Say you want to record the sound coming out of your computer like — a skype call, music from online streaming service or let just say you want to extract a dialogue from an old movie.
For this, you will need to record the system audio i.e. the sound coming out of your computer. But the process is not that obvious. (see the video tutorial at the end)
For instance, the most popular way to record system audio is by enabling the Stereo Mix option under sound settings and then use any sound recorder to capture the system audio.
But unfortunately, in most modern computers the audio drivers don’t support ‘Stereo Mix’. Now, you can look for addition sound drivers on the web and you may get this option. But that’s too much of hassle. Right?
So, here are 2 alternate methods that you can use.
Record Audio Coming Out of Your PC
#1 Using Audacity (WASAPI)
This is the best method if you just want to record HQ sound coming only from Windows computer.
Download audacity (24 MB) from their official website and then install it on your computer just like you normally do.
Once done, open audacity and under audio host select Windows WASAPI and under audio source select ‘the relevant loopback device’ (though you can also try other source and pick up the best output here)
Next play the file, you want to record and click the small red button on audacity to start recording. You will see sound waves, this means audacity is picking up your audio.
The advantage of audacity is you can pause the recording or even edit it later. Once done, simply stop the recorder and under file > export your recording. The default is .wav file.
Watch the video tutorial at the end, if you not sure how to use audacity.
Overall the recorded audio sounds exactly the same as original one and without any noise or distortion.
#2 Using Male-to-male Audio jack.
Say the first method don’t work for you or you would like to record audio from an android or mp3 player, then this one is helpful.
You will have to buy a male to male 3.5 mm audio cable. I got mine for 3o rupees (less than 50 cents) from a local store. Usually, people use it to connect their phone to a speaker, so it’s a quite common thing.
Now insert one end of the audio jack to headphones and the other end to microphones slot of your computer. Now what it does is, it redirect the output audio as an input. So basically, you are recording from your microphone like you normally do.
Note: Some new laptops have a single slot for mic and headphones, so obviously this method won't work there.
Now play the audio you want to record (you won’t hear anything). Open any audio recording program like audacity and hit the record button. And it should work.
But if you don’t see any waves, make sure right settings are turn on. Like go to the sound recording settings (right-click on the sound icon at the bottom taskbar and click on recording device).
A new window will open with the list of few recording device. Simply right click and disable one and enable the other. And it will work.
Now, since we are just redirecting the audio using the cable, you can also use this method to record audio from your Android, MAC or anything with 3.5 mm audio jack.
Simply remove the audio jack from headphone slots and insert it in the other device’s headphone slot. And it should work.
This time, you might have to tinker with the audio source a little. Like for me, it only work with following settings.
Audio host: MME & Recording device: Microsoft sound mapper
Overall both these method work fine and should let you record system audio without any problem.