Troubleshoot audio-recording problems

Here are solutions to some common problems with recording audio in Sound Recorder.

You can also try running a troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common audio-recording problems.

To run an audio-recording troubleshooter

  1. Click this button:

    Picture of a Fix it button
    Fix this problem

  2. In the File Download dialog box, click Run, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

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What can I do if the volume of the recorded sound is too low?

Increase the volume of recorded sound, and then try to record the sound again. To adjust the volume for recorded audio, do the following:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Manage audio devices.

  2. Click the Recording tab, click the audio device you use to record sound, and then click Properties.

  3. Click the Levels tab, drag the volume slider to the right to increase the volume, and then click OK.

  4. Start Sound Recorder, and record the sound again.

How can I specify the duration of a recording?

You can use the command line to specify the duration of a recording, by doing the following:

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

  2. At the prompt, type the following, where filename represents the name of the file you want to record, and filetype represents the file type extension:

    SoundRecorder /FILE filename.filetype /DURATION hhhh:mm:ss

    For example, if you want to save a file named output.wma, and you want recording to stop after 45 seconds, type SoundRecorder /FILE output.wma /DURATION 0000:00:45

  3. Press the ENTER key.

    Sound Recorder opens as an icon in the notification area.

  4. Record the sound that you want to record.

  5. At the specified duration, Sound Recorder saves the file under the following path, where User Name represents your user name on your computer:

    C:\Users\User Name

How do I record audio from a device other than a microphone?

You can connect another audio or video device, such as a VCR, analog video camera, cassette tape deck, CD player, or DVD player, to the Line In jack on your sound card to record sound from that device to your computer using Sound Recorder.

To change the line input that is used for recording audio

  1. Take the end of an RCA cable with a single 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack and plug it into the Line In jack (which is often blue) on the sound card installed on your computer.

    If the RCA cable has red and white RCA connectors on both ends, you need to connect the red and white RCA connectors on one end to a single 3.5mm stereo mini-jack adapter, and then plug the stereo mini-jack adapter into the Line In on your sound card.

  2. Connect the red and white RCA connectors on the other end to the Line Out red and white RCA jacks on the audio or video device.

  3. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, click Manage audio devices, and then click the Recording tab.

  4. Click Line In or the name of another line input or device that you want to use, and then click Set Default.

  5. Click Properties, click the Levels tab, drag the volume slider to the right to increase the recording volume, and then click OK.

  6. In the Sound dialog box, click OK.

  7. Open Sound Recorder by clicking Start, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Sound Recorder.

  8. To record the audio, click Start Recording.

  9. On the audio or video device, press Play to begin playing the audio that you want to record.

  10. When you want to stop recording audio, click Stop Recording, and then press Stop on the device.

  11. Enter a file name for the recorded audio file, and then click Save.


  • By default, the recorded audio is saved as a Windows Media Audio (WMA) file.

    If you are using Windows Vista Home Basic N or Windows Vista Business N, your Sound Recorder files are saved as .wav files rather than .wma files.

  • You can play your recording in a digital media player program that supports playback of WMA files.