Hopelessly Idiotic - Dictaphone Help!

Hi all,

I used to use an old version of Audacity and managed to get it to copy my Dictaphone recordings, but can I make it work now?? It’s been quite a long time, I admit. I’m now on a W8.1 laptop and am using, I assume, the latest version of Audacity: 2.1.0.

How do I stop my laptop’s own mic from recording external noises? Also, how do I connect up my Dictaphone? I have a lead with two jacks on the end. I’ve tried permutations of headphone and mic sockets on my Dictaphone and the headphone socket of my laptop. I’ve also tried using my previous laptop which has a mic socket. Nothing works

What am I doing wrong?


You need to set the “recording input” in the device toolbar to the device that you want to record from.
That may be called “line in” or “mic in” or something else, but NOT “Sound Mapper”.

This may not work very well - it depends on your sound card. For many laptop computers the only audio input is a microphone input, designed specifically for a mono microphone. The output from your Dictaphone headphone output would then be massively too high and will distort like crazy. You “may” be able to work around that (if you’re very lucky) by setting the playback volume on the Dictaphone very low, but the sound quality of many laptop mic inputs are frequently very poor, so don’t expect great sound quality.

Many thanks. I managed to get the old version of Audacity working but, as you say, the recording’s awful. I don’t suppose you know of any software that could enhance the quality?

Is the recording too loud, clipped with flat topped blue waves? If so you cannot repair more than the slightest damage of that sort.

If you must record into the mic port or mic/headphone combo, connect from headphones out of the dictaphone, turn its volume knob down a long way, and turn the recording volume slider (mic symbol) down in Audacity:

Or buy a USB interface that has a line-in meant for headphones output. See USB Interfaces.


So sorry I haven’t answered this. I’m an airhead! Many thanks for your help.