Volume question


I have Audacity (2.0.1) set up with the following preferences (please see attached screenshots) on a Win 7 PC.

Yesterday, I tried to record the soundtrack of an online TV programme so that I can see the video/film on my screen and here the audio through my Dell speakers. There was no problem at all with the quality or volume levels. Then I hung a small microphone (the type you see TV presenters wearing on their suits and ties) over one of the speakers, but on Playback I noticed that Audacity’s sound levels were distinctly lower than what I could hear when playing the TV programme via the Internet.

From what I understand from the Audacity Help files, it is best to download the movie/TV programme and this I have now done (I haven’t tried the sound levels through Audacity yet when playing the downloaded version of the TV programme). Can I confirm that
my Audacity settings are as they should be and do I again simply hang the small microphone over one of the speakers (I don’t know of another way of recording the sound from the TV programme)?



If you’re enjoying the show stream, why do you need Audacity at all? Just play the stream either in your browser, Windows Media, iTunes or whatever player the show demands. Generally, the only reason you would use Audacity is if you wanted to keep the show for later listening or “convert” it for use in the car as a Music CD, your personal music player, or some process like that.

While “capturing” a show by hanging a microphone over the speakers works, it has the disadvantage of including the sound degradation of both the speakers and the microphone, and remember, when you play the show back later, you’ll go through yet another speaker with even more damage.

When we talk of capturing a stream, we generally refer to running the computer’s play and record electronics at the same time, recording the show internally from the sound card, not externally in the room with you. There’s two layers of damage missing if you do that successfully. If you’ve been reading the forum messages, this is recording Stereo Mix, What-U-Hear, or a service like that. This used to be really easy in the old days, but got harder and harder as the Windows versions advanced, but is frequently still possible.



There is also the possibility that, if you have installed the FFMPEG libraries, you may (not will, just may) be able to import the sound track out of the video file straight into Audacity.


Many thanks for your replies.

What I was aiming to do was remove part of the video’s soundtrack so that I can save it apart from the visuals, so I will have a look at the FFMPEG option as suggested.




Sorry to bother you again.

I am playing the video (with soundtrack) on my PC screen. The speakers are on fairly high (if I turned them any higher I would get complaints!) and I am attaching a screenshot to show what has been recorded. As before, the microphone is just dangling over the speaker (I have two), but there is no audible external noise.

However, when I play the introduction of the video’s soundtrack back, I strain to hear it (I haven’t touched the volume on the speakers themselves or in Windows), so I can only imagine that I have a setting wrong in Audacity itself.

Can anyone offer any suggestions, please?

Your peak recording level is around -24 dB which is very low.
To increase the recording level from your microphones, look in the Windows Sounds control panel and see if you can either turn up the recording level there, or enable “boost” to the recording level. See here for how to get at the Windows Sounds control panel. http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer_Toolbar_Issues#vistacp

Recording a video with a microphone is probably the last ditch attempt at getting the sound from a video into Audacity.
If you have downloaded the video, the preferred method would be to install FFMpeg and import the video.
See here for installing FFMpeg: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins#ffdown


I managed to download the FFMpeg library and then, with the movie soundtrack playing, Audacity extracted it and it sounds great and a at good volume level, so many thanks to all who have answered my questions.