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Windows 7: Line in record with simultaneously playback : how ?

14 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7
Line in record with simultaneously playback : how ?

I'm trying to record my cell phone messages onto my computer as mp3's. All the audio capture software i've found will do this but, not at the same time 'play' the line in audio (which i need to hear how to control my voice mail system).

I can't use a splitter on the audio as it's a crappy old phone and the output is pretty low as-is. Any suggestions for freeware or not too expensive s/w that can do this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Does your cell phone offer the speaker phone option? That's where you don't have to hold it up to your ear to hear what the other person is saying.

In a "QUIET" location free of background and movement noise not placing a mic on a hard surface for example playing back the message with the phone next to the mic eliminates the need for trying any direct plugins to the phone. The messages would be recorded by the Windows sound recorder as wav files at first where you would then use any one of a large number of freeware wav to mp3 converter programs floating around the web to make the file conversions.

C/NET has a review on one Wav to MP3 Converter to look over and give a try. This would be the type of converter to go with over simply finding them on unknown sites since this site is offering a review. That insures any downloads are free of any "unwanted" items like adbots, spybots, and be sure to uncheck any unwanted tool bar addons with any freewares as well when going to try any out.

Can't guaranty the sound quality by way of cell phone speaker to mic however. For that you would need to test the idea and adjust the input level as well as how you position both mic and phone for the best recording. The file conversion is the easiest part!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7

yup, I could do cell phone speaker -> mic but, the quality would be pretty poor (the speaker phone sounds horrible) and, i'd need to get a mic :)

I tested the headphone jack ->line in and it sounds good, I just can't control the VM system
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 10 64 bit

Do you have the "System Mixer" (may be called Stereo Mix) in the Sound Panel/Recording Section? That should be set as the default recording device, and used by the recording program (such as Audacity). With the System Mixer any input - mic, line or streaming audio from the internet - can be recorded provided the recording program is set to record from the System Mixer.

If the System Mixer is not shown in the Recording section, RIGHT click in a blank area in that panel and then check both the show disabled and show disconnected devices. If the System Mixer is now shown, enable it and make it the default recording device.

If you don't have the free (and popular) Audacity recording program, you can download it here:
Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2012   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Well the main problem wouldn't be so much finding a recording program but patching the audio output from the phone directly to the mic or line-in on the card or board for realizing the best sound quality overall. If you attempt to splice into the internals on the phone itself to add a jjack or patch wire in forget the phone!

If you have recorded phone calls on a regular landline using a tape recorder patched into the phone line and the service has a 1-800 number you can call into and enter a pin code to retrieve voice mail that would be an alternative solution since you could then patch the ear phone or preferrably head phone jack to the line in on the sound card or board to record directly from. You wouldn't set this as a default recording device however since it wouldn't be detected as such like a regular mic however.

Previously here I've been able to patch a stereo tape deck into the line in to record manually by way of the Windows sound recorder to wav file format later converted to mp3 with good results. Once you record the voice mail on tape using a recorder patched to the phone line you simply put the tape into the tape deck patched direct to pc to see the playback there recorded into either wav or with the 3rd party ware mp3 format.

An old tape deck would offer the far better playback being a direct patch from phono out to line in over using the ear phone or headphone jack avoiding the "noise" of having the volume up too much or not enough. That offers a set level free of distorion. The problem of course comes down cost if not having those items as well as no longer finding them other then EBay!

That brings you back to square one all over again where a pliow mic or a mic cushioned to avoid ambenient noises like ruffling sounds, air passing the mic, movement in the background, etc. would be a record from cell phone speaker hopefully with the speaker phone option since we all know you wouldn't expect high quality output.

As you realize the crude method is available for a low cost over not being able to patch the audio output from any cell phone directly by hard wiring in any form. The best you can hope for is keeping the background noises from getting in the way as well as at least having a clear recording from the phone during playback.

The other problem to confront is which mic to use. If you get one too cheap or too sensitive that will also defeat the purpose and why cushioning the mic on the idea of a pillow mic in a super quiet area would be the ideal situation for seeing the best results.

Unfortunately retrieving voice mail online amounts to text only if your service provides that option. If you are able to download messages in audio file format on the other hand that's half the battle solved for you. The problem is most cell phone providers don't give you those options as a rule.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7

the suggestion of audacity was a good one: it supports s/w based pass-through (so I can record and listen (1 sec buffer) to what i'm recording.

this did the trick. thanks all,
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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