Mic not recognized. Questioning Quality of Recordings

I just purchased a used MXL studio 1 USB mic.
I have Audacity 2.0.6 running on Windows 7 HP ProBook 6550b laptop (w/internal mic).
I see Microphone USB Audio (Codec) in the drop down list, but it does not record from the mic unless I select Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input
Other choices are: Internal Mic, Rec. Playback, Microphone (IDT High Definition) and Line In (IDT…)

The internal mic records when I select Internal Mic but the USB Mic only records with the Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input selected.

I’ve changed my preferences in Audacity:
Devices - Playback: Microsoft Sound Mapper - Output
Recording: Microphone USB Audio (Codec)

This doesn’t work. I have to either put it back on Internal mic for my laptop mic to record or Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input for my USB mic to record. That said, I’ve compared the recordings and the quality sounds the same whether I record from the internal mic on my laptop or use the USB mic. I understand that since this mic is used, it might just be a sucky mic, but I figured I’d ask for help before going to the expense of buying another mic.

So my question is … Why can’t I use the correct selection and recognize my usb mic? Is this impacting my recording quality since I can only record with the Microsoft Sound Mapper selection? I would expect recordings from a mic to sound better than an internal mic.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

I would expect recordings from a mic to sound better than an internal mic.

Unless it’s broken, yes. If for no other good reason that you can get it away from the noises the computer is making. It’s far easier to get the right microphone/lip spacing with a separate microphone and it’s easier to isolate it from from noises and echoes.

If all your stuff is vocal, you may wish to use a pop and blast filter between you and the microphone.


That lets you get closer without popping your P sounds like this.


This person is not using a blast filter and he’s way too close.

Once you graduate to a higher quality microphone, all the other recording problems crop up. Are you trying to record in a bare wood floor room with hard walls and ceiling?


This woman will always sound like she was recording in her mum’s kitchen. We can’t filter that out.


Thank you Koz for great help.

Have you tried inserting your mike before opening Audacity?

Strangely enough, but that seemed to solve it. I can now select the Microphone USB selection and record through my mic. Now the sound is loud and distorted. I need to work with that. But this solved my issue. It was so simple I feel like a goof. :unamused:

Anyway, Thanks stearman65!!

If you forget and insert your USB mic after launching Audacity, you can just do Transport > Rescan Audio Devices in Audacity.


Thank you Gale