This is a technical post that will only be of interest to people who have been driven crazy by the same problem already. If you found this post by searching for something like “Realtek HD Audio Manager stereo mix” or “Realtek no stereo mix,” then you know what I’m talking about. (Just skip to the last paragraph for the solution.)
I recently bought a new Dell PC pre-installed with Vista. My verdict on Vista: It’s fine if you’re not doing anything fancy. But it’s a pain in the neck if you want to do any kind of audio-video work. Get ready to buy brand new versions of all your old software. Had I known, I would have stuck with XP.
Anyway, my new PC came with a Realtek soundcard that shows up as Realtek HD Audio Manager. For the longest time, I couldn’t get it to record in “Stereo Mix.” Stereo Mix refers to the sound that comes out of your speakers, no matter where that sound is coming from. In other words, Stereo Mix allows you to record streaming audio or internet radio stations. It’s also handy for recording audio magazines (or podcasts) because you can play background music through something like Winamp and record your voice through a Line-In or Mic input over the music, all through Stereo Mix. It’s very nice.
Good luck, though, trying to find the Stereo Mix option on the Realtek soundcard. Realtek simplified the soundcard’s interface by hiding away basic options like Stereo Mix that have been around for years. This is like putting the gas pedal under the seat of your car. Don’t you love these people? The solution is simple — if you know where to look. Here it is:
1) In the Control Panel, click on Classic view.
2) Click on Sound.
3) Select the Recording tab.
4) Right-click any of the devices that are listed.
5) Check “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices.”
6) Ta-da! The Stereo Mix option appears like it should have by default.
7) Save as your default settings.
8) Don’t buy a Realtek soundcard again.