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I'm trying to record some of my work process in Camtasia using the stereo mix input. However, my headset microphone is quiet at the best of times, and no matter what combination of input and output volume settings I use, my voice is consistently inaudible. Know of a good fix for this? Should I be looking for a decent audio mixer--and if so, do you know of one that's as effective as it is free?

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What headset and what sound card are you using for recording? – Troggy Aug 24 '09 at 21:18
up vote 0 down vote accepted

In my experience, using a stereo mix or line in for audio recording doesn't work that great. While you can get some type of sound in, the quality is usually terrible. Putting that aside, you should isolate your components to see what is bad. Here's some ideas:

  • Try your headset on another computer.
  • Plug in a different device, like an mp3 player or a different microphone.
  • Use sound recording software like audacity (free) to look at the input signal.
  • Get another headset, preferably one that works on another computer.
  • Use a different input, like usb, to get sound input. You can buy usb headsets.

If you try all the things above, you should be able to determine what is busted and go from there.

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I'm assuming that it is a hardware issue. Either your microphone is not very good or your sound card isn't (or both). If you have access to a different microphone, try that. If it works, you can either get a new mic or a mic pre-amp which would boost the volume levels.

You can also try your mic on a newer computer. Try to use something logo'd for Windows Vista because those have much better audio quality controls than for XP. If your mic works on that other computer, consider getting a USB audio "gumstick". Those work great and can have better audio than XP-era motherboard audio.

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