September 5, 2022

How to Record Computer Audio

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Here are the best PC audio recorders:

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Whether you're a musician, podcaster, or just want to capture a video call, recording your computer's audio can be a great way to get high-quality recordings. In this article, we will discuss how to record computer audio using different tools, including a desktop screen recorder, built-in apps, and audio-editing software.

Program

Best for

Download

Movavi Screen RecorderRecording high-quality audio from PC, video calls, and gameplay
AudacityRecording sound from PC
Stereo MixRecording online classes
Voice RecorderRecording simple audio clips
VLCRecording audio on a computer and apps

How to record audio from a computer with Movavi Screen Recorder

Best for: Recording computer audio, video calls, and gameplay

OS: Windows and Mac

Price: $39.95

G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5, 48 reviews

Movavi Screen Recorder is a great program for recording audio from a computer. It's easy to use and has a wide range of features, including the ability to record system audio, microphone audio, or both. It also has a built-in editor that lets you make simple edits, for example, you can cut and trim your recordings.

Key features:

  • Record system audio, microphone audio, or both
  • Cut and trim your recordings
  • Easily export recordings to a variety of formats

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Wide range of features
  • Includes a built-in editor
  • Lets you record system audio, microphone audio, or both

Cons:

  • Limitations of the free trial version

To record audio from a computer using Movavi Screen Recorder, follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Download and install the program

In the first step, you will need to download and install Movavi Screen Recorder on your computer.

Step 2. Select the audio recording mode

In the second step, you will need to launch the program and select the recording mode in the program's sidebar. You can record system audio, microphone audio, or both by clicking the appropriate icons.

Step 3. Select the recording area

Next, you will need to select the recording area. You can choose to record the entire screen or just a specific area.

Step 4. Start recording

To record your computer sound, hit the REC button. When you're done, click the Stop button to finish.

Step 5. Edit and export your recording

You can cut and trim recorded audio. When you're done, export it to a variety of formats by clicking the Export button and then Save.

That's how easy it is to record computer audio with Movavi Screen Recorder!

How to record sound from a computer with Audacity

Best for: Recording audio from a computer

OS: Windows, Mac

Price: Free

PCMag rating: 4 out of 5

Audacity is a free and open-source audio recording program that you can use to record computer audio. It has a wide range of features, including the ability to record multiple tracks at once, edit your recordings, and add effects.

Key features:

  • Record multiple tracks at once
  • Edit your recordings
  • Add effects
  • Export your recordings in a variety of formats, including MP3

Pros:

  • Works on Windows and Mac
  • Wide range of features
  • Free
  • Can record multiple tracks at once
  • Can edit recordings
  • Can add effects

Cons:

  • Not as user-friendly as some other programs

To record audio from a PC using Audacity, follow these steps:

Step 1. Download and install Audacity

Start by downloading Audacity from the link below. Once it's downloaded, double-click on the file to install it.

Download Audacity

Once Audacity is installed, open it by double-clicking on the icon on your desktop or by searching for it in the Start menu.

Step 2. Set the audio input and output devices

Before you can start recording, you need to set Audacity to use the correct audio input and output devices. To do this, go to File > Preferences (on a Mac, Audacity > Preferences).

Step 3. Record your computer audio

To record computer audio, click on the Record button in Audacity and start talking. When you're done recording, press the Stop button to finish.

Step 4. Edit your recordings

Once you've finished recording, you can edit your recordings by clicking on them in the Audacity timeline. This allows you to cut out any unwanted parts, add effects, and more.

Step 5. Export your recordings

When you're done editing your recordings, you can export them in a variety of formats by going to File > Export (on a Mac, Audacity > Export). This allows you to share your recordings with others or use them in other projects.

That's it! You now know how to record sound from a computer using Audacity.

Download Audacity

How to record PC audio with Stereo Mix

Best for: Recording system and game audio, making software or app tutorials, recording online classes

OS: Windows Vista, Windows XP

Price: Free

The Stereo Mix feature in Windows lets you record all the audio playing on your computer, including system sounds, game audio, and music. Stereo Mix is one of the best ways to record PC audio from your computer, but it does have its limitations. For one thing, you can’t record audio from your webcam at the same time – so if you need to do that or want more features, you should use dedicated screen recording software instead.

Key features:

  • Records audio from all sound sources currently playing on your PC
  • Records in MPC, WAV, or AVI formats
  • Choose to record the entire screen, a selected area, or just a specific window

Pros:

  • Easy to use – just select the recording mode and hit Record!
  • Records high-quality audio without any background noise
  • Automatically detects the sound sources active on your PC

Cons:

  • Not available on previous versions of OS, like Windows 7

Here’s how to record audio on a PC:

Step 1. Open the Sound window in Control Panel

You can also open the Sound window by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting Control Panel.

Step 2. Select Stereo Mix as your recording device

In the Recording tab, select Stereo Mix as your recording device. If you don’t see Stereo Mix in the list of recording devices, it might not be enabled on your computer. To enable it:

  • Right-click the blank space in the Recording tab and select Show Disabled Devices.
  • Right-click Stereo Mix and choose Enable.

Step 3. Select your recording format

Click the Recording tab and select your preferred recording format. MPC (Mono PCM), WAV (Uncompressed Waveform Audio File Format), and AVI (Audio-Video Interleaved) are all good options.

Step 4. Start recording

Hit Record and start playing the audio you want to record. When you’re done, click the Stop button and save your recording.

How to record desktop audio with Windows Voice Recorder

Best for: Recording quick, simple audio clips

OS: Windows

Price: Free

Voice Recorder is a free audio recorder that comes with Windows. It is easy to use but lacks advanced features. However, it gets the job done if you need a simple voice recording program for your desktop computer.

Key features:

  • Record sound from microphone and/or speakers
  • Save recordings in WAV or MP3 format
  • Option to record computer audio-only, microphone only, or speakers only

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Free

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced features

Here’s how to record audio on a computer using Windows Voice Recorder:

Step 1. Open Windows Voice Recorder

To record desktop audio, start with opening the Windows Voice Recorder application. You can find it on the Start menu or type Voice Recorder in search to open it for you automatically.

Step 2. Open settings and enable microphone or speakers

Once Voice Recorder is opened, go to settings by clicking the gear icon at the bottom-left corner of your screen.

Next, click Choose which microphones and speakers to use. Voice Recorder will list all available audio devices. If you want to record sound from your microphone only, select it there. If you want to record computer audio only, select both of them as input devices. If you want to record sound from your speakers only, deselect all devices except your speakers.

Step 3. Select recording device

Now that we’ve enabled microphones or speakers, we need to select which one of them will be used for recording. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the red record button. You’ll see a list of all recording devices. Select either your microphone or speakers, depending on which one you want to use for recording desktop audio.

Step 4. Start recording

Click the red Record button to start recording computer audio. You’ll see the timer start counting up, and the recording will stop automatically when it runs out of time.

Step 5. Save recording

After you’ve finished recording, click on the Save as button to save your audio file. Enter a filename and select a save location. Select either WAV or MP3 format, and click Save.

To playback the recording you just made, go to the playback window and select your audio file. You can also adjust the volume here.

Step 6. Delete recording

If you no longer need a certain recording, you can delete it by selecting it in the playback window and clicking the Delete button.

Step 7. Stop recording

To stop recording, click on the red Stop button. You can also pause the recording by clicking on the yellow Pause button.

That's it! You've learned how to record desktop audio using Windows Voice Recorder.

How to record audio on a PC with VLC

Best for: Windows and Mac users who want an easy-to-use program that can record audio coming from programs

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux

Price: Free

TechRadar rating: 4.4 out of 5

VLC is a free media player that can be used to record audio on a PC. It has a wide range of features, including the ability to record audio from websites, apps, and other programs.

Key features:

  • Record audio from websites, apps, and other programs
  • Can record in multiple formats
  • Easy to use
  • Free

Pros:

  • Wide range of features
  • Records audio from websites, apps, and other programs
  • Free

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a lot of exporting options

To record sound from a PC with VLC, follow these 4 steps:

Step 1. Download and install VLC

Download the installation file and install the program on your computer.

Download VLC

Start with opening up the VLC media player.

Step 2. Specify the settings

From the main menu, go to View and select Advanced Controls from the drop-down menu. Next, go to the Media tab and select Open Capture Device.

Step 3. Select your audio input

Open the Audio device name menu, select Stereo Mix as your audio input.

Step 4. Start recording computer audio

Click Play and then the red button to record. Click the red button again to stop recording.

To open your record, go to Media > Open File. Files recorded via VLC will have the vlc-record prefix added to their names.

Conclusion: What to look for in an audio recorder

When looking for an audio recorder, you should consider the following factors:

  • The operating system it is compatible with: The audio recorder should be compatible with the operating system of your computer.
  • The audio recording format it supports: The audio recorder should be able to record in the format that you need.
  • Its ability to record from different sources: The audio recorder should be able to record audio from multiple sources like websites and apps.
  • Whether or not the program is free, paid, open-source, etc.: You may want to consider a free or paid program depending on your budget and needs.
  • Ease of use: The audio recorder should be easy for you to use without any experience with other programs of this type in the past.
  • The quality of the recordings: The audio recorder should produce high-quality recordings.

These are some factors to consider when looking for an audio recorder. Keep these in mind and you will be able to find the best program for your needs.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How can I record audio from my computer?

Follow these simple steps to record audio from your computer with Movavi Screen Recorder:

  1. To record audio from your computer, start by downloading and installing the program.

    Download Movavi Screen Recorder for Windows

    Download Movavi Screen Recorder for Mac

  2. Select the Screen Recording option.
  3. Choose the audio input you want to record from – your microphone, system sound, or both.
  4. Click the REC button and start talking into your microphone or playing back audio from your computer.
  5. When you’re finished recording, click the Stop button and save the file to your computer.

Can you record internal audio on a PC?

There are a number of audio recording programs available, but the following five are some of the best:

  • Movavi Screen Recorder
  • Audacity
  • OBS
  • Screencastify
  • Apowersoft

For more options, check out this article:

Read about free internal audio recorders

Does Windows 10 have an audio recorder?

Yes! Microsoft Voice Recorder is a built-in audio recording program that comes with Windows 10. It lets you record audio from your microphone or the system sound, and it’s very easy to use. To record audio using Microsoft Voice Recorder, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Voice Recorder and select the New recording option.
  2. Choose the audio input you want to record from – either your microphone or the system sound.
  3. Click on the Record button to start recording.