Bad recording sound quality from web recording

I am playing music on my PC (Windows 10 Pro, YouTube) and recording the sound using Audacity (3.0.0). The music sounds great playing from the web site, but playback of the recording sounds awful, as if the dynamic range of the recording was horribly limited. I can’t find a setting called “Make recording sound crappy” that may have been set by mistake. Has anyone else had this happen? What am I doing wrong?

Recording streaming music on the computer isn’t that easy or simple. You have to connect the computer’s two natural sound pathways together and hope nothing breaks.

You can have help, too. If you like to use Skype, Zoom or other chat program, that can really confuse the setups. Make sure those are really closed and not just napping in the background. Restart the machine if there’s any doubt.


The usual cause for bad sound quality when recording sounds playing on the computer is recording with a laptop’s built-in mic rather than recording directly from the output.

Try the step for recording with “WASAPI loopback” described here: Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Windows - Audacity Manual