Having a problem recording stereo mix(SOLVED).

Hi all,

Years ago, I used to use Audacity all of the time on another computer. Can’t remember which version it was but I do remember not having any problem using it. I recorded from Youtube, videos on my hard drive, microphones, etc. It’s been ages since I needed to record anything. Have different computer now.

I’m using Audacity 2.0.1
XP SP2 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+ Realtek High Definition Audio.

So, here’s my problem. I want to record the audio of a video that I have on my hard drive.

I’m playing the video in my KMP player. I can hear the sound, everything is working fine but for some reason I can’t get any meter response in Audacity to record the audio.
I have selected (both Input / Output ) everything that is selectable - meaning i went through the entire list of things I could choose:
Primary Sound Capture Driver
Realtek HD Audio Input: Stereo Mix
Realtek HD Audio Input: Mic
Realtek HD Audio Input: Line
Realtek HD Audio Input: CD

The volumes in the control panel (advanced section w/volumes for CD, Line, etc.) are all at 100%.

There’s something fundamental that I am missing but I can’t see it.

I appreciate any responses.


Self-recording is not a guaranteed service, but it looks like your machine might work out OK. Some entertainment players establish custom sound pathways and don’t lend themselves to recording.



It shouldn’t be any different than recording the sound from a Youtube video should it? I’m not sure I follow you on what you mean by “self-recording”

I’m playing a video that has sound, the sound is coming from my speakers (meaning the sound card must be processing something) and I want to capture that sound.

Have you read http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_recording_audio_playing_on_the_computer.html ?

When you record your drums with a mic, it’s a physical input.

Stereo Mix is not a physical input.

The video player’s output device has to be Realtek or you will record nothing - Realtek stereo mix only records something playing on Realtek. So for example you cannot record something playing on a USB headset with stereo mix.

To record stereo mix in Audacity choose stereo mix in Device Toolbar - recording from line and mic won’t record anything.

You don’t need to record the video at all. Instead of throwing away quality by doing that, install FFmpeg ( http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#ffdown ) then drag the video file into Audacity and it will extract the audio for you without digital to analogue conversion losses.


Thanks Gale for your reply.

I did some research and saw that in Windows 7, you have to explicitly tell it to enable Stereo Mix. I downloaded the realtek drivers from their site. In the morning I’ll install it and see if there’s anything similar to that functionality in Realtek’s interface. It doesn’t exist for XP. There’s no way to enable or disable Stereo Mix as a device as you can in Windows 7.

Regardless of the outcome, I still want to be able to record on the fly if I’m watching a video on Youtube or some other site. If there is no setting in the Realtek interface then I’ll go back to an earlier version of Audacity and see if I can make that work. The version that was working perfectly for me back when was: Audacity 1.3.6
Thanks for all of the replies. I will look at all of the links that everyone has sent to me.

Audacity doesn’t provide any recording inputs (or playback outputs) itself. It uses whatever inputs the sound device has (including non-physical ones) and it calls those inputs whatever the sound device and its drivers call them.

Possibly. Make sure in Windows Sounds and Audio Devices (playback side) that you have the Wave output slider turned up.

I would also read http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Updating_Sound_Device_Drivers . Make sure you have latest drivers for Realtek and Windows XP SP2 but obtained from or made by the maker of the motherboard or the maker of the computer.

You don’t normally want to use drivers downloaded from Realtek because they are generic drivers that will not be exactly matched with your computer hardware. So they are “last resort”, but (probably) would be better than Microsoft drivers if that is what you are currently using.

Yes there is, in Sounds and Audio Devices (see above link). But Windows XP normally enables all or most of the inputs whereas WIndows 7 normally disables all or most. And (visually) you do have stereo mix enabled because Audacity can see it.

Even in those cases you can download the video or audio to your computer from most popular sites. And this is better quality than recording it. Search Google for how.

I really would not recommend mid-period Beta versions as there was a lot of experimentation and a lot of bugs at that time. In any case I think you are saying that you were using another computer then. That is more likely the important difference.


Please have a look at http://www.freemake.com/how_to/how_to_convert_youtube_to_mp3

Hi all,

I solved the problem. Audacity is working just fine and works like (actually better) than the older version I used to use.

I had to re download the Reltek drivers. Evidently with that. Once I did that, I was able to see the Stereo Mix option that could be checked, enabling that device, to be used as a source in Audacity.

I fired my KMP player, loaded the video, fired up Audacity selected the Realtek settings w/Stereo Mix and I had the input showing on the input level meter. On playback it worked great!

Thanks to all for their replies.

Is there a way to mark a post Solved other than putting it into the subject?

I would like to thank Gale Andrews for some excellent suggestions for improving the quality of the input going into audacity which was downloading the video to the machine and converting it.

I was unaware that Realtek drivers were just generic. I go to ATI or NVIDIA to download drivers for video cards and ASUS or MSI etc. to download drivers for mother boards, I assumed that the hardware circuitry for sound on the MOBO was Realtek.

I installed the latest NVIDIA and MOBO drivers when I installed XP on this machine, but for some reason that I haven’t discovered yet, those drivers which included the sound drivers, didn’t allow me to select the Stereo Mix.

I routinely re install XP about every 8 - 12 months when it gets slow and muddy or its Registry gets too convoluted to function as rapidly as a new install. At that time I usually check to see if there are any updates to the drivers for the machine.

I don’t like the extra bloat of Vista or Windows 7, not to mention all of the extra clicks [… “This operation needs Administrator Privileges…” a message box appears that needs the OK button pressed. I trained my dog to press it. “Here, Fido, press the mouse button; Right now, you are the System Administrator.”] required to perform routine tasks, and the fact that Microsoft moves ‘where’ the commands are located each time they do an update. There’s no new functionality (other than 64 bit and Direct X 11 for video games) that I need to warrant upgrading and learning where the functionality is located. I service clients with Vista and 7 and, personally I don’t see the benefit.

Glad you solved the problem. The audio drivers that came with the drivers CD for XP will be very old now, so the motherboard or computer manufacturer may often have a later version (if they still keep XP drivers at all).

No, but if we find a way to do it, I agree it would be nice to do this with a button. :wink:

User Account Control creates most of the prompts on Vista and later. You can turn User Account Control off or reduce the prompts in the User Accounts section of the Control Panel, but you should only do that if you are confident that you have up-to-date anti-virus, firewall, browser plug-ins and of course that Windows is updated.


+1 great idea (it would be good if that auto-locked the topic too)