If you are one of the many fans of Audacity, the much praised open source audio software, and you happen to have made the switch-voluntarily or not- to Vista, then maybe you have experienced some problems. Is audio recording in Audacity under XP fairly simple & straightforward a matter of selecting wave-out, stereo-mix, mono-mix or a similar recording device, in Vista this is unfortunately no longer the case, as you probably have experienced -otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog post now, would you? Don’t blame Audacity, however: Microsoft’s DRM (Digital Rights Management) is the leading villain character in this play. It all boils down to the fact that you can no longer simply record anything of your liking: wave-out doesn’t even appear among your recording devices. Is there really no work-around? Well, there is, but it’s perhaps best not to cry victory yet.
The silly thing is that, in spite of it not being visible, quite often wave-out is still a functional recording device; it is Vista that arrogantly hides it from its recording device panel. Now, to change its status so that stereo-mix does appear in that list, here’s what you can try. By the way, screenshots are from a Dutch Vista system -sorry for that, but I’m sure you’ll get the idea.
- Go to Sound in the Control Panel’s classic view and select the Recording tab.
- Click somewhere in the empty space in the central list pane (where the other recording devices appear) or right-click any of the devices listed. Make sure that “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices” are checked. Stereo Mix should show up (or mono-mix, whatuhear, or something similar).
- If you’re lucky, this may already do it for you. Right-click on stereo-mix and set it as default.
- Open an Audacity project. The dropdown menu with recording devices will still be grayed out, but via Edit > Preferences you can select stereo-mix. Sweet.
If you’re not so lucky (owners of a Sigmatel audiocard know what I’m talking about), then here’s something else you can try.
- Go and find the XP-drivers for your audiocard. But I don’t have XP, I’m using Vista! Yes, I know, but just follow along. If you don’t know which audiocard you have in your system, then open up the control panel and choose System > Hardware > Device manager. You’ll find what you need under Audio, video & game settings. Google the name of your audiocard, and combine your search with download XP drivers or something similar and no doubt you’ll quickly find what you need.
- Now here’s the trick: install the drivers in compatibility mode. This is how you proceed: open up an explorer (not Internet Explorer!), navigate to the drivers you just downloaded, right-click on them and choose Properties.
- In the compatibility tab, choose Windows XP-SP2 in the pulldown. Confirm via Ok.
- In explorer double-click the drivers to start installing them -reboot if necessary. Cross your fingers a go and check your audio devices.
I hope this helps for you. Good luck…