Help, newbie here

Het all,
Thanks for any info you can provide. Here is my situation:

New pc - Dell Windows 7 64 bit

I cannot record on Audacity for the life of me.

I have found the info online about control panel - sound - recording - show disable device (blah blah blah) I did all that. I still get a straight line at 0.
I have reinstalled, rebooted, gone onto preferences and check all the different devices - nothing.

Can someone help me? I cannot think for the life of me what to do next.

Thanks for hearing me beg.
Hope someone has a magical answer.

I cannot think for the life of me what to do next.

Umm. Tell us what you’re trying to record?

I’m trying to record something on youtube. I tried the goto control panel - sound - recording - enable devices. My stereo mix is enabled as well as my mic & line in even though they are both not plugged in.
When I look at the volume by the clock on the bottom left I get volume from speakers as well as adobe flash but nothing else. The line is stuck at 0 for audacity. Frustrating.

OK. Calm down. Recording What’s Playing on the Computer is a special case and not all computers support it well.

Can you record anything, ever? If you plug a microphone in or switch to the built-in microphone, does that work? Plug your cassette machine into the Line-In? Even plug an adapter cable into Line-In and touch the RCAs?

Does anything work? Self recording involves keeping a number of balls in the air and it’s good to know which balls you’re missing.


Note that you cannot record stereo mix if you are using a USB playback device or if the audio you want to record is turned down or muted.

Have you tried setting the “Host” in Audacity Device Toolbar to Windows WASAPI, then choose the (loopback) input for whichever of Speakers or Headphones that you’re using?


OK no to the mic and line in question. I simply just want to record what’s online. I had the same problem at work a few months ago and I fixed it but I can’t remember how. I might have just gotten lucky. The answer to the volume question is that the volume is fine. I can see for the computer, adobe flash the volume bar going up and down and I can hear the music.
Does anything work? On my pc yes, it’s brand new. Audacity, no. I have downloaded it twice and it just wont record.
The “Wasapi” deal… everytime I change that I get an error message: “Error while opening up a sound device…”
Does the project rate have anything to do with it? I know my pc has been set to 98000 and audacity is at 44100. I tried to have them in sinc but that doesn’t work either.
I don’t have a mic or anything for the line-in part so I can’t see if that works.
Ergggg, this is frustrating. I never had this problem with my windows 2000 pro machine.
Thanks for the help though, I really appreciate it.

I simply just want to record what’s online.

There is no “simply.” Self recording is not a guaranteed service on computers. Some do it and some don’t and the ability decreases with modern machines. It doesn’t appear on the list of features when you buy a machine.

Macs, for one example can’t do this naturally at all without adding extra software.

As above, you can’t be using USB sound services anywhere on the machine. Some machines push playback sound all the way out to the analog services of the sound card and then turn it around and bring it back in, meaning you need to have everything up and running including in some cases the speakers.

If nothing works, you can do it with software. I think it’s still true that Total Recorder can manage self recording.

Other options are listed in the wiki instructions.


One other note, conferencing services like Skype grab and mess with the sound system. Those should be completely closed before you try to record anything. Trying to record both sides of a Skype call is notoriously difficult. The two different programs battle each other for supremacy over the sound.


Whatever host you choose in Audacity Device Toolbar you should set stereo mix in Windows “Sound” to the same as Audacity (stereo 44100 Hz), not have Windows set to 96000 Hz and Audacity to 44100 Hz. Alternatively if you check (tick) both “Exclusive Mode” boxes for stereo mix in “Sound” and choose either Windows DirectSound or WASAPI host in Audacity then the Windows sample rate will be ignored and Audacity will record at 44100 Hz without resampling if you set the project rate to 44100 Hz.

You should definitely use 44100 Hz project rate for WASAPI.

I suggest you go carefully through this page for more explanation: .

If all you want is YouTube, then download the video or the audio from it to the computer. You can do it by adding web browser extensions or typing the address of the video into web sites that supply download services for YouTube. This is better than recording because you get no quality loss. Search Google or Bing for how.

Of course we assume you have permission of the owner of the video to record or download.