How to Record Audio From Computer? [Step by Step]

In today’s growing digital age, the ability to record audio from your computer has become an essential skill for many professionals, including podcasters, content creators, gamers, and other tech people who use computers for their digital work. 

Whether you’re looking to capture system sounds, stream audio, or your own voice through a microphone, understanding the basics of audio recording on a computer is crucial. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to set up your computer for audio recording for Windows as well as MacOS with built-in apps along with other third-party tools to create high-quality recordings that meet your needs and give your content a next-level audio feel.

Methods to Record Audio on a Computer

Method 1: Using Built-in Tools on Windows and macOS 

Whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac, you can access simple, built-in audio recording tools. These tools, Windows Voice Recorder and macOS Voice Memos are great for quick and straightforward recording tasks.

Using Windows Voice Recorder

Here’s how you can use the Windows Voice Recorder for basic recordings:

  1. Open Voice Recorder: Click on the Start menu, type “Voice Recorder,” and select the app from the search results.
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  1. Start Recording: Click on the microphone icon or press Ctrl + R to begin recording.
  1. Pause/Resume Recording: Click the pause button if you need to temporarily stop recording. Click it again to resume.
  2. Stop Recording: Once you’re done, press the stop button (a square icon) to end the recording session.
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  1. Access Your Recording: Your recording will be immediately saved and visible in the left pane of Voice Recorder. 
  2. Click on it to playback, share, or delete.

Using macOS Voice Memos

To record audio with macOS Voice Memos, follow these steps:

  1. Open Voice Memos: Use Spotlight “Cmd + Space” to search for “Voice Memos,” or find it in your Applications folder.
  2. Start Recording: Press the red record button to start capturing audio.
  3. Pause/Resume Recording: Click the pause button if you need to stop recording without ending the session. Click the resume button to continue.
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  1. Stop Recording: Click the stop button (a square icon) when you’re finished with your recording.
  2. Manage Recordings: Your recordings will show up in the left sidebar. From there, you can listen to them, edit, or share.

Method 2: Recording System Audio with Software

For capturing system audio with more advanced capabilities, software options like Audacity and OBS Studio stand out due to their flexibility, advanced features, and broad user base. Audacity is a powerful, open-source audio editor and recorder that’s excellent for both simple recordings and complex audio editing tasks. OBS Studio, primarily known for streaming and video recording, also offers robust options for capturing high-quality system audio alongside video.

Audio Recording with Audacity from Windows

1. Download and Install Audacity: First, ensure you have Audacity installed. It’s freely available for download from the official Audacity website for Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms.

2. Configure Recording Device: In Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences > Devices. Under the Recording section, select your system’s sound device or stereo mix as the recording device. If “stereo mix” is not available, you may need to enable it in your sound card settings or update your audio drivers.

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3. Select the Recording Channels: Still in the Devices tab, ensure you’ve selected “2 (Stereo) Recording Channels” if you’re aiming to capture stereo system audio.

4. Adjust Quality Settings: Navigate to the Quality tab within Preferences. Here, you can set your desired sample rate and bit depth. For most purposes, a sample rate of 44100 Hz and a 24-bit depth should suffice.

5. Start Recording: Close the Preferences window and hit the red button in Audacity. This will start capturing all audio played through your system.

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6. Edit and Save Your Recording: Once finished, you can use Audacity’s suite of tools to edit your recording. When satisfied, export your project by going to File > Export and choosing your desired audio format.

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 Audio Recording on Windows with OBS Studio 

To capture audio from your desktop on a Windows machine using OBS Studio, simply perform the following steps:

  1. Open OBS Studio on your Windows computer.
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  1. At the screen’s bottom, click on the ‘Sources’ panel, which is second to the left.
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  1. Inside the ‘Sources’ panel, click on the settings icon.
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  1. Pick out the display input you’d like to use, especially if you plan to include the video. By default, OBS Studio captures both your screen visuals and the desktop audio concurrently. Should you wish to record solely the audio, it’s necessary to toggle off the video capture feature. This can be done by clicking on the eye icon located next to the source you’ve added, thereby deactivating the video stream capture while still recording the audio.
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  1. To manage audio settings, head to ‘File’ located at the top-left corner of the screen.
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  1. Click on ‘Settings’ within the dropdown list.
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  1. On the left panel of the settings window, click on ‘Audio.’
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  1. In ‘Desktop Audio,’ select the appropriate audio source you want to capture.
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This is also the point where you can tweak the quality of the audio as per your requirements.

  1. Click ‘OK’ once you’ve adjusted your audio settings as needed.
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  1. Run a trial to make sure OBS is capturing both video and audio accurately. If it’s functioning correctly, proceed to record the audio you require. When done, halt the recording and save the captured material.

Following the instructions, you will acquire a video file, typically in MKV format, that includes your audio. OBS Studio is unable to extract and save audio files independently; they are embedded in the video file. However, if you need just the audio portion, there’s no need to worry. You can use conversion tools to get an audio. 

Method 3: Recording With Online Audio Recording Tools And Browser Extension 

1. An Online Audio Recorder (e.g., Apowersoft Free Online Audio Recorder):

This type of recorder runs in your web browser and often requires you to install a small launcher application the first time you use it.

Steps to Use:

  1. Visit the tool’s website.
  2. Press the ‘Start Recording’ button, which might prompt you to download and install a launcher.
  3. Choose the audio source (system sound, microphone, or both).
  4. Click the ‘Record’ button to start capturing the audio stream.
  5. Stop the recording when finished, and you can then save the audio file to your device.

2. Browser Extensions for Audio Recording (e.g., Chrome Audio Capture):

Browser extensions integrate directly into your web browser, allowing you to record audio from any tab.

Steps to Use:

  1. Add the extension to your browser from the browser’s extension or add-on store.
  2. Navigate to the webpage with the audio stream you want to record.
  3. Click on the extension icon in your browser toolbar to start recording.
  4. Capture the audio from the page; some extensions might have a time limit for recording.
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  1. Click ‘Save’ on the extension to stop recording and download the file to your computer.

Common Formats For Saving Audio Files

When it comes to saving your recorded audio, there are several common formats to choose from. MP3 is one of the most widely used formats, known for its compatibility and relatively small file size. 

WAV is another popular format that offers high quality but results in larger file sizes. AAC is a newer format that provides a good balance between quality and file size, making it a popular choice for podcasts and other online audio content.

Tips for Editing and Enhancing Your Audio Recording

  1. Trim Silence or Unnecessary Parts: Removing dead air or irrelevant sections keeps your recording engaging and focused.
  2. Normalize Volume Levels: Ensuring consistent volume throughout your recording avoids fluctuations that can distract or annoy listeners.
  3. Apply Noise Reduction: Minimizing background noise helps in improving the clarity and quality of your audio.
  4. Use Compression: Balancing the dynamic range makes your recording sound more professional by ensuring loud and soft sounds are at a pleasant listening level.
  5. Edit in Good Microphone: A high-quality microphone like Hollyland Lark Max is an incredible device that allows you to catch subtle nuances and ensure your edits have the desired effect across different playback systems.
Hollyland LARK MAX vs DJI Mic 2

Hollyland LARK MAX

Wireless Microphone with Studio Audio.

Learn More

Conclusion 

In conclusion, recording audio from your computer is a valuable skill that can open up a world of creative and professional possibilities. By understanding the basics of audio recording, choosing the right software and hardware, and following best practices for recording, editing, and sharing your audio, you can create high-quality recordings that engage and inspire your audience.

Whether you’re a podcaster, content creator, or simply looking to capture audio for personal use, the tools and techniques outlined in this guide will help you get started and achieve your goals.

FAQs Related to Recording Audio from a Computer

What is the best free software for recording audio on a computer?

Audacity is a popular free and open-source program that offers a wide range of recording and editing capabilities, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced users alike. Adobe Audition and OBS Studio are also good options. 

How can I record high-quality audio from my computer without a microphone?

If you don’t have a microphone, you can still record high-quality audio from your computer by using a line-in connection to input audio directly from another device, such as a mixer or an instrument. Alternatively, you can use software that allows you to capture system sounds or stream audio directly from your computer’s output.

Can I legally record audio from a website?

The legality of recording audio from a website depends on the specific content and context. In general, it is legal to record audio for personal, non-commercial use, such as for educational or research purposes. However, if the audio is protected by copyright or other intellectual property rights, you may need to obtain permission from the owner before recording or distributing it.

How do I fix low audio levels in my recordings?

If your recordings have low audio levels, you can try adjusting the input levels or gain settings in your recording software to boost the signal. You can also use normalization or amplification effects in your editing software to increase the overall volume of your recording.

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John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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