Poor recordings/ environmental noise due to microphone input


Since changing from a tower to a desktop Ive noticed a big deteoration in the quality of audio using audacity. This seems to be because both my record options (windows direct sound and MME) use the internal computer microphone to record sound. Ive tried disabling/disconnecting the microphone in control panel but no record source is then detected!!
Have I missed something? Is it not possible just to record the sound as it streams through the sound card without the extra unwanted environmental noise from the microphone? Can I add other record sources that audacity will recognise that doesn’t include the microphone input and just the audio stream from whatever source I choose?
Any help or advise very much appreciated

Many thanks

It depends on your sound card, sound card drivers and operating system. On modern Windows computers it is becoming increasingly rare. The option that you need to select as the recording input (if available) is “Stereo Mix”. Stereo Mix may be available, available but hidden, or not available. You need to look in the Windows Sound Control Panel and enable “disabled” and “disconnected” devices .

If Stereo Mix is not available, there are some alternative ways to download or record sounds playing on your computer: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer_Toolbar_Issues#cp

Many thanks Steve
Have checked for ‘stereo mix’ and its not there so i’ll check out your link

much appreciated