Microphone Not Showing Up In Recording Devices !EXCLUSIVE!
In the Recording Channels dropdown menu choose whether you want to record in mono (1 channel) or stereo (2 channels). In general if you are recording a microphone or guitar you will want to record in mono. If you are recording a keyboard and the keyboard has stereo outputs you will want to record in stereo.
Microphone Not Showing Up In Recording Devices
On Windows systems, you may receive "Error while opening sound device" when you try to record. This typically happens when you first use Audacity for recording and have no audio input devices (or only the built-in microphone) showing in Device Toolbar. See Error opening sound device for more details on this error.
To investigate this further, exit Audacity then on Windows, right-click over the Speaker icon by the system clock and choose Sounds the click the Recording tab. Follow the steps on Windows: accessing the Windows Sound controls to show then enable all disconnected and disabled recording devices.
Many new Windows laptop, notebook or netbook computers only have a single audio input port. This will often be a mono port only meant for microphones. On some machines this single port may also be able to accept stereo line level input which is essential to record from standalone cassette decks or home audio systems. However the stereo quality or separation may be poor. See "How to connect your equipment" before connecting high output devices to a sole input.
For some users Windows 10 is now blocking Audacity from using the microphone, on the basis of privacy settings (and this can also affect non-microphone devices). After upgrading to version 1803, some users have been reporting that the microphone is getting detected, but it does not pick up any sound.
A problem of no recording level in Audacity is occurring quite frequently on Mojave and Catalina, due to Apple changing the Privacy settings for recording devices (making it more conservative, "safer"). Note that, although macOS refers to this setting as Microphone, it applies to all recording devices, including external USB / Thunderbolt interfaces.
Audacity does not automatically search for new external playback or recording devices (such as headsets, turntables or microphones that connect by USB cable) if you connect these while Audacity is already running. To solve this, make sure the device is detected by the operating system, then either restart Audacity or use Transport > Rescan Audio Devices in the Audacity Menu Bar.
Enabling hardware monitoring is not possible with all audio devices. In particular it can only be achieved when the same device is used for input and output. For example, monitoring a USB microphone through headphones that are plugged into a different audio device will always have latency. If hardware playthrough is not available with your hardware it may be necessary to listen to the audio source directly (acoustically) rather than through the computer.
Try lowering the recording level using the Audacity Recording Meter Toolbar or the slider in the operating system. You can also check to see if you can lower the volume on the input source itself (such as the tape deck, record player or microphone). Many sound cards and USB turntables or USB tape decks have an independent volume control for the playback signal level. See Recording with USB turntables or USB cassette decks for more help with USB turntables or tape decks.
If you are plugging a microphone or line-in input directly into the jacks on the computer, or recording computer playback such as Internet radio, choose the name of the built-in sound device or sound card.
In the Recording Meter, adjust the recording level using the recording slider (the one that has the "microphone" symbol) in conjunction with the Recording Meter level to set the correct recording level before starting to record for real.
For non-USB recordings, make sure you are using a clean, tightly connected stereo plug. Ensure that the computer port you are connecting to is stereo. Most microphone ports are mono. A laptop that only has a single input will usually offer only low quality, poorly separated stereo when using a stereo plug. You can buy modestly priced, decent quality USB interfaces with line level stereo input if needs be.
If there is no damage to the microphone's jacks and wires, and the microphone works properly with other systems, and your computer does not respond to other devices connected to the same port, then there is a problem with your computer port.
Disconnecting other devices may eliminate any interference with the microphone's connectivity. Try plugging back in the microphone after disconnecting all other devices to see if your PC recognizes it this time. If not, the problem lies elsewhere.
A problem of no recording level in Audacity is occurring quite frequently on Mojave, Catalina and later, due to Apple changing the Privacy settings for recording devices (making it more conservative, "safer"). Note that, although macOS refers to this setting as Microphone, it applies to all recording devices, including external USB / Thunderbolt interfaces.
You can go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound where you can find the headset listed in the recording devices tab. Right-click on it and choose to Disconnect and then right-click again and choose Connect. This should reset the connection and fix possible mis-connections.
When you see the recording not working in Windows 10, you must check the volume of the microphone levels. Each of the recording devices has its input and output level. Sometimes the volume of the microphone by default becomes mute. While working on a computer, you need to have an eagle-eye to spot the errors instantly.
Most of us nowadays use multiple recording devices on the computer. Hence a machine will not understand which recording device to use unless you give a proper command. When there are multiple recording devices, Windows 10 uses one of them as a default recorder. So whenever you want to record using a voice recorder, it will not allow as windows have used the default recorder, which is not applicable.
If you want to use Stereo Mix in Windows 10/11 and Stereo Mix is not working or not showing as a recording device, then continue reading below. Stereo Mix is a feature on Windows 11/10 that allows you to record your computer's output streams such as a broadcast radio, speaker output, live streaming audio, or system sounds.
As I said at the beginning of this article, Stereo Mix is disabled (hidden) by default and does not appear on Windows 10/11 recording devices. To activate Stereo on your device, follow the instructions below:
There are many applications, including PowerPoint that allow you to record your voice using a connected microphone. Such recorded voice-overs work amazingly well as slide narrations. However, if your connected microphone does not work using recording options in PowerPoint or another application, then you may have to first ascertain if the microphone hardware was detected or not by your Windows operating system. Also if detected, has it been selected as the default recording device? In this tutorial, we will discover how you can take care of these concerns in various versions of Windows:
If we are getting static noise in Skype, gnome-sound-recorder, arecord, etc.'s recordings, then the sound card sample rate is incorrect. That is why there is static noise in Linux microphone recordings. To fix this, we need to set the sampling rate in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf for the sound hardware.
Some Azalia based chips have popping/crackling noise and distortion while recording using a microphone with PulseAudio. This can be fixed by loading the snd-hda-intel module with position_fix set to an appropriate value. This tells the module to use various DMA pointer fixes. Use trial and error to determine which value works for you. (source)
Make sure you have alsa-utils installed, launch alsamixer, then select your audio device (pressing F6), navigate all the way left using the left arrow, and stop on Loopback, if Enabled disable it using the down arrow. This should not impact audio playback or microphone recording negatively, unless you require loopback mixing.
So the first step towards rectifying input problems is to open the Preferences and choose Devices . Find out what inputs are available and ensure that the playback and recording devices are explicitly set to the correct device you want to use. For example you may have multiple sound devices such as built-in sound and an external USB device, so you need to choose between them. If you are on Windows and experiencing problems, choose your sound device explicitly, not Microsoft Sound Mapper (which is intended to map to the currently selected default Windows sound device, but may not always do so correctly).
Note that some sound devices have individual analog to digital converters (ADC's) for the different inputs such as microphone and line-in. Where this is the case, these inputs are treated as separate recording devices on Windows (for example, "Line-In: Realtek" or "Microphone: SoundMax"). These inputs can be most conveniently selected in Device Toolbar in current Audacity but in legacy Audacity before 1.3.13 they must be selected in the Audio I/O or Devices tab of Preferences and not in the Mixer Toolbar selector which will be greyed out.
Windows 7 and later always treat recording sources as separate "devices", so on these systems the Mixer Toolbar selector in legacy Audacity will be greyed out and inputs must be chosen in the Audio I/O or Devices Preferences.
Note that if your selected recording device is a USB or Firewire device, these normally do not have multiple input sources to choose from, so Device Toolbar or Preferences will only list the device as a single choice and the input selector in legacy Audacity will grey out. This is normal, and just means that input choices must be made in the device itself, or in any control software that comes with it. Examples of devices which will normally not allow input selection in Audacity are the Griffin iMic, USB turntables or USB cassette decks and a wide variety of USB and Firewire mixers and interfaces.