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How to Record Audio from Computer

By Carrie Murray, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Here are mainly two ways you can record audio coming from computer: the first is using audio recording software and the second relies on an audio cable. Obviously, the former is more preferable as you don't need to purchase an extra cable.

So in this post, I am going to show you 3 sound recorders that you can use to record audio from Windows and Mac computer:

  • FonePaw Audio Recorder which can record sound from both your computer and microphone even you don't have a Stereo Mix option on PC;

  • Windows' integrated Voice Recorder and Stereo Mix;

  • QuickTime to record audio on Mac computer.



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Record Computer/Streaming Audio on Windows 10/8/7

First of all, I would suggest you to try FonePaw Audio Recorder, which can skip all complicated set-ups and directly record system sound coming from your computer even the device doesn't offer Stereo Mix option.

It can record sound coming from your computer as well as external audio from microphone. You may choose to record audio from one of the sources or record both internal and external sound simultaneously. It also support schedule recording which can stop a recording automatically so that you don't need to be around the computer the whole time. After the recording, the recorded audio can be saved and converted to MP3, WMA, AAC, M4A files.

It is a right tool to record streaming audio from Internet radio stations, music sites, video platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), record Skype/VoIP phone calls or capture any other sound played by your computer.

And since FonePaw Audio Recorder is built into the three-in-one recording software - FonePaw Screen Recorder, you can use the program to record computer screen with audio, take screenshots as well.


FonePaw Screen Recorder Homepage


Record Audio on PC with FonePaw Audio Recorder

Step 1 Free download FonePaw Audio Recorder and install it on your computer.

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Step 2 Open the program and you'll find three tools: Audio Recorder, Video Recorder, Snapshot. To record voice and sound on computer, click Audio Recorder.

Step 3 Turn on System Sound button if you need to record sound from computer. And turn on Microphone button when you need to capture your voice. Toggle on the two buttons if you need to both. You may drag the slider to control the volume.


FonePaw Audio Recorder


Step 4 When you are ready, click REC button to start recording. The recorder will prompt you that you can start or stop recording with hotkeys. (You can click Change Hotkey to change keyboard shortcuts to the ones you like).


Notification of Recording with Hotkeys


Step 5 During the recording, you can control the audio volume. To end the recording, click the rectangle icon


Recording Audio from PC

Tips: 

  • You need the recording to end automatically, click the clock icon and enter the expected duration of the recording. When the time is up, the recorder will stop and save the recording automatically.

  • You can decide in what format the audio file should be saved by going to More Settings> Output > Audio Format.


Formats to Save Recorded Audio


What Is Stereo Mix & How To Use It to Record Sound from Computer

We all know that Windows has a built-in Voice Recorder, and disappointingly, the recorder can only record sound from microphone. But once you enable Stereo Mix option on your PC, you can record the sound on your computer as it comes out of your speakers.

What is this Stereo Mix? Stereo Mix, also called "What you hear" is the name of output stream after all channels have been mixed. Sound drivers on your computer probably supports Stereo Mix, however, the option is usually disabled by default on most Windows (Windows 10/8/7). By enabling the Stereo Mix option, Voice Recorder can record system sound on your PC through Stereo Mix instead of microphone.

Now the question is: how can I enable and use Stereo Mix? The following paragraph will teach you how to use Stereo Mix to record computer audio without microphone.

Note: On some Windows PC, you may not have this Stereo Mix option at all. If so, jump to Part 1 to learn how to record computer audio with a third-party audio recorder without Stereo Mix.


Enable Stereo Mix

Step 1 Right-click audio icon in your system tray and choose Sound from the list to open Sound panel.


Open Sound Control Panel


Step 2 Under the Recording tab, right-click Stereo Mix and click Enable.


Enable Stereo Mix


Step 3 To ensure that your audio recorder use Stereo Mix instead of Microphone to record computer sound, set Stereo Mix as your default input device.

Tip: If you don't see the Stereo Mix option, the option could be hidden. Under the recording tab, right-click the blank area and make sure Show Disabled Device and Show Disconnect Device is checked.


Record Audio from PC

Step 1 Launch Voice Recorder on your PC. You can right-click Windows icon and use Search to locate the recorder.

Step 2 The Windows Voice Recorder is super simple. Just click the mic icon in the middle to start recording the audio that is playing on your computer.


Windows Voice Recorder


Step 3 When the audio you need to record stops, click the blue button again to end recording.


Recording Computer Audio with Voice Recorder


Record Audio from Mac with QuickTime Player

If you are using a Mac computer, you can also record audio from Mac computer in a simple way: by using QuickTime Player in Mac OS.

Step 1 Launch QuickTime Player on MacBook or iMac.

Step 2 On the top, click File > New Audio Recording, which will open the audio recording panel.


Start Audio Recording with QuickTime


Step 3 On the audio recording panel, you may adjust volume and audio quality. Click the red Record button to start recording audio on your Mac.


Record Audio on Mac


Step 4 Click the Record button again when you feel like stopping the sound recording.

However, QuickTime Player can only record system audio and streaming audio on your Mac through microphone. To record the sound as it is outputting from your Mac's speaker, you can download Soundflower for Mac to help.

And if you need to record Mac screen with audio, you can download FonePaw Screen Recorder for Mac.

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If you have any problem in recording audio on computer, leave your question below.

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