Playback device undetectable

Spent literally hours searching here and in the help guide. Bought a new Dell and downloaded Audacity and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to detect the recording device. Nothing shows up. On the old Dell I had a couple options. It has to be something in the computer. ? I have a Dell soundbar plugged in directly to the back of the Dell and it shows up as a playback device but nothing for the recording device. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Because of Privacy concerns you are not allowed to record on a new computer without first changing the Privacy Settings: Turn on app permissions for your microphone in Windows 10 - Microsoft Support.

Start Audacity AFTER you plug in your recording device (or do Transport > Rescan Audio Devices).

Then click on Audio Setup and select your Recording Device.

Thanks Jademan. Well, I did everything you outlined. One thing was off right away, I have Windows 11. Mainly I could follow your instructions all the same. When I went to microphone access it was already on. What wasn’t on was “sound recorder” - i turned it to on. Went down to ‘Let desktop apps access your microphone’ and Audacity was already listed there and it was switched on. Restarted Audacity and nothing. Still does not show a recording device option.

When I use to do this, on an old computer, I have no idea how I had this Dell soundbar hooked up but I suspect it was the same, but maybe not. Seems like I had those old rca mini jacks or something going into the color coded holes on the back of the computer. Now I just have an HDMI cable going directly into the back of computer.

I had Audacity set to start recording on sound and I would just start playing music off of i-tunes or Spotify and it would start recording on the first note. I would hit ‘stop’ when the song ended.

So I am confused. Are you trying to detect a recording device or a playback device as you have specified in the title of this thread.

I have been assuming you are trying to detect a recording device. I am not sure that HDMI is equipped to do that on your machine. You could check with Dell.

Note that Audacity is not going to find any recording device that is not known to Windows as it gets all of its information from Windows. See if Windows can locate your device: Right-click on the Speaker Icon on the Windows Task bar. Then select “Sounds” which I think is the 4th item. Then select the Recording Tab, and your device. Select Properties > Listen > then Listen to this Device. Windows will route all sound input from this device through your default Sound Playback device. Turn OFF this option when you are done with the test.

If your device does not appear in the Recording Tab box, then contact your manufacturer for additional assistance.

Sorry for any confusion Jademan. I titled the post the way I did because that is the selectable drop down box verbiage in Audacity — but I screwed up right off the bat. It is NOT the playback device that is undetectable it is the recording device. I am pretty sure in my old Dell it was a RealTek something. The sound card in the computer. I would select that and be good to go. This new Inspiron 3910 does not have RealTek installed, it is Cirrus Logic Superior High Definition Audio and that is what I was expecting to see available for Recording Device. (But maybe I am 100% wrong!) The instructions you give for selecting “Sounds” is not the same on Windows 11. Sorry. I am able to find it all the same and under a device for recording it says: “No input devices found”. Wouldn’t my ‘device’ be the sound card?
p.s. - I tried Dell. For a 3rd party app they told me to pound sand, or pay a stupid amount of money to hire one of their tech guru’s.

Well I must admit that I have actually done that but never the salt. :wink:

This has nothing to do with Audacity.

OK, so the Microsoft Sound app is not considered a 3rd party app. If you have Windows (from Dell) and if you have the cirrus logic hardware (from Dell), and then either it shows up in the Microsoft Sound App or there is a hardware or driver issue.

Are you sure that this hardware is able to record ? What are you trying to record, anyway?

I was missing that right at the top. “Detecting the Recording Device” is not the same as “I am trying to record my voice for a podcast.”

How old was the old machine? Recording internet sound is not for the easily frightened. You have to have a perfectly running playback system, and then a perfectly running recording system, and then connect them together. The music industry, who wants to sell you music, would just as soon you not be able to do that easily.


Thanks @koz. I misread fndooley’s post and thought he was actually looking for a real recording device.

fndooley: Two things to try:

  1. Select Host as WASAPI, then see if your speakers (loopback) aren’t available as a recording device.

  2. Back in the Window Sound Control Panel, which you found circuitously, select the Recording Tab. Then, when no devices appear in the panel, right-click anywhere in the panel and click “Show Disabled and Disconnected Devices” and see if possibly the old Stereo Mix appears.

I actually never thought it was an Audacity issue per se, but I did wonder after the last update if I needed to go in and set something in the preferences differently… or something. It has been over two years since I originally set up my Audacity add on. (It worked brilliantly too and I realize I am only trying to utilize a fraction of it’s capabilities)

What I am trying to do and have done literally thousands of times in the past is to play a song on my computer, now I can that with Spotify, i-tunes or Amazon music. Have used them all. If I like the song and want to capture it for my own personal library I would open up Audacity. I had it set to: record upon sound - or something like that. I would restart the song on whatever platform I am listening too and Audacity would record. I would have to manually hit the ‘stop’ button at the end of the song. Then I would save it as an MP3 to whatever folder I wanted it in and life was good.

(thanks for sticking with me. means a lot)

Koz -
fully and completely understand that the music industry would not be a fan of my practices here.
the machine is brand new. bought it last black friday. when it did work, i was using a really old machine. and old dell xp model. now i have a new inspiron.
the way i did it, as defined pretty thoroughly here elsewhere, worked just fine. maybe it was not of a quality standard that would be appreciated by die hard audiophiles, but listening back through a dell soundbar on my computer was quite adequate. i also used to transfer to an old i-pod to listen to on my twice a week, 5 hour commutes.

You are a freakin genius. I switched to WASAPI and Kazaam!
All is good in the world.
Worked like a charm.
I am back to my less than industry preferred practices.
i owe you one!

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