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In XP you could choose the Stereo Mix in the recording sound options to record sounds as they play on the computer but I can't find this in Vista. How can I record the sounds that play on the computer and not the ones from the microphone in Vista?

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from the accepted answer it's obvious that the question is not about an alternative to Stereo Mix (question answered by a different answer, the one on WASAPI in Audacity), but about the way Stereo Mix might be visible. The fact that you can access depends not only on making it visible as explained in the answer, but on the audio card and driver that you have. For example, I have a laptop that does not have Stereo Mix at all. In the initial form the title of the question may be misleading for others – cipricus May 12 '14 at 8:58
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Go to the windows Control Panel, open Sounds. In the Recording tab, right-click and choose Show Disabled Devices. Stereo Mix will appear (amongst other). Right-click Stereo Mix and choose Enable.

You might want to have a look at the device properties (right-click > properties) for volume and other settings.

You would probably still need to set the recording program you'll be using to use the Stereo Mix as a recording device.

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This does not work for me. I have 'Show Disabled Devices' already checked and I only see 'Microphone' and 'FM' there. – classer Oct 10 '10 at 12:38
@Adam Siddhi, that might be a drivers issue, make sure you have correct and up-to-date drivers (that support Windows Vista) etc'. – Eran Oct 10 '10 at 15:42

One alternative is to use a recording program that supports the Vista API specifically. The Vista audio API (aka WASAPI) allows a compatible program to capture the sound that goes to your speakers. This has the same effect as selecting Stereo Mixer as your "Record" device had.

Example in Audacity:

enter image description here

That's all there is to it. Record Skype, websites, games - whatever. Anything that goes to your speakers, goes into Audacity too.

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Thanks dude!! Finally I found something that works for me! I always used Audacity and never realized it allowed me to capture the sounds! – Nuno Peralta Feb 13 '15 at 6:17
I had to update my drivers to get the option for the loopback - which gave me the option of Stereo Mix, anyway. – lordcheeto Jun 26 '15 at 22:19

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