Enable "stereo mix" on Ubuntu Linux 12.04 (record Skype or Google+ Hangouts)

In this screencast, I show how to enable something like stereo mix on Ubuntu 12.04, in other words, how to record your microphone and your speakers at the same time. After having done this, it is straight-forward to record a Skype meeting, a Google+ Hangout or any VOIP conversation with both your voice and all other participants with something like the GTK Sound Recorder.

The short story:
* Get PulseAudio Volume Control (pavucontrol)
* On Input devices tab, see that you have “Monitor of Built-in Analog Stereo” — this is a virtual recording device with which you can record whatever’s coming out of your speakers.
* UPDATED: Now we just need to route your microphone to your speakers too. Do this by typing “pactl load-module module-loopback latency_msec=1” at the shell prompt.
* If you now record with audacity, or recordmydesktop, from the “Monitor of Built-in Analogy Stereo” (see Recording tab of pavucontrol after you start recording), you’ll get your microphone as well as whatever’s coming out of the speakers. This means that you can now easily record Skype meetings or private Google+ Hangouts.
* UPDATED: On the Recording tab, you can show all streams (combobox at the bottom) and then configure which microphone (if you have more than one) should loopback into the built-in analog stereo

There is some bleeding between my audio inputs and outputs anyway, so you are able to hear the music softly in the background even before I change the recording device to the monitor.

31 thoughts on “Enable "stereo mix" on Ubuntu Linux 12.04 (record Skype or Google+ Hangouts)

  1. i spent several several hours messing with JACK just to do this, and immediately after stumbling onto this all my problems went away. Thank you so much for posting this video im deeply grateful.

  2. I did the terminal command you recommended, everything was going good, but once I pressed "Enter", I heard an ungodly white-noise sound, and pulseaudio killed itself and restarted itself. Any application, such as the web-browser, that was using audio stopped.

  3. I got some audio lag when watching rythm base video on youtube, I think it was pavucontrol(PulseAudio) that causes this lag on the browser. NOTE: It only happens on the firefox browser, and I already "factory reset" firefox and restart my computer. Please help me it all started since PulseAudio

  4. When I try to change to "Monitor of Built-in Audio Analog Stereo" it doesn't change – it's still "Built-in Audio Analog Stereo". Also, where it says "ALSA plug-in [recordmydesktop]: ALSA capture from" in your video it says "Loopback to Built-in Audio Analog Stereo from" on my computer with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

  5. I have not been able to find anything on google, but I seem to have a problem with recording Monitor of built-in audio. It seems that the sound becomes out of sync very bad (about 20% with a ~10% pitch shift as well) no matter what I use to record it. I really have no clue how to overcome this problem. If someone knows, please let me know. Thanks.

  6. Charl Botha
    I'm going to tell you
    I solve the problem I can't record system audio with ffmpeg
    with just follow the 1:54
    you really helps me a lot thank you!!
    I'm exhausted by tying to find out how to record system sound these days.
    thank you again!

  7. I used gtk-recordmydesktop for this.

    I have not been able to disable hearing my own voice yet. The whole idea is to record a monitor of your output, and to ensure that everything you want to record is part of that output. This generally means your voice as well.

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