I want to record several sounds with my video using audacity. I will be using a capture card to record Xbox 360 gameplay. The capturing software itself will be able to capture the game video and audio at the same time. Using audacity I want to be able to record my microphone as input and also sounds from Skype (my friend speaking over Skype). First off, is this even possible using audacity or do I have to use another program to record Skype? If it is possible, how can I do so?
There are numerous people that have claimed to be able to do it, but when asked “how”, they mysteriously disappear.
Audacity can only record from one “device” at a time, so to be able to directly record Skype and your microphone simultaneously you need to have both of them playing through your sound card, and then set Audacity to record from “Stereo Mix”. This runs into a problem because Skype will generally force the recording input to “Mic” so that even if “Stereo Mix” is available on the computer (which is often not the case on modern Windows machine) it will not be available while Skype is running.
There is special software available for recording Skype. “Pamela for Skype” is non-free commercial software that is designed for the job and is a reputable company. They offer free demo versions and a limited free version. I’m not sure what the limitations of the free version are, other than 15 minutes maximum per call.
There is also an experimental Windows version of Skype Call Recorder http://atdot.ch/scr/ which is free and open source. If you try this, please let us know how you get on with it and if you would recommend it.
There is also a commercial, non free program called “fraps” that is designed for recording games. I don’t know if it can record Skype at the same time.
Disclaimer: We do not endorse or support any of these third party products
Using dedicated software to record Skype is usually preferred because you can record yourself in one stereo channel and the caller in the other stereo channel. Using Audacity, both sides of the call will be mixed together.
It’s a few years since I recorded Skype using Audacity on Windows but it definitely used to work.
Unless recent Skype prevents Audacity using the sound device, it should still work given Audacity can choose stereo mix independently of the Windows default input.
I tested the Skype Call Recorder on the echo test and it works rather well. This will be good. I won’t need Audacity at this stage using that program. I may eventually buy a sound card that supports stereo mix and use that because my current soundcard doesn’t support it or I might just set it up without having to use stereo mix. I’ll see what happens but for now that Skype Call Recorder gets the job done. I recommend it for a free product.
I’m not sure how I would go about doing that.
As I said above I think the Skype Call Recorder will get the job done for what I need.
Thanks for letting us know.
I’ve used it on Linux and it worked well. Good to know that it works on Windows too.
I’ve just been trying it on a Vista machine with Realtek HD Audio.
Skype would only work when set to record from the microphone.
Audacity could record the local microphone when set to record from the microphone input.
The Sounds settings did not have an option to “listen to this device”.
Audacity could not record the local microphone when set to record from Stereo Mix.
If Audacity is recording from Stereo Mix before the start of the Skype call, Skype reports that there is an error with the sound set up and the call fails (hangs up).
If a Skype call is in progress before starting recording with Audacity set to record from Stereo Mix, then Audacity shows “Error while opening device”.
Ymmv but on the Vista PC that I tried it was only possible to record the local side of a Skype conversation.
Not by right-click > Properties over the mic? That’s a surprise.
Skype seems to want exclusive access to the sound device. I definitely did not have that problem, and I did have the benefit of an XP machine with hardware playthrough of the mic when I got it to work.
Just to clarify - were you using the MME host in Audacity?
Yes, but that is how it manages to achieve a high rate of “works out of the box” success. There are plentiful opportunities for voip applications to disintegrate into a mess of feedback and echoes, but these days Skype largely manages to avoid that, even when using the built-in mic and speakers in a laptop.
I tried MME and direct sound. Same results with both.
I was using Audacity 2.x but not 2.0.4 (not my computer).