Cannot reveal "Stereo Mix" or "Line In"

Greetings Folks. I know this has been covered before, and (I believe) I’ve tried all the tricks I’ve read about here, but still no joy.

Sony Vaio, Win 7X64 SP1, Audacity 2.X (current/newest), Realtek HD Audio. No “Stereo Mix” or “Line In”… just “Microphone” after selecting “show disabled/disconnected”.

  1. Tried updating (incl. uninstall/reinstall) Realtek driver from Realtek as well as Sony.
  2. Tried mini to mini workaround, headphone out to microphone in.
  3. Installed LAME and FF?? (sorry).
  4. Tried solutions for other windows OS’s, access from control panel as well as speaker in tray, etc. etc.

Assistance and/or patience appreciated.

Look at the possible solution by using the Realtek control panel here

You need a line-in (not mic in) to run audio from the headphones out using a cable.

Try SoundLeech here (don’t bother with Freecorder, we no longer recommend it).


Does your Sony Vaio have line-in? Most laptops have only mic-in and headphone-out.

I’ve tried all the tricks I’ve read about here, but still no joy.

I assume you are tring to record “What-U-Hear” or “Stereo Mix”, and line-in is only a work around? Try one of the software solutions… A lot of people seem to have good luck with [u]Total Recorder[/u] ($18 USD & up). It comes with a “virtual soundard” (and driver), so you are not limited by Windows or your hardware.

That reminds me. Sony Vaio’s used to have a software switch confusingly called (wait for it) “stereo mix”, which converted the mic input to a reasonably high quality stereo line level input. I don’t know if that is true on newer models, but if it is true, it ought to let you record playback with a cable. However you’d need a splitter to plug headphones into if you want to hear while recording. You could check your computer manual.


Thank you Gale and Doug. I seem to keep focusing on my inability to select or display anything EXCEPT “Microphone In” despite efforts mentioned initially.

Yes Doug, my laptop has no line inputs, only “mic-in”. That was my attempt at a workaround to display “Stereo Mix” as a record source. I’ll take a look at “Total Recorder”.

Yes Gale, looked at “Sound Leech”, but that seems to require a 2 or 3 step capture process before obtaining the end result (record audio only from Youtube videos).

I’m not trying to steal anything… need audio copies of tunes to practice with for a new band whose playlist I’m not familiar with. :wink:

If you have already tried the Realtek control panel for hidden ways to enable stereo mix, I don’t have any more ideas, beyond at your own risk, you can try the latest Audacity “Nightly” development build. This supports WASAPI (Windows Vista and later) loopback recording which does not require your sound card to have stereo mix ability. Choose the latest zip file from the top of this list .

After downloading, quit Audacity, extract the downloaded zip file to any location on your computer then run “audacity.exe” from the folder you extracted to.

Select the “Windows WASAPI” host in the first box of Device Toolbar . Then to record computer playback, choose the “(loopback)” input in the third box of Device Toolbar.

This is experimental, so you may get “Error Opening Sound Device” at times, and you may find the recording is too quiet, but feedback is welcomed.


Gale, I’m so sorry (or stupit!)… “Select the “Windows WASAPI” host in the first box of Device Toolbar”. Where?

This laptop has neither Stereo Line-In nor Stereo-Mix.

And it’s pretty standard, so yes, the software solutions are the way to go.


Thanks Koz… yeah, that’s mine. So, there will be no “Stereo Mix” option unless I do what? Sound Card? “Software” fix?

Stereo-Mix is a dance between the operating system, the sound card and the soundcard drivers. If anybody drops the ball, then you’re stuck with the alternate methods. Most Windows laptops can’t easily do the hardware loop-through method, so the only thing left is install software that internally “knows” how to do Stereo-Mix like Total Recorder, or can provide the missing pathways.


I understand, thx.

FWIW, I started a recording in Audacity a few moments ago after starting a Youtube video. This was after applying the suggestions offered by you and Gale above. It actually displayed a waveform and after output level adjustments, I was able to make a recording for the first time!

Realized it was recording, but through the built-in mic (after I heard myself on playback saying "Holy Sh**, It Works!).

So, I know it works, but not via the desired source, which I cannot make active. Does this help?

Check in the AM. Thanks again!

The leftmost box called “Audio Host” in Device Toolbar .

Yes you can record poor quality computer playback from the built-in mic, but who wants to do that?


Found a solution that may help others.

I’m currently using the “headphones out” on my laptop to my 2.1 “audio in”. Yeah, I know it’s not recommended, but it works very well after fiddling with levels to avoid clipping.

Similarly, I connected the “headphones out” of the 2.1 system to the “mic in” of the laptop, since that is the only input available. Again, due to level differences, some fiddling is required on I/O levels to avoid clipping, but the result is a high quality recording.

This will work for me! My thanks to everyone for the help. Truly appreciated!


Set Audacity to use “Windows WASAPI” nd all wiil be fine (at lease in my in my SONY VAIO DUO 13, with Windows 8.

There is a ready hardware solution. Use a Behringr UCA202 and strap the inputs to the outputs with a short RCA jumper cable. It even gives you a built-in headphone connection so you don’t need the “Y” cables.