Just a quick post on this to help out others who use only the sound card on their laptops for recording audio.
I discovered today with my new Lenovo W500 (Win XP based) and using Audacity & Camtasia Studio 7, that the sound recorded sounded less than ideal (seemed to be missing some audio due to a bad sampling setting). The output files sounded equally as bad.
Now, I’m a fan of using a USB connected microphone or mixer (like the Centrance MicPort Pro & Alesis MiltiMix 8 USB) to avoid this type of problem. It allows me to use my professional (XLR connected) microphones like the Shure PGX wireless mic and Shure Beta 58A. But when I’m traveling on the road, I like keeping my setup simple, so I use the laptop and a Plantronics .Audio 470 USB Stereo Headset (sometimes with and without the USB connector).
I checked the drivers for the sound card using Device Manager, and what came with the laptop was the “Conexant High Definition SmartAudio 221” at version 188.8.131.52, this was the first release of this audio driver. With any version 1.0 software, drivers included, there is a higher likeliness of software bugs or settings not set properly since there is little customer feedback before release.
The current version of the Conexant audio driver is on the Lenovo support website here. At the time of this writing it was at version 184.108.40.206.
I updated to the current version and the bad sampling problem went away. It also changed the device name to “Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD”.
Hope this was useful for those using the microphone port on the laptop to record audio.