Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Stereo Mix in Windows Vista Home Basic

by nadineb / September 12, 2007 9:12 AM PDT

Like many others, I'm having the recording directly from the sound card problem.
I've been reading topics about this and I found out that you can enable Stereo Mix by going to the Recording Devices tab and enabling disabled devices. My disabled devices are already enabled and I still have no Stereo Mix in the list. All I have is Microphone-2 USB Audio Device, Front Mic, Microphone, and Line In.

I am using a Sigmatel High Definition Audio sound card.
Running a Dell Dimension E520 PC.

Is this problem from Vista Basic, as in only Vista Ultimate has this option, or is it my sound card?
And I have also read that Dell has some audio problems with vista but didn't get to a solution.


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Stereo Mix in Windows Vista Home Basic
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 6:43 AM PDT

Hi , I have the same audio device and pc as yours and I too am looking to get Stereo Mix feature. Dell said to look for a third party application but i havent found any as of yet...Did you get stereo mix solved on your pc and if so how did you?

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Does this video help you?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 7:04 AM PDT
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Does this video help you?
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 7:08 AM PDT

Hi there, yes I have tried it like that as it shows in the video..For some reason Dell didnt support this feature and im digging everywhere to find a work around..I am seeing some sites talk about plugging in a patch cord from the line in port to line out port on the back of the pc...I dont see how this will enable stereo mix...Any idea?

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Maybe you are trying to record what the PC is playing?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 8:23 AM PDT

If so the patch cord is the known workaround. It's all about DRM but I must not duplicate all you can find out on the web here. The patch cord works fine.

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Maybe you are trying to record what the PC is playing?
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 8:42 AM PDT

Hi bob yes thats what I am attempting to do...I use Winamp and want to stream the music which I need the stereo mixer. I just tried patching the line in and line out but to no avail it didnt make any difference unless im not doing something right on the settings..Do you know?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 10:06 AM PDT

I looked at that but Winamp plays audio just fine without that cable. Can you detail why I would need this to play audio files with Winamp? I even use Winamp to play from streaming sites and it plays just dandy without that cable.

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Link about the audio on my pc
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 8:48 AM PDT
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Stereo Mix in Windows Vista
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 10:26 AM PDT

In need of a 3rd party program so that I can get stereo mix in Windows Vista. My motherboard doesnt support stereo mix. I tried the program Total recorder but didnt work..I want to stream music and it must have the stereo mix cabability.

thank you,


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I can stream music in Winamp today
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 10:47 AM PDT

In stereo. It plays just dandy. I am only guessing you want to record that stream WITHOUT the noted cable. For that, you'll have to get another machine or OS since they wanted to break the digital recording methods of old.

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I can stream music in Winamp today
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 10:55 AM PDT

Well according to Dell software tech support they told me that there are 3rd party companies out there that will give me the stereo mix feature, but of course they wont tell you any names..A seperate audio codec im sure is how it works , just a matter of latching onto a good program to make it happen.

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Again, be clear what you want to do.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 12:45 PM PDT

Today, armed with a cable it works for me to record what I hear today. I read your post about the creative card but isn't that more money than the cable?

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Stereo Mix program Windows Vista
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 12:59 PM PDT

I am not running a creative labs card , I was mentioning the card as an example. I thought I was clear on asking my question about a 3rd party program that has stereo mix..I have an integrated Sigmatel piece of jumk audio device in my system that give me nothing to work with when it comes to recordings so this is why im asking around for a 3rd party program that will give me stereo mix. Thats all I am looking for.

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Stereo Mix Vista
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 1:11 PM PDT

I should mention something else and I hope this will clarify what I am doing..As mentioned before I run Winamp but I am not concerned about recieving streaming audio to play out of Winamp but to be able to play streaming audio and being able to record at the same..Having stereo mix, wave out or What U Hear is the only way to achieve this..I use to have an Optiplex with a live card that had What U Hear and it worked excellently but now they have taken that out of many of their live cards unless you want to spend $$$ on their top end card which is not the answer..I paid $100.00 for an Audigy card only to find out that they ripped out the What U Hear feature, nice of them to do that!. Not going to pay more all that money just for stereo mix..It was a Dell tech that advised me to just get a 3rd party program so there must be some that are suitable for this type of application..I hope that clears things up more.

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Let me be clear.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 17, 2008 11:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Stereo Mix Vista

The cable works.

-> There is a long discussion about why this is the way it is. Some expect me to explain it everytime it comes up but I won't. Is that OK or not by you?

So there it is. Continue to feel pain or use the solution we all use?

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Fine by me.
by terry32506 / August 18, 2008 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Let me be clear.

Seeing as you politely put it that way not a problem that suits me fine. Im not here to break anyones arm for answers about this, so dont sweat it.


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Stereo Mix, Dell doesn't respect us!
by Pier_3d / October 30, 2008 8:24 AM PDT

Hi everybody looking for that missing "stereo mix" function,

I find you guys a lot too tolerant with Dell. In my opinion, Dell deserves nothing less than a class action (legal proceedings) about this issue.

Imagine that you buy a new car and discover later (on the first rainy day) that it doesn't have windshield wipers. You go to the dealer and they say to you that "they don't support wipers anymore!". They add that you have to check with a third party to see if "maybe" they have a solution for you. And, last but not less frustrating, they blame you for not having checked for the presence of wipers at the moment of your purchase!!!

Definitely, Dell has lost respect toward its customers and is creeping in front of the RIAA and the big companies that own those infamous "copyrights".

In the past, I bought many computers from Dell. For me and for friends who had trust in me. All those machines had the stereo mix function without my asking. Along the years it was accepted that "stereo mix" was a "standard function" found on any "normal middle of the line" desktop computer. Dell changed these rules for really dubious reasons.

By the way, I don't use the stereo mix function to steal music. No! I use it for my work and my daughter uses it for some games. We are both angry at Dell mainly for not having warned us that our new machine would be lacking such an important function.

Pierre Cloutier
Dell customer #3434885

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DRM, Vista and Dell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 30, 2008 9:22 AM PDT

It's not a Dell thing. This issue happens on a lot of hardware.

Have you noticed other makes have this limitation?

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It's not actually a Dell issue
by mew905 / November 26, 2008 7:42 AM PST

Why does everyone blame Dell? It's like blaming a rifle company because of a hunting accident.

Stereo Mix is hidden in Vista by Default depending on your sound card. The Inspiron 531 has onboard Realtek HD Audio, and Stereo Mix doesnt appear in the sound panel.

Click Start > Control Panel > (<classic view> Sound)/(<CP Home> Hardware and Sound > Manage Audio Devices)

This will bring up the sound config dialog showing you all available sound controllers. Click the Recording tab and right click a blank area in the box that lists any microphones you may have. Now check off "Show Disabled Devices" and "Show Disconnected Devices".

Now, you see that Stereo mix is in there. Right click Stereo Mix (it'll be translucent) and click "Enable". Voila, you have now enabled Stereo Mix.

Dont blame Dell because Vista hides and/or cripples alot of stuff. You'll find that after re-formatting, your Bluetooth card reader (if you opted for one) no longer works, not a Dell issue, Vista has a crippled Bluetooth stack and I can provide you a working one if you need, just email me at

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I can stream music in Winamp today.
by terry32506 / August 17, 2008 10:57 AM PDT

Maybe your familiar with the creative labs soundcards that have that feature "What U Hear" ? If you know that then thats the same as stereo mix , just another name for it..Thats the ticker for me to get.

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there are lots of applications
by streamripper7 / March 5, 2010 5:12 PM PST

I don't really know why you were not able to find applications to record from your sound card without stereo mix. The following ones are recommended everywhere:

- Freecorder 4,
- Replay Music,
- Replay Media Catcher,
- Replay AV,
- Replay Video Capture

- WM Capture

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