’s still worth double checking. I wouldn’t be surprised if you are eligible to use the newer one; the version you are currently using has long ceased to be updated or supported, so if you can get the new version, you’ll get more mileage out of your device.

My saffire pro 40 still works like a charm but I don’t think it will be making the transition to my new computer with me, unfortunately, due to the control software being phased out.

That’s an interesting idea. My Focusrite RED has loopback but haven’t found any use for it (only two channel also as I work in atmos). But that could be handy sometime I suppose, especially for doing sound effect work.