How to record with computer microphone on Audacity?

Le logiciel Audacity allows you to record the sounds of your computer, or of your instruments. But how do you record with your computer's microphone? That's what we're going to see.

Find the right source

By default, Audacity generally displays your computer's microphone as input. But not always. A source corresponding to an external microphone can for example be displayed in the “Device” toolbar.

Note that if this bar does not appear, go to the "Displays" section, then "Toolbar" and "Device bar". Let's also indicate that you can move the “Device” toolbar and make it bigger, like any other Audacity toolbar. To do this, drag the section by clicking on the bar on the left. Once done, you can enlarge the toolbar by clicking on the triangle at the bottom left and dragging at the bottom left.

Now it's up to you to choose your computer's microphone from the drop-down menu.

In the drop-down bar located to the left of the "Devices" toolbar, you can also choose the audio host. If you are unsure of your choice, use MME on PC if available, "Core Audio" if you are on Mac and ALSA if you are on Linux. MME is the default of Audacity, it is the most compatible with different audio devices.

It's your turn to do the tests to find what is best for recording. Note that the items at the top of the drop-down lists in the "Device" toolbar are generally items integrated into your computer, while the items at the bottom of the list are often external devices, such as a headset or a microphone.

Put the right output

For Output device, choose the audio device that your headphones or speakers are connected to. Do not choose "Microsoft Sound Mapper", which uses the system's default device.

You can also choose “2 input channels” if you want to record in stereo, or “one input channel” if you want to record in mono.

Test the settings

If the recording does not work, you may also need to activate the microphone input on your computer, especially on older versions of Windows. You can right-click on the sound icon located at the bottom right of your computer, then in the audio settings options, activate the missing inputs. Finally, in Audacity, click on “Transport” and on “Rescan audio devices” or restart Audacity.

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