Recording audio from other PC programs reduces sound quality?

On Audacity 3.1.3, I recorded some audio from a DVD I was playing on my PC, then I saved the project as a wav file. When I played that wav file, the sound quality was significantly reduced, about twenty percent. I had to turn the volume up quite a bit to get the same level, and some higher note sounds were lost. Wav files are supposed to be lossless, right? Is there a way to adjust the settings to make lossless sound recordings from other PC programs with audacity?

Assuming that the DVD isn’t a DRM protected commercial recording, you could “rip” the DVD rather than recording it. (See: Ripping will give a digital copy, whereas playing and recording involves conversion from digital to analog and back to digital. Ripping is also much quicker than recording.

I hope you’re not recording acoustically through your laptop’s microphone!

The [u]WASAPI (loopback) method[/u] usually works “perfectly”. But it does record all of the sound coming-out of your soundcard including any “beeps”, etc.

…I’m not sure if any “effects” or “enhancements” get recorded with this method. For example, my laptop cuts the bass when I’m listening through the built-in speakers (because those tiny speakers can’t reproduce bass) and I just don’t know if that also cuts the bass in the WASAPI (loopback).

Wav files are supposed to be lossless, right?

Right! DVDs are 48kHz, so you shouldn’t change that (unless you have a good reason*). LPCM audio on a DVD is uncompressed 16-bit, 48kHz and if the audio is “ripped” to WAV, the audio will be identical except in a different “WAV package”. Dolby Digital is also 48kHz but it’s lossy compression so it doesn’t have a bit depth. But 16-bits is better than human hearing and good-enough for anything.

There are DVD ripping applications that can crack the copy protection and many of them are free. But cracking copy protection is illegal so l so I won’t mention them here. Just try to avoid the ones that are “adware” or “malware”.


  • If you are making a CD it has to be 44.1kHz.