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Record Audio Card in Windows

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Paul Sauvé
My areas of expertise include:
- system and database architecture
- IT auditing
- ITS (or Intelligent Transport Systems) for the highway
How to record audio from input sources to your PC – connected devices, connected preamp to record vinyl discs, streaming media, that play through your audio card: Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 – both 32 bit & 64.

Record Audio Card in Windows

This article applies to Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 – both 32 bit & 64.
In this article, I illustrate the steps to follow to record any audio you hear through your speakers which is played through the sound card on your computer.

This tutorial addresses how to record audio from input sources to your PC – connected devices, connected preamp to record vinyl discs, streaming media (AUDIO ONLY), that play through your audio card.
 

Enable Stereo Mix

This is the key to record audio from your audio card.

If you are recording audio/video using ‘Line in’ and other software, please follow the recording instructions or 'Help' for the specific software you are using.

To record from the audio card on your PC, you should enable the Stereo Mix option, if it is not yet enabled.
Please check the setting using:
  • Control Panel -> Sound -> Recording tab
  • OR―right-click on the Speaker icon in the system tray (on right-hand side the of the Windows task bar) and click on Recording Devices:
ContPanel-Sound.gif


Fig. 1Control Panel -> Sound -> Recording tab






Right-click on Stereo Mix and click Enable to be able to use it.
 

Stereo Mix Not Showing


If you can't see Stereo Mix in the pane: right-click anywhere in the devices pane and check to ON for both the “View Disabled Devices” and the “View Disconnected Devices” options.

If you still cannot see Stereo Mix, then you should download High Definition Audio Codecs from Realtek.com.tw: http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads. Click on High Definition Audio Codecs (Software) and follow the instructions.

On the download page, find your OS:

  • Vista, Windows7, Windows8, Windows8.1, Windows10 Driver only (Executable file) – both 32 bit & 64 bit versions are there; make sure to choose the correct version for your PC!
 
When you repeat the steps above you will now see Stereo Mix in your choices – set as default device.
Here is MY view in Windows 10:
Recording-pane.gif


Fig. 2Enable Stereo Mix




First of all, right-click the audio icon in your system tray and go to “Open Volume Mixer” to open up the Volume settings pane.

Mute all the Application volume settings so you don't record any sounds for new mail, etc.


Mute-applications.gif




Fig. 3― Mute Application volumes




Now, to record, use Sound Recorder in Vista & Windows 7:



NOW, click on the Start button (bottom-left of screen), type in "record"  in the search box and select Sound Recorder
Record.gif



Fig. 4Sound Recorder in Vista & Windows 7




Select Start Recording and start the music from your browser and your PC will record exactly what you hear through your speakers!

When you press Stop Recording, you will have a WMA sound file that you can save on your PC - just navigate to the My Music folder and select or create an appropriate sub-directory to Save to!

Sound-recorder.gif



Fig. 5―Select Sound Recorder in Vista & Windows 7




OR use Voice Recorder in Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 10:

Voice-Recorder.gif



Fig. 6―OR Voice Recorder in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10




Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10
Click on mic to Start Recording and start the music from your browser and your PC will record exactly what you hear through your speakers!

Click on mic to Stop Recording, you will have a WMA sound file that you can save on your PC - just navigate to the My Music folder and select or create an appropriate sub-directory to Save to!

: Right-click on a recording to open default folder and find all files…
 

Conclusion


Now, you should be able to record the audio of whatever you hear on your speakers, no matter what the source, streaming or otherwise.
 

Caveat:


In Win10, voice recording is another subject! You have to change microphone back to Default Device:

  • right-click on the Speaker icon in the system tray (on right-hand side the of the Windows task bar) and click on Recording Devices
  • select your main mic and click on Set Default button
Mic-Default.GIF



Fig. 7― select mic and Set Default




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