Bad sound using Stereo Mix

It’s from Rhapsody. The exact title is: “Rule Britannia”, HMS Royal Marines Band, Wartime Memories is the album. I was wanting a snippet for our vacation video. Actually I do that a lot, take snippets of songs, for our vacation vids. Sometimes I just rip the whole song from the CD or DVD and edit in Audacity. Those have always sounded fine.

Bill W.

I’ve just read back through your posts. Provided you were running the same version of Audacity on both laptops, the statement that I’ve quoted points the finger firmly at the hardware/operating system/drivers.

Steve thought so, too, when he wrote:

And then you confirmed it when you wrote:

Audacity is using the soundcard and its drivers, FreeCorder is intercepting the sound before it gets to the soundcard drivers.

It’s your hardware that is causing you this grief.

So WB1 was right. Always use FreeCorder to capture in Windows. Never Audacity.


No Koz, WB1 was not right - both my Windows XP PCs capture perfectly ok. includind streaming audio. :slight_smile:

However, my wife’s newer W7 laptop is a diffent kettle-of-fish - she uses TotalRecorder for web capture - as try as she might there was no way that particular laptop/soundcard/drivers could be bent to receive streaming audio into Audacity. :frowning:


Personally I think that we should stop recommending Freecorder.
The version of Freecorder that is suggested on the Audacity wiki is Freecorder 3, but (the makers of Freecorder) do their best to push Freecorder 4 which is loaded with pernicious adware that is difficult to remove.

Soundleech by is a bit quirky, but currently free and does not try to sneak additional (undesirable) software onto your computer.
TotalRecorder by is not free, but is frequently recommended as an effective tool and is also free of malware (a free, time limited evaluation version is available for “try before you buy”).
For “recording” from YouTube there are several free plug-ins for Firefox that enable downloading from YouTube (and some other sites).

Users should also check the steps in the Audacity wiki to ensure that Stereo Mix is not just hidden

Here’s where I would kill to have a vectorscope and I’m this close to dragging out my scope to watch, but two of the serious problems with the damaged capture are the lack of separation and frequency boost in the middle. Very much like you’re recording the show with a poor single microphone instead of full-on stereo. That’s not a perfect analogy because the bad recording left and right tracks don’t match, but the stereo presentation is nothing like the good one.

I don’t know what you could do with a sound card to produce that kind of error. Go to analog and come back? That would affect frequency response, but wouldn’t affect separation.

We shouldn’t entirely dismiss the channel imbalance on the Audacity capture. That’s consistent and also wrong. Koz

Question for WB1, Does your problem computer have a Stereo Line-In or only Mic-In?
Scroll down to Connections.

Here’s the proposal, assuming a normal laptop without a stereo Line-In, and also assuming that the drivers go all the way to analog and back when you select Mix-Out, the software will be routing stereo sound through a mono system and the result might be a mono mix on Left and a vestigial remnant “leakage” of the former Right on the Right.

Given a wide, lush stereo show like the “good” capture, this would create a very different sounding capture, but might explain all the symptoms.

No butter knife and the stupid don’t won’t stop barking.


Agree completely about the freecorder (v4) issue and all the “malware”. I don’t want or need all that crud. Which is why I opened this thread in the first place.

Yes, same version of Audacity for both laptops. Old one worked great but I had to turn it back in to get a newer, “better” laptop.

Will have to try the line-in/out thing. I’ve already tried to upgrade the codec but had no luck with 1) definitely identifying the version I have on the vendor’s website 2) trying to figure out which of the 20-30 to try.

Will also give the other recommendations for web recording. I’d almost be willing to pay for something at this point just to get rid of the adware but I don’t use it that often to really justify it.

Thanks goes out to everyone for their help and guidance. I really appreciated it. IF I happen to discover anything else, I’ll keep ya’ll posted.

Bill W

As I mentioned above my wife resrted to purchasing TotalRecorder (following a useful steer from Koz) when he new W7 laptop couldn’t be made to record streaming audio with Audacity. IIRC it cost her US$17.95 and she thinks it is well worth it. She captures with TR and them imports into Audacity for all her further processing.

For Total Recorder see:


I had exactly the same problem with my HP machine — with Windows 7 — fresh out of the box. After trying both Windows Sound Recorder and CD Wave, it was obivous it wasn’t the software causing this issue. After much fiddling around I managed to solve it:

Right Click on the speaker Icon on the right hand side of the Task Bar and select Recording Devices (or go through the Control Panel if the speaker icon is hidden or missing).
On the new window select the Recording tab and right click on Stereo Mix and select Properties.
On this second pop-up window click on the Advanced tab and de-select Enable Audio Enhancements under the Signal Enhancements section near the bottom.

Wish I had that option to de-select Audio Enhancements but I don’t.

Bill W

Have you the latest drivers Bill? I noticed that my driver was a later release than yours.