Adjusting Your Microphone’s Recording Volume

Date January 29, 2008

This article is going to cover how to adjust your microphone’s recording volume if you’re on a Windows XP machine. I voice chat a lot and run across many people whose microphone volume’s are coming across either too soft or too loud.

Why is this a problem? Well, for example, if I have three other people on a Skype conference call, one person might be soft while the other two are a good volume. I don’t want to turn up my system volume because the other two will be exceptionally loud in my ear while that one person will be at an acceptable level. The one person who is too soft should be able to adjust their level so that the rest of the people in the call won’t have to adjust.

These instructions are for those who are using the Win XP generic drivers for their sound card. The majority of people are. If you’re using something else, then you may be able to adapt these instructions. Give it a read and see.

There are two different ways to get into the panel and adjust the recording volume. I’m going to list both ways. You decide which is easier. Screen shots are provided within the instructions. Click on the thumbnails to view the full size image.

Access From the System Tray (with explanations)

  1. In your system tray (the little area on your taskbar with the clock) there will be an icon that looks like a little gray speaker. Double click on it.
    Sound Mixer via the Taskbar
  2. The window that comes up is called your Playback Control. This is what controls the volume of anything that you hear either over your speakers or through your headphones. There, you will see a Microphone slider. This controls how loud you hear yourself through your headphones. If the mute button is checked, then you won’t hear yourself at all. This has no baring on whether or not others will hear you if you’re in a VOIP call. It only controls what *you* hear of yourself. Only adjust this volume slider if you need to hear more or less of yourself.
    Playback Control
  3. To get to the area where we adjust the recording volume (what others will hear when you’re in a call) click on Options at the top of the window. Then Properties.
  4. The Properties box now has an area in the top that says “Adjust volume for”. Click the Recording button.
    Playback Properties
  5. You should now notice that the options in the bottom of that box have changed. Make sure that there is a check mark next to where it says Microphone. Then click OK.
    Recording Properties
  6. The window will now change and become the Record Control. This is the mixer that controls what gets recorded or sent out as audio through a call. Each of these sliders does not have a “Mute” under it, instead it has “Select” under it. Unless you have an advanced setup (you’ll know if you have this) you will want the check in the box underneath the Microphone slider. None of the other sliders on this window will effect your outgoing voice or audio. Generally, the best place to have your slider is right at or just above the halfway mark. If people tell you that you need to be louder, obviously you’ll want to drag the slider up. If you’re too loud, drag the slider down.
    Record Control
  7. When your voice is being sent out at an acceptable level, simply close the window.

Access From Control Panel

  1. Go to Start, Control Panel. Double click on Sound and Audio Devices. If you don’t see that, click on “Classic View” in the left hand side of the window.
  2. Click the Audio tab. Then click Volume under the “Sound recording” area.
    Sound and Device Properties
  3. The window will now change and become the Record Control. This is the mixer that controls what gets recorded or sent out as audio through a call. Each of these sliders does not have a “Mute” under it, instead it has “Select” under it. Unless you have an advanced setup (you’ll know if you have this) you will want the check in the box underneath the Microphone slider. None of the other sliders on this window will effect your outgoing voice or audio. Generally, the best place to have your slider is right at or just above the halfway mark. If people tell you that you need to be louder, obviously you’ll want to drag the slider up. If you’re too loud, drag the slider down.
  4. When your voice is being sent out at an acceptable level, simply close the window.

3 Responses to “Adjusting Your Microphone’s Recording Volume”

  1. charline said:

    no one can hear me from my microphone

  2. Nancy said:

    My computer is not showing any microphone option after clicking the grey color icon of volume adjustment in system tray tray. Althiogh m y laptop has 2 microphones.

    need help, please mail back.

  3. Ryan said:

    The problem is when I slide mic in volume all the way up, it’s still too soft.

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