How can I get Audacity to record computer output more clearly?

A while ago, on my older computer I used audacity to record music and other things from the audio output from my computer without losing quality.  I've recently decided to try doing this again on my new computer, however when I record, its very quiet in comparison to the output and it almost sounds like it is being recorded from an outside source, like holding up a microphone to a low-quality speaker. I've tested if it was just recording from the microphone on my headset, but it was not.

Is there any way I could record the output at the same volume that it is played at and at the same quality?  I'm currently on the Beta version of audacity because the older version does not support Windows 7, I think that may be a factor in why this is happening.

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thegeeke6 years ago
As a sound engineer, I have found that the beta version is actually better than the older version. Let me ask this though, are you using a 1/8 in. to 1/8 in. cord, or are you recording directly from your sound card? (Some sound cards support this, while others don't.) Also, are you recording in mono or stereo?

I have had the best results for doing this by using an 1/8 in. to 1/8 in. cord, and recording in stereo. (Although, depending on what you are doing you may not want to record in stereo... what are you recording?)

Also, this may sound very simple, but double check to make sure that your input gain is up.

Once you post some more info, I will probably be able to give you more suggestions if these don't work.
Fizzxwizz (author)  thegeeke6 years ago
I am not using any cords, I'm attempting to record from the sound card. The way I have my inputs set up in audacity right now is... Audio Host- MME, Output Device- Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio) And the input channel is Mono. I tried raising the gain on the track. It made it much easier to hear but it still has quite a bit of static in the background. It also still has the effect of trying to record a song that is far away or in the background using a low quality microphone or using a video camera.

Here's a screenshot of what it looks like to me, what I recorded was part of a song on full volume.
I see... in all honesty, it looks as if your sound card wasn't really built to do that. A really good way around that would be to take a 1/8 in. to 1/8 in. cord, and plug it into both your headphone/speaker jack and your mic input. Those cords are only about $10 for a good one.

Unless you custom built your computer, most sound cards that come in computers today have that problem.
Fizzxwizz (author)  thegeeke6 years ago
Than you for all of your help, where would you recommend buying one of those cords?
thegeeke6 years ago
Any walmart etc. would have it... those should do what you want... but if you want to spend the money on a high quality one, go to gutair center, or any music store that sells pro- audio. (Sam Ash ripped me off, so I do my best not to buy stuff from them if I can avoid it, but you don't really have to worry about it for something like that)
Fizzxwizz (author)  thegeeke6 years ago
Oh, by the way, if the stereo cords are plugged into both microphone and headset jacks, would I still be able to hear sound from my speaker?
Not unless you have you sound card setup to play simultaneously between your speaker jack and headphone jack. Try plugging in a pair of headphones into your headphone jack, if you can hear it out of both your speakers and headphones, then you have it setup correctly.

(Realtek can do that, you just have to set it)