audio host and recording device settings [SOLVED]

I am trying to record streaming audio via Windows Explorer. I’m using the audacity program on a Dell inspiron 15 5537
I’m running Windows 8.1 Audacity 2.0.6 and I think I obtained the .exe installer

Audacity gives me three Audio Host options including “MME, Windows DirectSource, and Windows WASAP”

There are various recording device options depending on which of the three Host options I choose: These include Microsoft Sound mapper, Stereo Mix (Realtek), the enabled microphone(s), the enabled speaker(s), and Primary Sound driver.

I’d appreciate any insights you can share as to what combination of settings would work best–I’m not having much luck. The only positive result I could acheieve was with the combination of WASAP-headset speaker-headset mic for the Host-playback-record options, but the recording level was very low.


WASAPI should be the choice.

I believe WASAPI captures the digital data directly so you may not be able to adjust the record volume.

Stereo Mix should also work since your soundcard/drivers seem to support it. You may not have this choice if you are bypassing the Realtek drivers and listening/monitoring through USB headphones.

[u]This page[/u] has some information about recording “what you hear” from your computer speakers.

Thank you DVDdoug–
You have helped very much.
To close the loop, this is what I found:

To record streaming audio with Audacity
Unplug the audio headset, if any, from the USB port.
Use WASAPI as the Audio Host
Select the built in speakers as your Recording Device
This will cause the recording volume in Audacity to be disabled—use the Volume Mixer for the speakers
This seems to give the best input for the Audacity recordings made on my Dell Inspiron 5537