How to record audio from your computer on Audacity

A question that’s often asked is “How can I record audio from my computer?”. Our first answer is to use Audacity. Audacity is one of the best audio editing platforms out there, and it’s absolutely free. Recording audio on your computer is pretty straightforward, but recording audio at the highest quality is another ball game. 

Filmmakers are in constant need to record audio after a shoot. Maybe the audio had too much background noise, or the audio cut out midway and the scene needs the audio to be re-recorded.

In today’s article, we will show you how to record audio from your computer on Audacity. Then we will move onto other methods to record audio on your computer.

Here’s how to record audio from your computer on Audacity.

Read More: Top audio editing tips on Audacity for filmmakers

How to record audio from your computer on Audacity.

How to record audio from your computer on Audacity.

When recording the audio on your computer we recommend using an external microphone to ensure the audio you capture is crisp, and of good quality. 

If not you can use the internal microphone and edit the audio a little later. 

Firstly, you will need to perform a mic check. To perform the mic check simply go to the Lab and click the microphone check option on the desktop. 

Quickly record something on the windows sound recorder to ensure it’s working properly. Simply click, Start > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder. 

If you are having issues with the microphone and it’s muffling or not working properly at all, you will need to go through the normal sound checks in the Windows sound settings.

Once you’ve sorted this all it’s time for you to check your recording settings within Audacity. As best practise we advise you to set your recording settings in Audacity to the following settings: 

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences
  2. Then go to, Audio I/O > Recording Channels – Mono 1, now click ok.
  3. Then select, Quality > Default Sample Rate – 22050, and click ok.
How to record audio from your computer on Audacity: Audio I/O Mono

To begin recording audio, click the record button and once you have finished recording your audio simply click the button again and export the audio. 

To export your audio, simply click File > Export As and choose your file type, file name and the location in which you want to store your audio. 

In the lab, you can only save to your temporary local file storage or to your AFS space. For MP3 files you must set the ID3 tags. Set it to ID3v1 as this is the file type that works best in most situations. 

How to record the audio coming directly through my computer in Audacity.

To record audio directly through Audacity you will want to use Audacity’s WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API) Loopback feature. 

How to record the audio coming directly through my computer in Audacity.

The WASAPI feature provides crisp and high-quality audio, ideal for voiceovers and documentaries. 

To use this feature, select the “Windows WASAPI” audio host within the Audacity platform and select the preferred loopback device. 

Either choose your headphones or your internal speakers, then you can listen back to the audio to ensure it sounds good. 

Now, this is a set up you can begin recording audio in Audacity. Record the audio in one take, even if you stumble you can edit it down in post-production. 

Once the recording is completed through your preferred loopback device, click the record button again.

And that’s it! You have now successfully recorded your audio and it’s ready to trim and edit it ready to add back into your project.

You may also like to read: How to remove background noise in Audacity

Other methods to record audio on your computer

If you don’t fancy using Audacity to record your audio, fear not! Here are another couple of ways in which you can record audio from your computer.

Use an Audio Cable

Using an audio cable is another, less technical, but works all the while!

To get started simply connect one end into the line-out (or headphone) jack on your computer, and the other end needs to be connected to the line-in (or microphone) jack. 

Now you will stop hearing sound through your computer, but you can still use the audio recording program to record on the microphone. 

If you want to hear the sound you are producing, you can use a splitter snd plug in your headphones or speakers. 

Now you can head back to your audio editing program (Audacity or similar) and begin to record. 

Stereo Mix

Stereo Mix is a unique recording technology that your sound setting in Windows may offer. It’s generally disabled as a standard on Windows, but it’s easy enough to enable. 

Stereo Mix

To enable Stereo Mix simply right click on the empty area and select both “View Disabled Devices” and “View Disconnected Devices”.  

You will now see the “Stereo Mix” option appear.

Select both “View Disabled Devices” and “View Disconnected Devices”.

To now enable Stereo Mix simply right click on the Stereo Mix and then click “Enable”.

You are now ready to record audio using the Stereo Mix functionality. You’ve enabled Stereo Mix and now you can record using any audio recording program you have. All you need to do is select Stereo Mix as the input device.

We hope this article on ”How to record audio from your computer on Audacity” was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments. 

Scroll below for more Audacity and audio editing resources, happy reading!

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