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Windows 7: trouble recording from the desktop with Audacity


08 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
 
 
trouble recording from the desktop with Audacity

Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out a problem that is keeping me from being able to record from the desktop with the application Audacity v1.3.12 beta, which was recommended to me on this site.

I've already posted this question on the Audacity forums website, but I'm not getting any feedback there on this issue, so I figured I'd try this question with the real experts here on W7F.

My computer is running on Windows 7 ULT and it has a Realtec ALC888 (7.1 Channel audio) sound card in it according to the Dell manual.

I, like many others, would like to record a streaming radio show broadcast for later listening that is not available as a Podcast.

I have explored all of the links in the Audacity help, tutorials, quick start guide, wiki page, forums "Click here before posting" links and done searches on this subject and I'm still not able to get Audacity v1.3.12 beta to show a recording device in the "Prefs>Devices>Recording Device" drop down menu... it still says "No Devices Found".

I've read all of the info about various settings, variations on sound drivers and sound cards, line-out to line-in patch cables, etc.

I'm a new Audacity user, but I'm pretty adept with new software, and within an hour of downloading and installing Audacity v1.3.12 on this Windows 7 ULT machine, I was able to import 3 different sound files, edit them down to the 3 segments that I wanted to combine, and adjust the volume on one part of my new compilation of audio segments, combine them and export to various final files sizes of mp3s after downloading and installing the LAME encoder... so I'm not completely dumb when it comes to this stuff... and Audacity seems great to me.

But I'm still not able to set Audacity to allow me to record desktop sound based on everything that I have read. One thing is that the stock "High Definition Audio Device" driver in Windows 7 ULT is not a Realtek driver any longer... it is a Microsoft v6.1.7600.16385 (win 7_rtm.090713-1255) audio driver, as described in the driver properties panel... it is dated 7/13/2009, and it was installed from a fresh copy of Windows 7 ULT via a full, clean installation only about three months ago in mid-October.

Changing or updating the audio driver to a Realtek driver is not an option based on a terrible experience that I had with Realtek in September when Windows auto update installed a new Realtek audio driver in Vista and the sound was never to return with literally weeks and weeks of troubleshooting, re-installing the audio driver, 60 or so hours on the phone with MS tech support and continued failures with updating everything and anything in a suicidal Vista OS... finally, thankfully, I was able to install Windows 7 ULT after everything that I went through... now I have a very stable, clean Windows computer that never crashes, not even once in almost 3 months of continued use and installations.

So after all the hassle, and terrible experiences with the Realtek tech support people, I will not change the audio driver on this computer for fear of never getting any sound back.

And I'd rather not do the thing where one runs a patch cord from the speaker output jacks to the line-in input jacks to make this machine able to record from the desktop... then I loose my speakers and I can't hear what I'm doing unless I have headphones on and I don't want to have to continually plug and unplug wires in and out of the back of this computer.

I feel confident that there is a way to do this by way of settings within the Windows 7 system and within Audacity, based on everything that I have read... I figure that I am just missing something somewhere here.

I've checked the audio mixer in my Windows 7 ULT and there is nothing called "stereo mixer" nor a little wrench icon that allows me to change any other settings as describe in some of the Audacity online info... I clicked on the speaker icon in the system mixer but that just takes me to speaker properties and nothing to do with audio device choices for the system.

On the Audacity webpage titled "Mixer toolbar issues" and elsewhere, there are continuous references to the "Audio I/O tab of Audacity Preferences (Devices tab in Audacity Beta 1.3.9 or later)" that I'm figuring is where the root of this dilemma partially is... I've tried every conceivable combination of settings there... with "MME" in the "Host" dropdown menu and "Speakers (High Definition Audio)" in the "Device" dropdown menu, NOT with "Microsoft Sound Mapper - Output" (which the Audacity webpages explicitly said not to use) and with "Windows DirectSound" in the "Host" dropdown menu in combination with "Primary Sound Driver" or with "Speakers (High Definition Audio Device)", I still have "No devices found" in the Audacity "Device" dropdown menu.

I've also made sure that "Software Playthrough" is unchecked in the Audacity preferences recording tab... that is noted somewhere on one of the many Audacity webpages that I have read through.

On the Audacity webpage titled "Recording audio playing on the computer", at this URL... Recording audio playing on the computer - Audacity Wiki it says, "...use the appropriate "stereo mix" or similar input source on the Audacity Mixer Toolbar dropdown selector. Note: on Windows Vista and Windows 7, you must choose the appropriate Recording Device at Edit > Preferences > Audio I/O (or Edit > Preferences > Devices in the current Beta version). If you have problems, use the Windows Control Panel to enable and select the correct source or device - see especially the green panel "HELP ON RECORDING COMPUTER PLAYBACK OR STREAMING AUDIO" in that section."

So it says to "use the Windows Control Panel to enable and select the correct source or device - see especially the green panel "HELP ON RECORDING COMPUTER PLAYBACK OR STREAMING AUDIO" in that section."

But I don't think it means that there is a "green panel" in the Windows Control Panel (though by the way that it is written it sounds that way) when it says "see especially the green panel "HELP ON RECORDING COMPUTER PLAYBACK OR STREAMING AUDIO"... but the only thing to do with sound in the Windows 7 Control Panel that I can find is "Sound" and the recording tab in that panel only has choices for two line-in mics and a line-in jack.

I also read about the "Freecoder Toolbar 4" but I'd rather not use something that takes over my web browser and adds a toolbar to it... and I read some info on Applian's own website about how Freecoder won't start recording if the sound is already playing on the desktop when the recorder is started... I'd rather just stick with Audacity since I just installed that and it is supposed to be able to record on the PC desktop.

So to finalize this question, does anyone know the solution to this problem?...maybe someone who has had the same dilemma when trying to record from the desktop with Audacity?

Thanks very much,

digiday


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Jan 2011   #2

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Do you have something like this in your control panel?



Anyway, this should help you out;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9_pSLG0LZQ

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9_pSLG0LZQ>

If it doesn't, get back to me.................

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

"What U Hear" Recording - Enable

In addition to the tutorial, if any of your devices are disabled, highlight the device and select "Properties" and "Use this device (enable)".

Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 59
Size:  42.6 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Jan 2011   #4

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I will have to look and see what tutorials are available on the site here!

Just some notes from Audacity on RealTek;

QUOTE

HELP WITH RECORDING COMPUTER PLAYBACK OR STREAMING AUDIO There is often confusion over what source to use for recording sounds the computer is playing, and worse, this source is often hidden by default in the system mixer. The required source can go by various names such as: "Stereo Mix", "Wave Out", "Sum", "What U Hear" or "Loopback". The exact name (and even if you have such a source option) depends on the drivers of your sound device. Try to enable and select a suitable option in the system mixer as described below. Try updating the sound device drivers if there is still no suitable source.
Sometimes "Stereo Mix" can only be made to work by using the control panel supplied by the sound card manufacturer - this is often reported with RealTek inbuilt sound devices. Try launching the sound device control panel from the Windows Control Panel or the system tray (by the clock). If you see a volume control for Stereo Mix, try clicking to select it. Confusingly, some RealTek devices "select" an input by muting all but one, so in this case, mute everything except stereo mix. If you don't see Stereo Mix, click the wrench icon and enable Stereo Mix in the dialogue that pops up. In some RealTek versions the option to check is "Enabled recording multi-streaming". You should now see a volume control for Stereo Mix. Remember to select or unmute it as above. See this Forum topic for more help with RealTek.
Be aware that on some machines, the "Stereo Mix" option will never work because it is disabled internally by the driver settings due to copyright concerns. This is a known issue with Lenovo Thinkpad laptops, but sometimes editing the driver files can enable stereo mix.
If all else fails, you can connect a cable from the line-out (green) port of the computer to the line-in (blue), and choose the line-in as recording source. If you need to hear what you're recording, you can buy a single stereo to double stereo adaptor that will give you a spare jack to plug the speakers into. Alternatively, try Freecorder 3.0 which is a virtual sound driver distinct from your sound device. It installs as a browser plug-in. Note that later versions of Freecorder from the manufacturer's site do not record to WAV, forcing you to record to the lossy MP3 format. Or buy an external USB sound card, which normally offer a "stereo mix" type of option, such as the Trust Sound Expert External.
UNQUOTE



Anyway, that excellent tutorial posted by p5bdkw should help you out. If it doesn't, get back to us.........

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #5

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

By the way Digiday, this application will do what you want in e-mail. I have tested it on several mail programs and it worked on all of them;

Speak-A-Message - Home

<http://www.speak-a-message.com/en/index.html>

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
 
 
Audacity v1.3.12 beta... don't beta-gainst it

Hi Mike and "b5pdkw"... (sounds like you may know HAL 9000, r2d2 and c3po)

Wow, thanks for all of the info for me to get in to... I just woke up slumped over the computer screen (not really).

Until I can cover all that you have given me, here are all of the Audacity links that I was referring to that I poured over trying to figure this problem out... with the one's specifically about "recording audio playing on the computer" first...

Recording audio playing on the computer - Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recording_audio_playing_on_the_computer>

Help talk:Contents - Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Help_talk:Contents>

Audacity Forum &bull; View forum - Click here before posting
<http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewforum.php?f=37>

Audacity Forum &bull; View topic - Recording in audacity
<http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4594&p=17870#p17870>

Audacity Manual
<http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Main_Page>

Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audacity_Wiki_Home_Page>

Category:Tutorial - Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=Tutorials>

Category:Tips - Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=Tips>

Category talk:Tutorial - Audacity Wiki
<http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Category_talk:Tutorial>

Audacity v1.3.12 beta... don't beta-gainst it.

Thanks,

"Ill be buck"... quoting da formu failed Governator of Caleeforneea.

digi
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
 
 
allot of info

Hi guys,

I know that sometimes when one writes allot of info on a topic, it's easy to miss some of that info, but if one leaves out info, then responders say, "what about this?"... so here are a few of the things from my original post, plus an attached image showing the state of my various system, driver and Audacity panels...

"My computer is running on Windows 7 ULT and it has a Realtec ALC888 (7.1 Channel audio) sound card in it according to the Dell manual."

"One thing is that the stock
"High Definition Audio Device" driver in Windows 7 ULT is not a Realtek driver any longer... it is a Microsoft v6.1.7600.16385 (win 7_rtm.090713-1255) audio driver, as described in the driver properties panel..."

"Changing or updating the audio driver to a Realtek driver is not an option based on a terrible experience that I had with Realtek
in September when Windows auto update installed a new Realtek audio driver in Vista and the sound was never to return... "

"I've checked the audio mixer in my Windows 7 ULT and there is nothing called
"stereo mixer" nor a little wrench icon that allows me to change any other settings as describe in some of the Audacity online info..."

" ... but the only thing to do with sound in the Windows 7 Control Panel that I can find is "Sound" and the recording tab in that panel only has choices for two line-in mics and a line-in jack."


I'm still checking all the info that you provided for me, and believe me, I really appreciate it... but I haven't found the answer yet.

Thanks very, very much,

digi


Attached Thumbnails
trouble recording from the desktop with Audacity-collage.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
 
 
other stuff

Hi again Mike and p5bdkw,

I'm still trying to figure this out, but I haven't made any progress past my initial limitation with this desktop audio recording issue in Audacity... and the Audacity forum hasn't responded... maybe they are at a concert recording the audio.

Thanks to Mike for the speak-a-message.com reference... I'm checking in to that... the voice in the sample message on that website sounds sort of like Mike Meyers on the SNL "Sprockets" show.

I'm also trying to edit a MIDI file in Audacity, which the Audacity people say it CAN do... and it DOES import the MIDI file and display it in a special MIDI format preview within Audacity with a little piano symbol, but then I can't get it to play or edit... this is whole other issue and probably warrants another thread, but if anyone knows anything about how Audacity handles MIDI files, please wake me up with an email alert.

Thanks again,

digi
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #9

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Did you follow the post that b5pdkw posted?

trouble recording from the desktop with Audacity

That really must work!

It can be a bit of a trial getting this audio stuff to work as one wishes.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 ULT 32 bit
 
 
see that invisible devices are visibly invisible

Hi Mike,

Yes I did read that...

All of my invisible devices are visible so you an see that they are not there, right?

See this additionally attached screenshot...

In the attached screenshot, you can see that the invisible devices are visibly invisible... err... right.

digi


Attached Thumbnails
trouble recording from the desktop with Audacity-soundpanelcollage.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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