I have no idea how to start...

Guys, I need help.

I’d like to record something from youtube as mp3, and I downloaded audacity. Now, I tried recording something, but it never records anything! I watched some tutorials on youtube on how to setup audacity, but there is a problem. Every tutorial says that, under “Edit > Preferences > Devices”, I have to set my playback and recording devices as the same. But I don’t have them the same!

Uhh…I’m not sure anyone can understand me (I have trouble understanding what I just wrote myself :stuck_out_tongue: ), so I’ll take a picture and hope you’ll understand what I’m saying…
Check out these 2 pics, there you can see my playback and recording devices…I don’t know what to do, which ones do I set, none of them worked…

If you can, please help me, I’d really appreciate it :slight_smile:

Yes you have to use the same named sound device for recording (input) and playback (output). The device name may be for example, “Realtek” or “SoundMax” or “IDT”.

But you have to choose the correct input device on that named sound device that is meant for recording computer playback. This input device is usually called “stereo mix” or “wave out” or “what U hear.”

The “Primary” input and output devices in your image are the default ones that are currently set in Windows. If you had chosen “MME” host in the first box of Device Toolbar, the default devices would have been called “Sound Mapper”.

You don’t want to choose the “Primary” or “SoundMapper” default input device because Windows is not usually set by default to the input for recording computer playback. You usually have to enable that input in Windows, and your sound device may not have such an input in the first place.

We do not make any of the YouTube tutorials. Please try this Audacity Tutorial in the Manual instead:
http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_recording_computer_playback_on_windows.html .

If you are still stuck please say what version of Windows you have.

Note if you search Google you can find how to download YouTube videos to your computer as an audio file, without using Audacity.


No no, I don’t need this primarily for youtube videos, I use a different thing for that, but I just mentioned that as an example.

I’ve been looking through that tutorial and I found no help there :confused:
I tried updating my drivers, and all of them are updated, however when I updated my drivers for “Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)”, which is my main playback device (if it means anything to you, I use “Blueberry SW-M30” speakers), it said that they are up to date, but when I click “Driver Details” it says “No driver files are required or have been loaded for this device”?

When I go to Sound > Recording and click “Show Disabled Devices”, I see 2 microphones (I have no microphone plugged in my PC), “CD Audio”, “Line In”, and a “Digital Audio (S/PDIF)” (only this one is enabled).
Under Sound > Playback there is “Digital Audio (HDMI)”, “Speakers” (which are active), “Headphones” (which aren’t plugged in), and “Digital Audio (S/PDIF)”.

I got a 32-bit Windows 8, and here’s a dump file from CPU-Z, maybe that will help you somehow…and thank you for trying to help me :slight_smile:
cpuz.txt (51.8 KB)

Here’s the simple run down. Speakers are an output. You are trying to record (Input) something that is coming out. There is no physical connection between.

If you were on a Mac, you can get software (like Audio Hijack) that will do the re-routing for you via software. But on windows, it’s a little more stupid.

For me, I have a mixing console. So audio comes OUT of the PC and IN to the mixing console. I come OUT of the mixing console and back IN to the PC. That way the PC see’s something coming into it so hey presto, it can record.

Now you can do a really crude method of this by plugging a 3.5mm to 3.5mm (Americans call them 1/8th plugs) cable from say Headphone out into Mic In on your sound card. BE CAREFUL though with volume. You’d want to start off with volume low as there’s a thing of impedance vs line levels and it can get messy. In all reality you shouldn’t do it this way, but I have done it before with some results but the volume is the key and I take no responsibility for killing your sound card. If there is too much level coming in/out you’ll blow your sound card to high heaven. By doing this short patch between output and input, you can then select in Audacity Mic In and when you play something, youtube, an mp3 etc You should see the meters moving in Audacity. Press record and bingo you are set to go.


I am not familiar with sound options, since I have never had any need for it (until now), so please don’t mind if I have a hard time understanding what you are saying :stuck_out_tongue:

If I understood you correctly, I am supposed to plug my headphones into my microphone jack? And is there any safer way of doing this, because, tbh, I can’t afford a new sound card right now, and I’m not sure if I should take the risk of killing this one…

Also, I’m not american, so feel free to use standard units :stuck_out_tongue:

Then why mention that as only thing you “need” to do? :confused:

Please describe what you are trying to do that you cannot do.

So enable all of them, if you are not sure which ones you want to use.

If you don’t enable a device in Windows, you cannot use it.

You probably have an internal microphone, and an external microphone.

The internal microphone records sounds in the vicinity of the computer through a very small hole or pair of holes in the computer.

The external microphone may be called “front mic” or “rear mic” depending where the microphone port is on the computer.

To use that external microphone device, you have to plug in an external microphone to the microphone port.

So what is the problem with playback exactly? Make sure “Speakers” are enabled and make it the default device. The external speakers you have want to be plugged into the audio out (green). How many audio outs do you have?

As Damien told you, speakers (or headphones) are an output. You connect something to the audio output port of the computer that can receive the sound coming OUT from that port.

So, you have to put your speakers (or headphones) in a computer port (1/8 inch hole) that is meant for connecting an output to. This port will probably be marked green. It may also be marked with a headphones image.

If you have a microphone port (probably pink) it is an input. Sound goes IN to it. It is meant for putting an unpowered (cheap) external microphone into. You sing or speak into the mic and if you have set Windows to enable the external mic device and you have set Audacity’s input device to the external mic then you can record your singing or speaking into that external mic.

I suggest you take this one step at a time.

Do you still want to know how to connect your speakers or headphones to the computer? If you are not sure if the speakers or headphones are working, right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Playback Devices”. Right-click over the speakers then choose “Test”.

If that worked, what exactly do you want to record?


I mentioned youtube because it’s a similar thing to the one I want to do. I want to record an album that’s not on youtube yet, so I can’t download it using conventional youtube converters. Specificaly, this is what I want to record: http://www.stonesour.com/albumstream

I have enabled all of them, and I still can’t see my sound card (“Realtek”, “Soundmax”, or anything like that…)

I looked it up, and the 2 mics I have in Sounds > Recording are actually 2 mic jacks. I have 1 going directly in the board, on the back of the PC, and one on the front (I use the one in the back)

There isn’t a problem with playback, but with recording. I can’t play anything, because I can’t even record. Whenever I try to record something, whatever the setup I choose, the sound lines in Audacity just stay still, nothing happens.

Also, I got 2 audio outs. Just like for the mic, I got one in the back, and one in the front. I use the back one…

I know how to connect speakers/headphones and a mic to my PC. My speakers work perfectly, tho my mic doesn’t, it’s broken. But I don’t see how could that affect anything (I don’t want to record myself singing or anything like that)…

So why not give the band a break and buy the album :question:

Without financial support the music biz will die and artistes/bands will starve. Nobody expects to go into a sweet shop and walk out with a Mars Bar without paying for it (unless they want to get nicked). :slight_smile:


It’s not that easy, man :confused: There is no way of buying that here, in Serbia. At least, not that I know of. Also, I got no PayPal and stuff…

OK so we are back to you wanting to record computer playback.

You mean you don’t see “Stereo Mix” or “What U Hear”, right?

In that case your sound device either does not support stereo mix, or you need better sound drivers to enable stereo mix.

If you were looking at the drivers in Windows Device Manager it may say they are up-to-date when they are not. And if the drivers are made by Microsoft those drivers are not matched for your computer. When you look in Device Manager, who is the “Driver Provider” for the sound device?

I see you attached CPU-Z but if you have a branded computer it is often easiest to get the correct device drivers from the computer manufacturer’s site. What is the exact make and model number of the computer?

If getting correct drivers does not enable stereo mix then you cannot record computer playback that way. You will need to use a software solution or do what Damien suggested (connect the audio out to the line-in using a stereo 1/8 inch cable, then set Audacity to record from line-in). Do you have a line-in (blue) port on the computer? You said Windows saw a line-in.

The Tutorial I suggested you read explained all this (read all of it from where it lands down to the bottom):
http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_recording_computer_playback_on_windows.html#Loopback_cable .

Do you want to try an experimental version of Audacity that uses Windows loopback recording to let you record computer playback? It does not depend on your sound card having stereo mix. It’s at your risk. It should be OK for recording a stream that you can stop and start exactly when you want.


Aaahhhhh I see :slight_smile: