How to configure Input Device for Recording

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How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by countdowner » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:10 am

I apologize if this question is common, but I'm stuck. I've used Audacity before but am newly using Windows 7 from scratch; with a newly downloaded Audacity 1.3.13 beta version, and a new Sound Card (Realtek) Driver installed.

I just can not seem to figure out this time how to get it to record (i.e. from internet, or to edit my own mp3's playing on Windows Media Player).
My setting choices are as follows:
Host:
-- MME or
-- Windows Direct I do not know which to choose or how to decide (don't know the difference)

Output Device:
-- Primary Sound - ??
-- Speakers (Realtek) I assume this is the right one, as playback is ok (I know because I did get a mono mixed recording as explained below)
-- Digital Audio HDMI (I use this for sound when playing tv shows on my TV Monitor)

Input Channels: I assume I should leave this on 2) Stereo Input for stereo recording?

Input Device:
-- Primary Sound Capture Drive - ??
-- Line In (Realtek)
-- Modem #0 Line Record (does not seem to be applicable or useable whatever this is)
-- Microphone (Realtek)
-- Stereo Mix (Realtek)

I've tried every combination of the above choices coupled with the various settings for Host and Input Channels.
The only time the Audacity Player records anything is when I use the "Stereo Mix" setting - BUT it mixes the sound and records identically on both left and right channels, it does not record in stereo.

Also, I've tried checking and unchecking every possible option in the Control Panel for my Sound Drivers and Options, and no matter what I try as "default", I can not get a stereo recording.

I'm really stumped. Don't know how I got this to work before on Vista or if the Operating System change is relevant.
Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:19 am

Recording what's playing on the computer gets harder and harder as the Windows versions advance. By Win7, sometimes it's impossible to record without extra software.

Recording Audio on the Computer
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recor ... e_computer

If nothing works no matter what, you may be a candidate for Total Recorder or one of the other software packages.

http://www.highcriteria.com/

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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by countdowner » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:33 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I am able to select "Stereo Mix" as instructed on the first link you provided.

Does "Stereo Mix" mean that the stereo sound will be converted to mono on both tracks (as I explained above, that is what seems to be happening when I have that option selected).

Or, should "Stereo Mix" be providing Audacity with actual Stereo sound (which SHOULD, thus, be recording in stereo -- with each track having it's unique properties -- in Audacity)?

How do I get stereo to each track? (Whatever I try to record, I get exactly identical sound graphs for each channel as I watch it recording, or when I play it back).

Thanks again in advance to whoever replies!
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by countdowner » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:42 pm

Sorry, One more thing, when Audacity DOES record in the Stereo Mix mode, it records at such a high volume, that even when I slide the input level to the far left, it is still recording almost at max. volume. (when I used to use Audacity in Vista, almost all of my recordings were made with the slider about 75% to 90% to the RIGHT). Thanks
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:44 pm

countdowner wrote:Or, should "Stereo Mix" be providing Audacity with actual Stereo sound (which SHOULD, thus, be recording in stereo -- with each track having it's unique properties -- in Audacity)?

It should be providing Audacity with stereo sound, providing that (1) the sound that is playing on the computer is stereo, and (2) you have Audacity set to record 2 channel stereo and not 1 channel mono.
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by countdowner » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:40 pm

Thanks, yes I am recording FROM stereo source(s) / stereo recordings. And I have Audacity set to Stereo input. Still have the problems described in previous posts.
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:10 pm

There may be a setting hidden away in the Windows Control Panel that sets the number of channels. I don't use Win 7 so I don't know for sure, or exactly where you'll find it if it is there, but see here for an idea of where to look: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer ... trol_Panel
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:17 pm

countdowner wrote:edit my own mp3's playing on Windows Media Player

Why not import them into Audacity? File > Import > Audio.

countdowner wrote: Windows Direct I do not know which to choose or how to decide (don't know the difference)

They are two different methods for accessing the device. in your case, if your project rate bottom left is 44100 Hz, it should not make much difference, but you still need to go to "Sound" in the Windows Control Panel, "Recording" tab, right-click over "stereo mix", choose Properties, click the "Advanced" tab and make sure "Default format" is set to stereo. I doubt it has mono choices, but you should check.

countdowner wrote: Digital Audio HDMI (I use this for sound when playing tv shows on my TV Monitor)

"Realtek" stereo mix will probably not record from that.

Next thing after that to check is sound device drivers:
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Windows_7_OS#drivers

If you are recording stereo some times at excessive volume and other times mono, well that's just what broken drivers could do...



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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by countdowner » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:05 pm

OK, thanks everyone - here's the situation now:
1 - I have Realtek's up-to-date driver already installed
2 - Realtek Stereo Mix is checked as default for Recording Device
3 - Everything is set to 2 Channel, 16 Bit, 44100 HZ, stereo to match Audacity
4 - Sound levels 100%
5 - I have no problem when importing an MP3 file - both tracks show differently to verify stereo sound; and volume is normal
6 - The problem is when I try to record "live" streaming over internet OR "live" from an MP3.

In both cases, it is still recording at a ridiculously high volume (the tracks' waveforms show up as an indistinguishable almost-solid-mass, even when the Input Slider is almost to the left. When I move it all the way to 0.1, I finally seem to get a reasonable waveform display ONLY for the left track, and the right track is STILL the "almost solid mass" still. (Sorry I'm techologically-challenged with regard to this, I usually use Audacity simply to record things and do simple editing, adjust volume, remove silence, etc...)

I appreciate how you are trying to help, thank you - sorry if this is getting to complicated. (Have any other users had this type of problem??)
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Re: How to configure Input Device for Recording

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:45 pm

(Have any other users had this type of problem??)

You're the first one, you lucky dog.

I was going to suggest that the system was adding the two stereo tracks to make one super level mono one, but your further testing says that's not the case.

Make sure Windows Enhanced Services isn't running.

Windows Enhanced Sound
http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41179&start=0

I finally seem to get a reasonable waveform display ONLY for the left track, and the right track is STILL the "almost solid mass"

If you have different left and right, then the system is in stereo.

Stereo Mix is not a guaranteed service. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The drivers, card maker, and Windows System all have to be in accord for it to work and it's becoming more and more common for them not.


On a completely wild guess, your drivers are shuttling the "foldback" mix into the Microphone system of the sound card instead of the Stereo Line-In. That would cause unstable nuclear overload of the sound system.

Do you have a microphone in the room with you and is it plugged in? Are you listening on speakers? People forget Stereo Mix is promiscuous.

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