Recording quality not as good as source [SOLVED]

Hi, I recently changed my settings in Audacity to record an old radio show in mono (1 track) that had been uploaded with only the right track having sound so I wanted to record it in centre so hence changed my settings to record it in mono and then improve the quality.

Previously, I had my settings in Audacity perfect so what I say heard on a CD, You tube music, anywhere, if I clicked record and then played it back it would sound the exact same and could then edit, save to mp3 if I wanted to keep it.

However, since I changed the settings I cannot replicate my previous settings which I did not take a note of.

I have spent hours trying to change sample rates, quality settings and though get close, it is still not the same as what I hear at source and is of lesser quality when recorded and then played in Audacity. I find it hard to explain but its like the bass and treble are not so pronounced and the mid frequency sounds are higher like on an older spectrum analyser that was on older Radio Cassette Hifi systems in 1980s/1990s.

I have attached a sample of music recorded from a you tube video if u listen to the you tube video and then the sample I have recorded in Audacity u will see it is not as high quality.

I have Windows 8.1 and yesterday reinstalled Audacity 2.1.0 and reinstalled the lame dll and FFmpeg 2.2.2.

I have tried recording via MME and WindowsDirectSound inputs and with different sample rates and quality settings but cannot find a perfect combination like I did have on this laptop. I find MME with StereoMix as input and Speakers as output and 44100Hz, 32bit float is the best but the quality or something is lacking CD quality.

I have attached screenshots of some of the Playback/Interface/Recordings settings as I currently have, as I say I have tried different high quality/medium quality settings but cannot seem to get it perfect as it was.

In Device Manager, my Sound, video and game controllers are:
AMD High Definition Audio Device
Bluetooth Audio Device
Realtek High Definition Device
The sound seems to be using the Realtek one which I have look into its settings but cannot find a solution.

Can someone help please.

Let me know if you need any more info and what to do.

Audacity forum screenshots.jpg

Plain Stereo Mix is not the best way to capture on-line content. What that does is send the sound almost all the way through the soundcard to the speakers, turn it around and bring it back in through the recording pathway. It picks up all the digital and analog errors along the way.

If you greatly offend the sound deities, you’re actually recording your microphone and speakers. With sound that dense, you won’t be able to tell you also have the dog, refrigerator and street traffic noise in the show.


I can’t work out from that what you are trying to record. Do you have a radio plugged into your computer somehow? Is it a radio show that you recorded previously? Is it a radio show that you downloaded from somewhere? Is it a radio show that someone has posted to YouTube? Something else?

If you want the exact YouTube audio as source, then assuming you have copyright holders’ permission to record it in the first place, download the video. Use your favourite search engine to find out how to download YouTube videos.

Then extract the audio by dragging the video file into Audacity (assuming you have FFmpeg correctly installed).

The only quality setting that will make significant difference to a recording of computer playback is if you record below 44100 Hz (which you are not doing).

If you cannot download the video then to get as close as possible to the original quality, record using Windows WASAPI host and the (loopback) recording device for the sound card. Click this link to find out how.

Use that Windows WASAPI host and (loopback) recording device whenever you want to record computer playback, even if the audio has a fault such as one channel missing.


Thanks guys, problem solved :smiley: :smiley: , tried your idea Gale and followed the link and was an improvement but not spot on until I went back into Speakers Properties and there is a tab called Enhancements which further down the list no visible until one scrolled down is “Loudness Equalization” which was checked. So I dechecked it and set checked to “Disable all sound effects”. After that what I recorded from say you tube was played back same in Audacity and can export to mp3 fine (within its limits of 48000KHz, 128kpbs which is basically CD/DVD quality) so seems it was not Audacity after all but some setting I must have somehow checked in Realtek Speakers properties either directly or via another way to it as I notice same “Loudness Equalization” can be accessed within Realtek’s different menus sound icon.

Thanks for your help and responses (btw Steve-the radio show was on, someone had uploaded with only right track, left track was nothing but low noise as I think was sourced from one of those old mono tape recorders in the 1980s (show was from 1988) so I must have upset my original settings when I was trying to find a way of recording it as center mono only.

All now resolved anyway. lesson learnt!

Thanks again.