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Record Music From Your PC Sound Card

How to Record Sound Being Played On Your PC

Ever been listening to something on your PC and thought how much you’d like to record the sound you were hearing? Imagine how useful that would be. This includes anything you are playing from the internet, such as Internet Radio, Vimeo or YouTube.

Well actually, when you know how, it’s a pretty easy thing to do. There a few ways of recording from your PC Sound Card but one very good way is to use free audio software called Audacity, which is an open source product. You can download Audacity and install it on your PC. It is simple enough to install by just clicking on the downloaded file and following the simple installation prompts. You can download it by clicking on this link: Audacity at SourceForge

Once you have Audacity installed, click the appropriate icon to start the program. When Audacity has started, look at the area of the main menu, at the top of the Audacity window, for the input source selector, depicted by a microphone icon. We circled it in red on the screenshot below to make it easier for you to find:-

When setting the microphone source selector you should select your PC Sound Card, rather than any onboard or physical microphone that might be available. This will channel the sound produced by playing anything on your PC to the recording stream, as we’ll see shortly. Notice also in the screenshot above that the dropdown selector to the right of the speaker icon has also been set to the PC Sound Card. In most cases, just leave the centre dropdown selector set to “2 (Stereo) Recording Channels”.

So far so good. We have Audacity installed and have set up the dropdown selector to the correct source for your sound card. Now it’s time to record some music so open up YouTube or any other website where you can play some music or some other kind of sound. All you need do now, at a time of your choosing, is to click the red record button below. You should start to see small spikes appearing on the two, blue stereo lines below. When you have finished recording simply click the stop button, which has a light brown, square icon in the centre.

Often you’ll find that recordings are a little on the quiet side but you can increase the audio volume of sound that you have already recorded by selecting “Effect” from the main menu then “Amplify” and enter an Amplification setting in decibels. Be careful not to hurt your ears by setting the decibel value too high so experiment a little with this. When you have your recording how you want it you can save it as a .WAV file. from the “File” option on the main menu.

Audacity is an amazing little software package, especially bearing in mind that it’s open source and free. It can do a lot more than the scope of this article allows me to explain here but there is an online manual available from the “Help” option of the main menu. It is also has the capability to save sound to an .MP3 file but I will cover that in a future article.

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Neil Smith
I am Head of Technical Services at Seaford Web Design and spent many years in the IT Industry working as a consultant web developer for many large banks and other financial organisations in the City of London. I personally have over 25 years of experience in website development and can help you find the right website solution for your business.
Neil Smith

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