Windows and third-party mixer settings can be very confusing. Add to that the fact that some software lets you configure which hardware to use with it!
I see you have a fix, but my suggestion in future is to start by unplugging anything not required (much easier on a desktop than a laptop). Examples would be external webcams or microphones.
Then cut out all distractions: run the line-in silently so playback speakers don't confuse you (line out levels are unaffected by volume controls, unless you use a headphone socket as line out).
Monitor your tests on headphones and ideally find a graphical input level display somewhere in your soundcard or recording software. Check headphones first by just playing some music, to ensure the playback volume is up but not too loud.
Tap on microphones and see if you get a thump. Try different record source choices until you hear line in. If you have no source handy, touching the contacts at the end of a line-in lead will often give an indicative bump or a buzz, and I've never damaged anything (or myself) by doing so.
If all else fails, go looking for the relevant manual.
I was a sound engineer for years and then a BBC radio producer: I've been through this kind of grief plenty o'times!
Last edited by robfawcett; 2012-06-14 at 10:38.
Try Checking the Volume
I have had this issue before. It can occur if the volume settings are set too high. You've said that you've checked all the Windows sound recording settings but I find that with some microphones the ideal recording volume is at about 20% - any higher than this and it just sounds like distortion. This is what happens on my laptop.
So check that you have selected the correct sound input/recording device (ideally from the program that you're trying to record with but if you just want to do a quick test you can use Windows Sound Recorder) and then ensure that the recording volume of that device is set to a reasonable level (try 20% but also try at different volumes). Different programs might change these settings (it could be that FreeCorder had it's own auto-volume levelling system which reduced the volume whilst you were using it but for other applications the record volume is cranked upto max. If the program doesn't have it's own settings then look in the Control Panel for the default recording device and default volume levels.
Ensure you're using the correct drivers. I'm surprised that the repair shop changed the drivers - updating them is one thing but to disable it and install the wrong ones doesn't sound right to me. You may wish to revert to the original drivers but test it how it is first. There are programs like Unknown Devices (search Google for it) that will identify your audio hardware (or motherboard model if it's integrated to the motherboard) and you can use this information to find the correct driver.
Hope this is helpful.
this is a common problem
there are 7 places you can diddle audio in windows
go to the audacity forum and ask for help
you may need to turn the mike off
try clicking on the speaker icon in the tray and exploring the various settings first
you could have an effect on also
shoudl be able to turn the mike off there too
My system doesn't seem to have Windows Mixer. My soundcard is, I believe, on the motherboard. I think it appears under Devices as Apowersoft_AudioDevice.
Anyway, I don't think it was a problem of mixing. The "hollow" sound simply resulted because somehow my audio settings had changed and my system was recording through the microphone. When I changed the Recording default from Microphone to Line In, the hollow sound stopped because everything stopped; all recording stopped.
As I said above, the problem has been "fixed," using cables. But I wouldn't say it has been "solved" yet, since I still don't understand what was going on. Sometimes, I suppose, we just have to accept a mystery and move on.
For Mixer, click on the Speaker icon, and then on the word 'Mixer' below the (volume setting) display that is brought up by the icon.
As for hardware, the volume 'master', by which I mean 'compulsory adjustment', is the volume control on the speaker wherever it may be. It's just one link in the chain of such 'compulsory' settings, but if the speaker is turned off or set too low you will get no sound or too-weak sound. It's easy to forget, especially with generally older laptops which have a physical (and invariably well-hidden) dial adjustment for the built-in or external speaker control, or the more modern laptops with a volume scale on the keyboard above the keys.
How in blazes you set all of these things for optimal sound I don't know, but one thing I do remember from personal experience is that turning the Tone control to its high(est) setting will help you hear the human voice better (subject to all of the components of your system). I was taking (expensive) tutorials in which I could hardly make out the voice of the speaker, and it took some time to realize that it was that setting that made the speaker's voice almost incomprehensible to me.
If you use Windows and MS Office, did the Office speech recognition inadvertently get turned on?
Tags for this Thread