Mute while recording

For many years I’ve been happily using an older version of Audacity to make recordings from the internet. I’ve now got a new Windows 10 PC in which I’ve installed Audacity 2.1.3. Making recordings from the internet on the new PC is not a problem, but I cannot find any way of muting the sound whilst recording. When I pressed the Mute button in Windows Vista the sound stopped but the recording continued. In Windows 10 the sound stops but Audacity then records nothing but silence. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Right… When you record streaming audio, you’re capturing what’s coming out of your soundcard.

I assume you’re on a laptop? If you have external speakers you can plug them in and turn-down the analog volume, or plug-in a pair of headphones/earphones to kill the internal laptop speakers. Or, you could get a cheap USB soundcard and plug nothing into it.

Or, you can try one of the 3rd party applications on [u]this page[/u].

Thanks for your prompt response. I’m on an all-in-one, not a laptop; there are no external speakers.
I understand that I’m capturing output from the sound card but that’s what I used to do on the old Vista PC where this problem never occurred, so I still don’t understand what’s going on with the Windows 10 PC.
HOWEVER, I’ve tried your suggestion to plug in some earphones and am very happy to report that it works: the Audacity recording continues but the sound is muted.
I’d never have thought of doing that, and very much appreciate your advice. Cheers.

Those solutions work; I also miss being able to click a button and mute while recording. Here are easier solutions that work on my desktop with stand alone speakers and Realtek Audio. This I think should work on all computers go to the playback volume it is to the right of the meters (the green lines that move left the louder the sound is) the playback control is the slider next to the speaker icon. It may not show if you do not have the program maximized, slide the button all the way to the left and that will do the trick. Even easier on my Realtek when you click on the speaker icon in the system tray (lower right corner where time and date is) I can mute speakers which does not effect the input to Audacity, System Sound would do that.

Thank you for your suggestions. I’m afraid neither of them works on my Windows 10 all-in-one with Realtek Audio. (1) On my version of Audacity (2.1.3) the playback volume is underneath the Record button. There is nothing to the right of the green line meters, whether or not the window is maximised. When the playback volume is turned down, Audacity stops getting any input. (2) When sound is muted using the speaker icon in the system tray, that also results in no input to Audacity.
So I’ll continue to use the method suggested by DVDdoug, and plug in earphones to mute the sound whilst recording.

Yes sometimes my playback volume is under the record button and sometimes it moves. I think it might be because I have a large monitor that is split in two. Where ever it is if I bring it all of the way down it stops the speakers but I can see the wave form still moving and after recording can bring up the playback again and it is fine. Perhaps it does not work for you because you have an all in one? Sounds like what you are doing works and is and easy fix. All the best, Steve

Has anyone found a solution to the “mute speaker while recording from speakers” ?? I have not and have tried everything suggested here, or anywhere. Any action that control the sound from the speakers, mutes the input to the Audc. system and the audio file created. Of course inserting the Head Phones works, but the phones load down the audio feed and results in a distorted output file. SO, I would be very shocked to learn that this is a design error, that MUTE was not designed in, but as many people that have tried and failed, it sure looks it. ANY HELP WILL BE REWARDED ! ! :slight_smile: :ugeek: BIG THANKS ! GRACIOUS ! DANKE !!

I started this thread in 2017 and until now have found that plugging in headphones worked fine, without causing any distortion. However, last week it stopped working. When the headphones are connected, the sound cuts out for about a second then comes back. I’d be very grateful if anybody can come up with a new solution.

Which sound “cuts out for a second then comes back”?

The sound that is being recorded by Audacity. See the first post in this thread. I don’t want to have to listen to the sound I’m recording whilst it’s being recorded. I’m looking for some way for the sound to be captured by Audacity without it being audible through the computer’s speaker.

I don’t understand what you mean.

I understand that you are recording sound that is playing in your web browser.

When you connect the headphones, what happens:

  1. to the sound coming through the headphones?
  2. to the sound coming through the speakers?
  3. to the recording in Audacity?

Certainly. When I use the WASAPI loopback method recommended in the Manual:

With that setup
a) I can use the speaker slider in the Audacity Mixer Toolbar to control the output level going to the speakers including down to zero.
Note that this does not affect the signal level that is being loopback recorded as that comes direct from the soundcard input.

b) Note that the Microphone slider in the Mixer Toolbar will not control the signal level - that must be managed at the signal source (e.g. the website that you are trying to record from).

In the days before we had WASAPI host and loopback I used to use MME host and “Stereo Mix” input device - with that setup turning down the speaker slider also turned down the signal - so I used to deal with that with a dummy 3.5mm jack (brand new headphones jack with nothing soldered on) inserted into the headphone jack. With that I got no perceivable distortion on the signal.


SOLUTION for my setup! I use Win 7 and Audacity 2.1.2.
I had the same issue. For years, I could mute while recording. Then yesterday, somehow Audacity’s settings got reset and I lost the ability to mute and record. I tried to adjust so many settings but couldn’t get the mute/recording setting back. I searched the net and then found this forum and then remembered that I took a screenshot last year of the settings I needed. I changed the settings back and voila…it works again! I can mute or even raise and lower the volume on the Windows speaker icon in the system tray near the clock with no effect on the recording. For me it was to set the Audacity Device Toolbar settings to:
Audio Host: Windows WASAPI
Recording Device: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)(loopback)
Recording Channels: 2 (Stereo) Recording Channels
Playback Device: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)(loopback)
You can also set this in Devices in Preferences.
I also set the Recording settings for Playthrough to Overdub, but I don’t think that matters as it works with that deselcted as well. Hope this helps someone.
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Thank you very much! I couldn’t get the headphones method to work, and I really appreciate having a solution.