Tutorial: Stereo Mix device

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The Stereo Mix device captures all sounds from the computer and presents them as an input to other audio applications. SWiSH Max4 requires this device during the export to AVI process to capture sound track audio. In addition, the Stereo Mix device can be used with Windows Media player and audacity to convert midi files to mp3 or wav files which can then be imported into SWiSH Max. Unfortunately, the Stereo Mix device facilitates the potentially unauthorized recording of any streaming audio received by the computer. I suspect that for this reason, its existence is being phased out or hidden. This blog article provides some suggestions on how to gain access to the device and alternate work arounds that allow a soundtrack to be added to an exported avi movie if the device is not available.

 

Availability of the Stereo Mix device relies on the following:

  1. It is not disabled.
  2. It is supported by the software driver.
  3. It is supported by the sound card.

Disabled device

By default the Stereo Mix device is disabled. To enable the device:

Open the Sound  Recording devices by right clicking on the speaker icon in the task bar and select Recording devices.

The panel can also be accessed from the control panel.

Once the panel is opened, right click in the middle of the panel and select the Show Disabled Devices option.

Any available disabled devices will be displayed.

Right click on the Stereo Mix device to display the context menu and enable the device.

Once enabled, the device should be visible in the Max Export Settings | AVI Movie panel.

Where it should be selected as the sound capture driver.

If the previous steps do not display the Stereo Mix device, it is possible that it is disabled or not supported by the currently installed driver.

Not Supported by Software Driver

It is possible that the default operating system driver does not support the Stereo Mix device. In this case, a driver from the card / computer / hardware manufacturer may fix the problem.

Try installing appropriate drivers from the manufacturer site and repeat the disabled device sequence described above.

Note that as drivers have full access to your computer system, we recommend that you only download drivers from a trusted source such as your computer manufacturer or a recognised hardware vendor. Driver installation files should normally be digitally signed, although there are some exceptions (Realtek).

If after installing a new driver your system fails to respond correctly, you should be able to rollback the driver to the previous version.

Not  Supported by Sound Card

Finally it is possible that the Sound Card / driver combination does not support the Stereo Mix device. If the above suggestions do not display the Stereo Mix device, this is the most likely cause of the problem.

As a workaround, export to AVI without sound capture.  The sound capture feature is enabled or disabled using the Export Settings | AVI Movie panel. On completion of the export process, sound can be added to the AVI using a 3rd party application such as Windows Live Movie Maker. One advantage of this approach is that the export to AVI process is significantly faster if the sound capture is disabled.

Midi to mp3/wav Conversion

If the Stereo Mix device is available, it can be used with audacity and windows media player to convert midi files to mp3. In audacity, select Stereo Mix as the recording device, play the midi file in media player and record the result. The resulting mp3 or wav file can be imported into Max4.

Notes

The screen captures are from a Windows 7 system. A similar sequence should apply to Vista.

 

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One Response to “Tutorial: Stereo Mix device”

  1. CaptRon says:

    Thanks for this. It has solved my problem with creating avi from SMx4


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