Recording Audio Off Your Computer

I have found quite a number of queries over this, so I am writing a four-step DIY piece. Very easy and foru steps and you are ready to go.

  1. Start Your Audacity
  2. Go to the Volume section of your computer and click on it.
  3. On Master Volume Tab, click on Options>Properties
  4. Select Line-In, Check the Recording button, and Tick Stereo Mix box.

(You can check out a very detailed instruction at this I have created, using screenshots for the less Tech Savvy.)

Play your device and click on your Audacity to record.

Very good writeup. However I would change the title.

“Recording Audio From Your Windows XP or Vista Computer.”

The instructions won’t do a thing for me on my Mac and the Linux people are over in the corner pouting. It doesn’t affect any of my Windows 2000 machines, either.


That was looking good ftc, but then your web page went off and I got the error message:
"Server Error
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.
Please try again in 30 seconds. "

Tried it again and able to read the rest of the tutorial.

Your instructions are nice and clear - the illustrations help a lot, but unfortunately it only applies to some Windows XP users. Many new computers with SigmaTel or ReakTek HD sound cards use custom interfaces which look completely different from the illustrations. This is the major problems in resolving these issues.

Can anyone help. I would like to record a phone interview using Skype and Audacity but have so far only managed to record my own voice. Is it possible to record a telephone conversation using Audacity? If not, is it possible to just record the “other party” and if so how?

Many thanks for any advice.

Note: I don’t use Skype myself, so please let me know if this works OK.
Note also that not all sound cards allow you to record from “stereo mix” - some newer computers (particularly laptops or computers with on-board sound) have this feature disabled. This appears to be most common with Dell computers with Vista. Sometimes a sound card driver update will fix this, in other cases there is no solution other than adding a different sound card or changing your operating system.

I’m a little confused, sorry.
Would this apply to the fact that I am trying to produce a CD from Audacity that can be played on a regular CD player?
At present all my songs are MP3’s and can only be played on a computer, argh!

Thank you kindly,
Ms. Cosby Gibson
New York State

Some CD burners can make audio CDs from MP3s (example Nero), but other can not.
If your CD burner can not make audio CDs from MP3s, open the MP3 in Audacity and Export as “16 bit 44100Hz Microsoft PCM WAV”
More information here:


IIRC iTunes should be able to make you CDs from you MP3s (you can download iTunes for free - you don’t need to buy an iPod),

Or you could import your MP3s into Audacty and export them as 16-bit PCM Stereo at 44.1kHz - and the use the WAVs to make the CD.

In both cases you will be stuck with the reduced MP3 level of quality at whatever level of compression you chose in the first place when the MP3s were created.


Thank you so much! Your responses really save my life. I’m just trying to put my music business together! :smiley:

Thanks again.

I think I’m dizzy. How many different questions did we answer in that one thread?

Please people, start your own fresh question. When somebody goes to search the system for an answer we have already covered, they’re not going to find any conversations but the first one.

<<<regular CD player? >>>

This would be a “Music CD” or more properly, a Red Book Music CD from the document describing it. We run into all sorts of problems with people making a Data CD with MP3 songs on it. These will play in most computers and some CD players leading people to think they made a Music CD, when they have not at all. It used to be safe to put your mystery CD in your car because very few of them would play anything but “real” Music CDs. Not any more. My sister recently got a new player in the car that will play anything.


Oh, and Easy CD Creator will cheerfully make a Music CD from MP3 songs. Yes, the note above about music damage is true. Once you subject a song to MP3 damage, the song will never get better, no matter how high a quality to you convert it to. The joke is that after you convert a ratty MP3 to high quality 44100, 16-bit, the music will not change, but the damage will be much clearer.



Maybe someone has answerd this before…i’m sorry.
But i’m new to this forum stuff. And sorry for my bad english.

I must ask this.

This is really getting on my nerves.

In Xp i Can record FROM the computer…so the sound that i hear in my speakers when i’m listning to a song at Ex Youtube i can record it in Audacity.

I can’t do this in Vista cus the Mixer Toolbar input selector will be always be greyed out.

I cant find a way to Choose the input so i can record sound FROM the computer. It worked so well in XP

I have read A LOT of help manuals but None works for me.

When i click on Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O tab, in the “Recording Device” dropdown i cant choose anything else but the Mic.

Can someone please tell me HOW TO RECORD SOUND FROM THE COMPUTER??


this page from the Audacity Wiki should help you:

If you still can’t get it to work then a possible solution would be to buy an external USB souncard and loop back the outputs to the inputs.