Sony Vaio and Audactity

This is a Sony VAIO with the Realtek audio system. Windows7 and Audacity 2.0.0. Audacity can see only the microphone/line as input and the speakers/headphone jack as output. The mixer software will not reveal any other connections to the sound card. Sounds like a bad deal for Audacity.

But, Freecorder, which I gave up because of the malware load, can grab the sound from the card. How is it Freecorder can do it but Audacity can’t. I must be missing some way to show the card to Audacity.

I don’t know the details for Freecorder (I don’t use it) but one method that software use to get round the lack of sound card support for stereo mix is by providing a “virtual” (software) sound card. The audio from the browser (or other audio application) then “plays” through the virtual sound card. The virtual sound card then forwards the audio to both the real (hardware) sound card and to the recording application (which may be Audacity or may be a recorder built into software.

An alternative to Freecorder that you may like to try is “soundleech” by Milo Software This software is currently free (although it says it is an “evaluation” version, when I tried it, it appeared to be without any crippling limitations).

Total Recorder is another option and though not free (commercial software) it has a good reputation.

SoundLeech looks as if it doesn’t have any explicit limitations. It can capture independently from different devices at the same time (for example, two different streams in different browsers) but only offers CD quality WAV (no MP3). After I muted a YouTube video then started recording with SoundLeech to see if it depended on the audio volume, it did not start and has not started since (maybe I need to reboot)…


Stereo Mix - Solved for Sony Vaio VGN-TT and Realtek HD Audio driver

My setup:
Vaio VGN-TT laptop
ALC889 codec chip
Windows 7 64 bit

After chasing down the numerous suggestions on the web with no luck, it came down to this:

No Realtek HD Audio Vista driver version from v 1.93 up to the present (v 2.70) would expose either the Stereo Mix device or the Realtek Audio Manager applet on my laptop.

But Bingo! v 1.85 (~ early 2008) does set up Stereo Mix, as well as earlier versions for Vista.

They are available in the archives.

My guess for what happened is sometime in 2008 with v 1.93 or so Realtek started to respect requests from Sony, maybe Dell, maybe others, not to expose the loopback ‘Stereo Mix’ device. So more recent software looks to see whether it’s running on a Sony/Dell machine, and if so does not expose Stereo Mix and does not allow the Manager cpl applet to run.

I have the following reply from a Microsoft engineer to a similar post at

We (Microsoft) have been asking drivers to expose only audio inputs and outputs that correspond to physical devices; this helps to keep things simple and prevent user confusion.

Windows provides “Stereo Mix” functionality via the WASAPI loopback capture API, so there is no longer a strict need for drivers to provide a Stereo Mix.

So it would seem that Audacity could hook into loopback capture even in the absence of a Stereo Mix device provided by the driver if Audacity were WASAPI-aware. Is that the case already?

No, Audacity does not currently support WASAPI, though it is planned in the future.

That’s the most clear suggestion I’ve seen yet that Microsoft ask that (I’ve seen some driver providers say that but Microsoft deny it). However I’ve never yet seen Microsoft say this “asking” is due to piracy concerns.

A tech support guy at HP told me recently that because so many products are now sold online where visitors can ask questions before they buy, they couldn’t afford not to provide stereo mix. Offered up for what it’s worth…