PC Recording Source Problem

I just noticed recently that when I have my Windows recording source set to Microphone, it is recording audio that is playing on the computer very faintly in the background. This happens even when I have no microphone plugged in.

It’s a hard thing to search for, and while I’ve found some people with the same problem, they weren’t able to fix it. (In one case, the guy installed the kX Audio Driver, but as my sound is Conexant AC-Link I can’t use that driver; also I have the latest version of the driver.)

This is really messing me up because I am trying to do some multi-track recording and the tracks are bleeding into each other.

Has anyone encountered this before? Any clues on how to fix it?

In the Sounds Control Panel applet, there may be more than one tab for inputs - for example there might be one where you set the ‘audio’ source and another where you set the ‘voice’ source - it would be worth checking that these are both set to sensible values.

If it isn’t that, it might actually be some kind of physical signal leakage or crosstalk in the sound card (onboard or otherwise). You could get round this by installing a second sound card - using the output on one and the input on another should give you quite good isolation.

What was said plus:

Turn off the microphone and all other recording devices in the volume control panel. Turn of all unused devices in the playback volume control panel. Make very sure not to have the “What U Hear” on for the record volume control panel, as it records exactly what you hear from the speaker, and not specificaly from one source.

To restate an important item. Some cards have cross talk, and you may have to buy a new sound card that doesn’t do this.

Thanks for the quick responses. It sounds like it is some kind of physical signal leakage.

Does anyone know of a good laptop sound card? Is USB the way to go? I don’t want to break the bank on this purchase; I’m probably looking in the range of $100.

I used to buy Sound Blaster cards. I haven’t bought any for years so I can’t say what’s tops anymore. I would suggest visiting audio sites that review quality of products, or user groups that cater to audio.

Here’s something:

or if you want to go with firewire, something like:

I’d go with firewire myself.

The application you’re using for recording should have a set of forums with a hardware forum where you can ask what interface works best with your particular system.

If you do get an external interface just remember to have patience when setting it up. There are settings within the recording program as well as settings within the soundcard control panel and OS tweaks that you can do that will wring the most performance out of your laptop. When I set up my desktop for multi-track audio and virtual synths it was very important to have the most up to date directX drivers.