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How to capture desktop audio with Audacity or similar programs?

I need to capture sound which is produced by programs.

I remember I should select windows mixer to record it, but currently I hear nothin with audacity.


Windows is Windows 8.

Is see in record device window, that no sound goes through Windows Mixer record device

enter image description here

As you see on picture, Windows Media Player plays sound, while monitor shows no activity.

Why? And how to fix?


Sound is visible in tray applet in the following way:

enter image description here


Windows Sound Recorder also records nothing.

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Make sure your playback is going through the same device as stereo mix (i.e. your onboard soundcard). Also, that icon looks more like line-in... – Bob Jun 26 '13 at 10:37
I hear the playback via my headphones. If this is wrong device, then where is correct one? The name spells "Stereo Mixer" in Russian. – Suzan Cioc Jun 26 '13 at 10:43
Are your headphones plugged into a analog port? If not (e.g. USB headset), then that would be a different device. Try the speaker output. – Bob Jun 26 '13 at 10:44
You might want to try to use Virtual Audio Cables to route your audio output back into a virtual recording device. – Oliver Salzburg Jun 28 '13 at 20:47

I am not sure how many of these steps have been completed yet, but I will try to cover the essential steps

Make sure that you have stereo mix output enabled in Recording Devices

You can right click on in the box to show Disabled and Disconnected devices. To enable a device, right click on it and select Enable

Recording Devices

In audacity, ensure that you are recording from the Stereo mix source

Audacity Source

If you click the record button, Audacity should now record a stereo track of whatever is being output by your computer.

If you have further problems ensure that

  1. All other sound devices are unplugged from your computer.
  2. Speakers/Headphones are enabled as the default playback device.
  3. Your audio drivers are up to date.
  4. All other recording devices are disabled
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