Query on Microsoft SoundMapper Input/Installation

Hi everyone,

I have a query on recording. In the previous programme I used to select LINE IN and got a reasonable but not satisfying quality on playback.
With the new programme I selected LINE IN and again the quality of playback was just about OK. However when I changed the recording input to Microsoft MAPPER LINE IN the quality of playback improved massively !!

I would be grateful if someone would explain to me the differences beween the various recording imputs

I have connected an amplifier/receiver and speakers via a minijack to the IN socket to my Soundmax integrated sound card.

Just one quick point on installation. I found it VERY EASY just to uninstall the old version and download the new version. I am not sure why other options are offered when for me this so easy and took 2 minutes from beginning.

Thanks in advance for your help
Peter Saphier

Microsoft Sound Mapper is a “virtual” input/output. It is like an alias or pseudonym for one of the real sound devices.

In the Windows Sound Control Panel you can set one device as the “default”. If you then set Audacity to use Microsoft Sound Mapper, Windows will connect Audacity to that default device.

Hi Steve,
Many thanks for your quick reply. Perhaps you could direct me to the area where the recording options are described so I can learn this subject. Just for my knowledge could you give me an idea as to why using LINE IN as the recording setting gives a much poorer recorded sound quality, nowhere near as good as MS Soundmapper Input. I did check my setting in Control Panel and it was set to Windows Default.
Best wishes,
Peter Saphier

I’m a bit puzzled by this.
I don’t use Windows very often, but as far as I’m aware, if you really are using “Line in”, the recording quality should be just as good as using Line in via the Microsoft Sound Mapper.

Perhaps you have not selected what you think you have selected. Could you list all of the options that are in the recording input menu of the Device Toolbar

Hi Steve,

The options in the recording input menu of the device tool bar are :-
MS Sound Mapper Input (Selected)
Soundmax Digital Audio, 7 options below :-
CD Player/Microphone/Aux/Line In/Phone/Mono Out/Wave Out
USB Audio Device

Best wishes

What is the USB audio device?

I haven’t got one !!!
The only things I connect via usb are
my camera to download photos
my remote hard drive to back up data
my wireless mouse
I have a powered USB hub
nothing else that I can think of !
All my audio comes from the computer or my amplifier/tuner

:confused: Strange.
Does your camera have a microphone?
If you disconnect the camera and then restart Audacity, is the USB option still there?

My camera isn’t connected !!! ever. I don’t have a microphone. I just take the smart card out and put it in a reader
I forgot to mention the genius usb webcam. Is this relevant ?

Ah, that could be it.
This probably isn’t relevant to your original question, but it’s good to get a clear picture of what is going on. If you disconnect the web cam and restart Audacity (or use “Transport menu > Rescan Audio Devices”) does the USB option disappear?

Hi Steve,
Have disconnected the webcam and the USB option has disappeared from the recording options

Well we’ve solved that puzzle, but it does not help with your original question of why the Sound Mapper sounds better than directly selecting “Line In”.
Have you checked that the Windows “Enhancements” are all turned off? http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/FAQ:Recording_-_Troubleshooting#enhancements

What version of Windows?

Do you have the latest audio drivers for that version of Windows, as supplied by the audio device manufacturer, motherboard manufacturer or computer manufacturer ?

See http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Updating_Sound_Device_Drivers .


Hi Steve,
Thanks for your help so far. We were in the middle of discussing my query concerning the above subject. Do you have any more comments please.
Best wishes,
Peter Saphier

I can’t think of any logical explanation for why Microsoft Sound Mapper should sound better than selecting the same input directly, unless as Gale is suggesting there is a problem with the sound card drivers.