Adjusting the microphone input volume in Windows XP

Have you seen these 3.5mm audio connections in some of the larger lecture halls around campus and wondered what they were for?

These are audio output connections from the in-room house sound system. They feed either a Line or Mic level signal out of the system and they work great for achieving quality sounding audio from the in-room microphones, but you need to configure your computer (or other audio recording device) properly to get the best results. This guide will show you how to adjust the computer’s built in sound card’s input level in Windows XP. (NOTE: Classroom PC’s have already been adjusted for optimum levels, any changes you make to these settings on classroom machines will be reverted upon reboot)


First things first. Locate  and launch the Volume Control application. It’s found under Start>All Programs>Accessories>Entertainment> “Volume Control”

You are now presented with the volume levels for your computer’s output. These levels control what you hear. We need to change these to the computer’s input levels. To do this click Options>Properties

Some of the faders and names may be different depending on your computer.

Select the radio button for “Adjust volume for: Recording” This will change the controls to the computer’s input settings. Click OK

If it isn’t already selected, click the checkbox next to Select under “Mic Volume” (or “Microphone”) Now you can adjust the input level for the microphone input. The level you set here is what the Panopto Recorder will use as well as any other application with audio input capabilities.

Using the Panopto Recorder you can verify the levels you are getting. For best results the levels should be in the green and peak in the yellow. You want to avoid going into the red zone.

Once your levels are set you’re free to close the Volume Control application. Remember to re-adjust these settings if you are using a different audio source plugged into the microphone connection as the level you are receiving could be different then the last.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with these settings feel free to contact us at


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