Nothing being recorded

I’m new to Audacity and I’ve just downloaded v3.1.3 on Windows 10 32bit. All settings are set to default with MME selected but it’s not recording anything when I click on the record button and there’s just a flat line (the mute button isn’t activated). When I click on Start Monitoring on the record meter at the top, both the record and play meters meters jump around to the input signal (from Windows) at a good level which makes me think it’s a settings issue rather than a systems issue. I’ve tried different settings at random such as all the available input devices but to no avail (the WASAPI loopback just made a feedback noise). All the online articles and guides I’ve read assume that it’s recording ok under those conditions.
Any suggestions please?

(the WASAPI loopback just made a feedback noise)

Are you trying to record streaming audio (or whatever else is playing on your computer)?

If so, turn OFF [u]Software Playthrough[/u] because that WILL create a feedback loop.

If not, what are you trying to record?

Thanks DVDdoug. Yes I’m trying to record streaming audio and Software Playthrough is turned off, I only enabled it temporarily to try the WASAPI loop back as suggested in an article.

Actually, I noticed that it is recording something if I turn the input level up to maximum (at the top and to the left of the waveform) but with the record meter jumping around 2/3 of maximum the recording is barely more than a straight line.

Recording Youtube and other applications can create problems because you’re running both playback and recording channels at the same time—and both volume controls are active. But wait, there’s more. If you like Skype, Zoom, Meetings or other chat applications, they take over your computer sound channels and you can’t stop them.

Also of note, the blue waves only measure the loudest 30dB or so out of the 90dB sound channel. So it’s possible to make a “silent (invisible) recording” and boost it up to normal later using the Audacity Amplify tools. That’s not optimal, but it does work.

There’s wacky rules for the bouncing sound meter, too. The Audacity default is measure the loudest 60dB of the show, but the actual show has a 96dB range.

I change the meters to be wider and measure everything.

Screen Shot 2022-01-31 at 09.09.43.png

Thanks Kozikowski, I use chat apps but they’re not running at the same time.

I’m not sure I follow everything else, are you talking about recording at a very low level and then then normalise the level to make it audible? I’m sure it will work (I’ve not found the normalise function yet) but I don’t think it’s an ideal solution. I’ve made the meters as wide as possible but I can’t get much in the recording with the monitor level whacking up to about where it is in your screenshot.

I did find however, that if I turned every volume control on the PC and the app up to maximum so that it’s really blaring out the headphones (too loud to listen to) I get a reasonable recording that still needs to be amplified afterwards. I would have thought under those conditions the recording would be clipping badly, it’s as if there’s yet another volume control hidden somewhere that’s turned right down.