There are many ways to record sound files playing from your PC without the need for an external device like a microphone or an audio recorder. There are free apps and software that you can use and a neat hack on how to record computer audio. As long as your resulting audio recordings are only for your personal use and not for unauthorized distribution, then you can freely consider three options.
Three Options on How to Record Computer Audio
Creating sound effects, whether it is for music or film, is a great way to engage audiences. People have a short attention span. Therefore, when delivering information, doing it in a unique and appealing way is important. Using effective techniques can help you achieve your goal.
When it comes to creating music and films, incorporating sound effects is one great approach. Today, learning how to make audio sound muffled is one of the most sought topics on the internet. Let’s learn more together.
Option 1. Record Using the Free Audacity App
The first option on how to record computer audio is to use a free app. Audacity allows you to record the sound playing on your computer through its Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI) feature, available in Windows 7, 8, and 10. All you have to do is download the Audacity app on your computer.
Here are the steps you can follow:
Once you have downloaded Audacity, select ‘Windows WASAPI’ from the audio host drop-down menu.
Choose the device that applies to you, whether it’s ‘Speakers (loopback)’ or ‘Headphones (loopback).’ For example, if the music you plan to record is coming through your computer speakers, select ‘Speakers (loopback).’ When you choose either of these loopback options, Audacity will record only the audio or music file playing through your computer’s music player and not any of your typing and mouse clicks while the recording is in progress.
Play the music or audio file using your chosen music player on your computer.
Click the ‘Record’ button on Audacity. This will prompt the app to begin the recording of the audio coming out of your computer.
Click ‘Stop’ on the top left corner of Audacity when you are done recording.
Additionally, it is best to disable ‘Software Playthrough’ so that your recording would be free from unwanted noise, like warped sounds and feedback. Click the ‘Transport’ menu, choose ‘Transport Options’, and make sure that the ‘Software Playthrough’ is not ticked off.
You may also wish to trim your sound recording to achieve your desired length in the Audacity app.
Option 2: Recording Using Stereo Mix
Enabling Stereo Mix in Windows is also one way to record audio from your PC. Check your drivers for the Stereo Mix option. Stereo Mix is also called ‘What U Hear.’ Here are some steps to guide you:
Enable Stereo Mix audio source on Windows by going to your system tray, right-clicking on the audio icon, and selecting ‘Recording Devices.’
‘Recording Devices’ will then lead you to its settings pane. Right-click on any blank space on this pane to reveal ‘View Disabled Devices’ and ‘View Disconnected Devices.’ Ensure that both are checked, then a Stereo Mix option will show.
Make a right-click on ‘Stereo Mix’ and select ‘Enable.’ Now you’re ready to record audio using Stereo Mix.
Select ‘Stereo Mix’ as the input device in any audio-recording program. The other option in the selection would be the ‘microphone’ option.
Just a caveat: not all computers have the Stereo Mix option, especially the more modern models. But what’s good is that there are a host of possibilities on how to record computer audio. Read further for our third option, which is a nice little recording trick.
Option 3. Using an Audio Cable
The third hack on how to record computer audio is to use an audio cable. You will need an audio cable with a male 3.5 mm connector on both ends for this hack. It will not guarantee the best results, but this hack will work just fine. This option is best when you are pushed to the wall and have no access to software, apps, or features like Stereo Mix and Audacity.
Plug the audio cable into the headphone jack on your PC. This is also called a ‘line-out’ jack.
Plug the other end of the audio cable into the microphone or line-in jack.
Start your audio-recording program to begin capturing the sound you wish to record. By now, though, you won’t be hearing any sound coming through your PC because of the audio cable. Rest assured that your sound continues to be recorded.
If you wish to continue hearing the sound from your PC even with the cables plugged, you may use a splitter to guide the music or audio file to come through your headphones or speakers, depending on the audio output you currently use.
Comparing these three options on how to record computer audio, your best bet is Audacity’s WASAPI loopback for the sound quality it gives you. Since the recording of Audacity’s WASAPI loopback is digital throughout, you are assured of more integrity in the resulting audio. It’s also more easily available than a Stereo Mix, which some computers do not automatically come with. Remember, though, that these recordings ought to be for your consumption only; otherwise, you might run the risk of violating copyright laws. Find out more about how to record computer audio here!