How to Record From a Mixer to a Laptop

Written by jason artman
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If you supervise the in-house sound at a club or concert venue, you may be looking for an easy way record the output of the sound mixer using a laptop computer. If you have a laptop with an audio input jack, free software can be used to make recordings directly from your mixer. Install Audacity, a free recording program, to record audio with your laptop.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Stereo RCA-to-1/8-inch audio cable (Y-shaped)

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  1. 1

    Locate the stereo output on the back of the mixer. Some mixers may have multiple outputs. Connect the RCA (red and white) plugs on the audio cable to the appropriately coloured jacks on the mixer.

  2. 2

    Connect the 1/8-inch end of the audio cable to the audio input for your laptop. The input may have a microphone-shaped graphic next to it.

  3. 3

    Visit the Audacity website using the link in the Resources section of this article. Audacity is a free audio recording program that is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Click the "Download" link to download the software. Install and launch it.

  4. 4

    Launch your computer's mixer application, generally identified by a speaker-shaped icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Confirm that your laptop's input jack is selected as the input for the computer to record from. Most laptops will do this automatically when a cable is plugged into the input.

  5. 5

    Click the icon with a solid red circle at the top of the screen to begin recording, and play audio through the mixer. You should see activity on the signal meters at the top of the screen.

  6. 6

    Adjust the output level of the mixer until the level meters at the top of the screen no longer max out during the loudest points of the music.

  7. 7

    Click the icon with a solid yellow square to stop the recording after you are satisfied with the volume level, then start the recording over from the beginning.

  8. 8

    Click the "Stop" button when the recording is finished.

  9. 9

    Click "File" and "Export as WAV" to save your recording.

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