Windows7 - Recording Using MS Sound Mapper

I am using a Toshiba Satellite laptop and it does not have “Stereo Mix” or “What you hear”.
Using Audacity Version 2 and MS Sound mapper, the sound is not very loud when recorded, not very even and has a tinny sound.
I have heard that Microsoft and/or the sound chip manufacturers could be responsible for this in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Is there any way to improve the sound with MS Sound Mapper?

The Microsoft Sound Mapper is not a real input/output. All that it does is to set the default input/output for Windows.
If you go into the Windows Sounds control panel, then whatever are set as the default input/output device will be the device(s) that are used when you select Sound Mapper.

It appears that both Microsoft and several sound card manufacturers are dropping support for “Stereo Mix”.
See here for more information and possible workarounds:

Thanks for the reply.
I have started using “FreeCorder” to capture any sounds from the computer, so far it is working OK, a pity Audacity can not pick up it’s drivers.

My friend is having the same problem, his system is dual boot XP and Windows 7, Stereo mix works OK in XP but does not appear in Windows 7, looks like Microsoft is the needle in the haystack.

With this type of carry on from them, I will not be upgrading to any further Microsoft products, Linux is looking better all the time.


looks like Microsoft is the needle in the haystack.

Oh, it’s not a mystery. The service is intentionally left out because it can screw up business communications. Windows is a business platform. Stability and repeatability is a big deal. Count the number of postings we get from people who left Stereo-Mix on by accident and now they’re getting multiple echoes, rumbly, squealing feedback and oddball sound problems. Macs have no native “stereo-mix” for the same reason. It’s unstable and you have to intentionally add software to establish a recursive sound pathway.


Thanks for the comment.
However, I do not agree, if people are that dumb they should leave computers alone.
I have been using computers in the business world from day one, first time I have heard this excuse.


if people are that dumb they should leave computers alone.

I’ll tell me mum you said that.

first time I have heard this excuse.

You heard it here first.

The other more conspiracy version of that is ‘who benefits from the ability to capture internet shows and music?’ Certainly no business I know. Microsoft, Apple, et. al. would just as soon spoon-feed you entertainment and content, billing as you go, in real time if possible. The software for Macs to capture content, SoundFlower is no longer offered on the Apple web site as it was for a long time. It’s on its own site and administration and is as a result more difficult to find. Microsoft has made Stereo-Mix progressively more difficult to find and in some cases, it’s simply missing.

But that’s just me.


As they have line-in and S/PDIF which are not so contentious as recording computer playback.

There probably is some truth in the conspiracy theory about media piracy, but to clarify this yet again Microsoft do not stop computer manufacturers providing stereo mix. The decision to supply stereo mix is between the sound card or chip manufacturer and the computer manufacturer. If those manufacturers provide stereo mix and do not disable it in the sound device’s own control panel, then it’s available if you enable it in Windows Vista and 7 following these instructions:
Missing features - Audacity Support .

You do not have to disable stereo mix in order to record from a microphone providing you change the input source to microphone when that is the source you actually want to record from.

Stereo Mix does not “screw up business communication”. I have an HP laptop advertised as a “business computer” on which stereo mix was already set up by HP.

Software playthrough (either Audacity’s software playthrough or Microsoft’s “Listen to this device” in the Windows “Sound” Control Panel") sends a delayed copy of what is being recorded to the speakers or headphones. This could be argued to “screw up business communication” (for example, internet phone conferences) which is why “listen to this device” is not enabled by default.

You should not enable any type of software playthrough when recording computer playback.

You should also as a general rule not record with software playthrough enabled in Audacity when you are recording from a microphone, unless you are listening only on headphones. This is especially true if you record from the internal microphone array.

So in sum, Koz, if you have a cut and paste that says Microsoft “removes stereo mix”, please change it for the correct version above. :wink:

Here is SoundFlower for Mac: .