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What settings affect recording volume?

 
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XYZZY



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject: What settings affect recording volume? Reply with quote

I'm on a Dell Latitude E6420 with Windows 7 and Intel IDT audio. There's no Stereo Mix in the Windows mixer, so I bought i-Sound to record streaming audio.

I haven't been able to get it to record at anything like a normal volume. Depending on settings, I either get nothing on playback, or a very quiet recording (like 2% of the volume it was playing at while recording). The VU-meter bars stay empty while recording.

I haven't got the knowledge or time to play with this any more so am asking for some help.

Between i-Sound, Windows and the media app there's a few settings that can be changed that maybe affect recording volume but I don't know how to work them:

Windows Mixer:
    Overall volume (Speakers/Headphones)
    Audio player volume (e.g. Web browser)


i-Sound:
    Volume Level slider on right of main window
    Playback Device (Speakers / Headphones)
    Recording Device (only IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)
    Recording Source :-
      Communications Headphones ("This input doesn't have volume control")
      Speakers / Headphones ("This input doesn't have volume control")
      Rec. Playback
      Microphone Array
      Jack Mic
      Dock Mic

    Advanced button :-
      Dock Mic
      Jack Mic
      Microphone Array
      Rec Playback (Properties / Levels is 100%)


What should I set Recording Source to - speakers/headphones or rec playback or something else? Where do I set the recording level - in i-Sound, in Windows, somewhere else?

I bought i-Sound as it promised to record without Stereo Mix, but if it doesn't work I'll have to ask for my money back.
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XYZZY



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Experiment Reply with quote

I did spend a bit more time on this to get a more systematic view.

    In i-Sound:
      [1] Main window - Volume Level slider = max
      [2] Settings/General - AGC Mode = off
      [3] Settings/Mixer - Playback Device = Speakers/Headphones
      [4] Settings/Mixer - Recording Device = IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
      [5] Settings/Mixer - Recording Source = Rec. Playback
      [6] Settings/Mixer - Mixer Lock = on
      [7] Settings/Mixer/Advanced/Rec. Playback/Properties/Levels - 100%
      [8] Settings/Filters - all off
      [9] Settings/VOX - off

    In Web browser (Opera):
      [10] BBC iPlayer volume = max

    In Windows Volume Mixer:
      [11] Device/Speakers-Headphones - 50
      [12] Applications/System Sounds - 0
      [13] Applications/Opera - 2
      [14] Applications/Windows Media Player - 2


Start playing something in BBC iPlayer - is normal volume. Record a few seconds in i-Sound - VU-meter doesn't move. Play the MP3 in Windows Media Player - is imperceptibly quiet. Increase [14] from 2 to 50 - is 75% of original volume in left channel, 1% in right channel.

As list above but increase [13] from 2 to 10. Start playing in iPlayer - is quite loud, uncomfortable. Record in i-Sound - 1 bar on the VU-meter flickers. Play MP3 in WMP - is very quiet but perceptible; is left channel only. Increase [14] from 2 to 50 - is 75% of original volume in left channel, 1% in right channel.

As list above but decrease [11] from 50 to 10. Increase [13] from 2 to 10. Start playing in iPlayer - is normal volume. Record in i-Sound - VU-meter doesn't move. MP3 is inaudible. Increase [11] from 10 to 50. Increase [14] from 2 to 50 - is 75% of original volume in left channel, 1% in right channel.

As list above but set [5] to Speakers/Headphones. Start playing in iPlayer - is normal volume. Record in i-Sound - VU-meter doesn't move. MP3 is imperceptibly quiet. Increase [14] from 2 to 50 - is normal volume in both channels.

So Recording Source should be Speakers / Headphones rather than Rec. Playback? And you have to play something fantastically loud for i-Sound to record it at a normal level? It would blow my headphones/earbuds. There must be a way to set recording level I'm missing, otherwise it just doesn't work on my PC.
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Site Admin


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct recording source is a Speakers. This input really doesn't have volume controls because it gets audio as-is. If you wish to increase recording level then you need to increase playback level via Windows Volume.
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XYZZY



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried, but the volume would have to be so high to get a normal recording level it would be completely impractical. If the Volume Level slider were enabled when Recording Source = Speakers/Headphones, and it could go 5 times higher, then it would work fine.

Exactly what in the chain isn't working I don't know, but i-Sound isn't able to record on this PC, so I'm sorry but I'll have to ask for my money back. I'll send an email.
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support
Site Admin


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. As I understand, you have a problem with right channel's volume only, right?

2. Do you have the latest version of i-Sound from this site?
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XYZZY



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) No. The left/right volume imbalance only happened when Recording Source = Rec. Playback. You said the correct source is Speaker/Headphones, and the volume is balanced in that case. The specific problem is that the recording volume is so low that it's not possible to increase playback volume enough to compensate, by a long way.

2) The exe is timestamped 8 Oct 2012 and I downloaded it from this site.

If there's a solution (some way to force the recording level to a much higher value while retaining audio quality?) then that might fix it. If you're able to suggest anything I'll gladly try it.
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Site Admin


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you can use Rec.Playback sourse too. Speakers is a feature of Windows, Rec.Playback is a feature of your sound card.

Just check Windows settings:

Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Sound->Recording tab
Rec.Playback->Properties->Levels->Balance
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XYZZY



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your help with this. I've got it to work finally by plugging in some earphones with their own physical volume slider and setting to the lowest. Even then it's still too loud to listen to, but at least i-Sound records at a good level now.
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