New install - can't get Audacity to record

First off, I am by NO MEANS knowledgeable about sound and recording devices, etc.

I have Win7 Ult installed. I have verified there is nothing indicating a problem in Device Mananger and the recording device (Microphone High Definition Audio Device) is listed as enabled in Windows recording devices.

In Audacity I have tried MME and Windows DirectSound for the Audio Host and have tried a number of different configurations for recording device, recording channels and sampling rate for each of the audio hosts.

When I don’t get the Error Opening Sound Device message, in all cases the Recording Level shows activity, but nothing is being recorded - the Audio Track timeline moves but it is just a straight line.

I’m not sure if this is enough information for someone to help me, but I’ll provided whatever information you need.


I’m not sure if this is enough information

I’d start with what are you recording? Model numbers?


Assuming…you want to record what is going into your mic.
Are you using a headset with a mic? Or other external mic? Or are you using the mic on your computer?

Still assuming…you’ve checked and tested, and the mic is working correctly. It is recognized by the computer, and you can hear it (or someone you call/skype can hear it).

All that being a go:
In Audacity, your input shown is microphone? If so, then

What is the level setting of the mic in Audacity? It’s on the tool bar.


But another very common request is to record YouTube or other on-line sound. That has a whole different set of rules.

Give us a push.

Also, a note. This forum has pretty snappy response compared to others, so don’t take a week off.


I see that, Koz. You guys are quick! :smiley:

I probably should’ve mentioned this initially (sorry): The hard drive failed on the computer that we had Audacity installed on, so this is a re-install on the new drive of a computer on which Audacity had previously been running and properly recording. This is for sermon recordings at a church, so the recordings themselves are coming from the sound system output into the mic input of the computer’s sound card. So, in this case, nothing has changed except the fact that this is a new install of Audacity on a new drive in the computer on which Audacity had already been working.

SMc asked “What is the level setting of the mic in Audacity?” I’m pretty sure I checked that during my troubleshooting, but I’ll double-check later today.

I hope that helps some more.

Thanks for all of your responses!

If it’s a branded computer (such as Dell, HP, Acer …) and it has the original sound card, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the most recent sound card drivers for your machine and operating system.

If it’s not a branded computer, or if it’s an after-market sound card upgrade, go the website of the sound card manufacturer and download the most recent drivers for your sound card and operating system.

Also, see:

So Audacity will be running on factory shipped settings. Have you chosen the mic as recording device in Audacity’s Device Toolbar ?

The computer mic input is not a high quality choice for recording from a sound system - you would get higher quality from a USB interface designed to accept strong sound signals.