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Sounds and Audio Devices\windows\system\mmsys.cpl

Configure the sounds and sound devices used in Windows.

To Open

Control Panel [Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices] Sounds and Audio Devices

Command Prompt mmsys.cpl


Settings affecting the sounds Windows generates are divided into the following sections:


Your sound card's volume is typically controlled with the Volume Control (covered later in this chapter and accessible by clicking Advanced in the Device volume section); this volume control is redundant (see Figure 4-83).

Figure 4-83. Choose whether the volume control appears in the notification area (Tray) with the Volume tab

Options that affect your speakers are found under the second Advanced button in the Speaker settings section, although most users will find little use in changing these settings. In the Advanced Audio Properties dialog, choose between the available speaker setups (used only by some games that support environmental audio) on the Speakers tab, and if you experience any audio-related problems, play around with the settings on the Performance tab.


Formerly its own Control Panel applet, the Sounds dialog allows you to associate short clips of sounds with various system events and messages. Select an event from the list and then choose a sound (.wav) file to associate with it. When you're done, save your choices into a Sound scheme for easy retrieval later on (see Figure 4-84).

Figure 4-84. Associate audio clips with certain events (such as starting Windows) or choose the No Sounds scheme to keep things quiet

Audio, Voice

The Audio and Voice tabs allow you to choose the primary devices for each of which devices handle each of the available channels, including sound playback, sound recording, MIDI music playback, voice playback, and voice recording. Although most computers have only a single sound card, many sound cards provide different types of services for each channel. For example, a particular sound device might offer both standard MIDI playback and wavetable synthesis. Note that some other devices, such as voice-capable modems and video capture cards, will also show up here; if you're not getting sound even though everything appears to be hooked up correctly, check these two tabs for any incorrect settings.


Finally, the Hardware tab displays a summary of all the installed audio devices and CD/DVD drives. Select any item and click Properties to change the hardware settings or update the driver for a device. Note that the Properties page is the same you'll get in Device Manager (discussed earlier in this chapter). The Troubleshoot button simply opens up a Help and Support Center window with step-by-step troubleshooting tutorial.


All settings in this dialog are also covered in Chapter 5.

See Also

Control Panel, Volume Control

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