Suggestion - Muting Live Audio While Recording With Audacity

I use Windows 10 and 11, Audacity Version 3.1.3

This is a question that I have seen on the forum for older versions of Windows and Audacity. I have not seen this item discussed using newer technology and versions.

There are many things I want to download into an mp3 format. I am able to record these items getting the quality I want as long as the audio is “ON”, meaning in order to get the recording you have to be listening to the audio you want to record. I want to record things while I am doing other things, like watching TV or listening to music on other platforms. I don’t want a lot of audio interference from the items I am trying to record.

Is there a simple way of “muting” audio without reducing the input sound wave?


Plug in some headphones, or even just a mini-jack plug, so that your laptop doesn’t play through its speakers.

I recently submitted a post regarding this very topic. The answers to the threads I have read regarding my suggestion include older versions of Windows and of Audacity. I’m hoping someone will address this enhancement using thc current versions of Windows 10, Windows 11 and Audacity release 3.1.3.

I appreciate your reading of my suggestion and give my thanks. God bless the Audacity Team. Is there a way I can financially donate to the Audacity project. It wouldn’t be much; I am a veteran on a fixed income…but I want to support this wonderful program and endeavor.

Sincerely, Robert Mele, Madera, CA

I’m hoping someone will address this enhancement using thc current versions of Windows 10, Windows 11 and Audacity release 3.1.3.

Can I guess from your post here that you didn’t get a very good reception in the first post?

Traditionally, Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters, or corrections during recording. Doing so invites permanently damaging live recordings and overloading the help system later.

We have enough posts from people who got stuck with computer, system, and chat effects that they didn’t want. We can always fall back on the idea that whatever bad thing happened to your show, Audacity didn’t damage it during recording.


Since you have opened a duplicate topic here:Suggestion - Muting Live Audio While Recording With Audacity I am locking this one to avoid confusion. (Steve may prefer to merge the topics).

Have you tried changing your Host from MME to WASAPI and recording from Speakers (loopback) ?

Hopefully, this quote will answer your latter question:

Topics merged.

  1. Audacity is not required for “downloading”. Actually “downloading” an MP3 will give you a perfect copy of the MP3, whereas “recording” an MP3 that is playing on your computer will give you a slightly lower quality copy.

  2. To record sound that is playing on your computer, the audio must be actually “playing”. As written, your question is equivalent to “how can I record myself speaking without speaking?”.

  3. The audio does not need to be playing through loudspeakers, but the audio signal must be coming out of the computer’s sound card, otherwise there is nothing to record. This provides several options:

  • You could set your computer to play through headphones and NOT wear the headphones (thus the sound card is playing, and Audacity can record what is playing, but you won’t hear it unless you put the headphones on.
  • You could connect your computer to an external computer speaker that has a volume control, and turn the sound down on the speaker.
  • You could use a mini-jack plug to mislead your computer into thinking that you have headphones plugged in.

Your best option is to “download” the MP3s, assuming that the MP3s can be legally downloaded.

BTW, this works on my computer. Audacity keeps recording the audio even after I mute the speakers. :wink:

Since you have opened a duplicate topic

All that and I think I answered the wrong question. You don’t want to auto mute recording between words or sentences, you just want to turn the speaker off during recording.

I have a small stand-alone music/speaker system on my office machine. I reach over to the volume control and turn it down.