Not sure where to post it, but perhaps EE will be OK. I have problems recording sound on my computer, and I have these problems for as long as I remember - using several microphones and several computers in the last 20 years. I always thought reasonable quality mic and reasonable quality sound card should work together out of the box, but sound was always way too quiet and I had to boost the recording level to maximum at the price of increased noise. I understand it is possible there is some mismatch in the signal levels and impedance, but I thought there are some standards that should make my life easy - apparently I was wrong, or unlucky, or something. Up to now it was never something important, but now I want to make some presentations and I want as good sound as possible. Can you point me to any reasonable source of information about how to record the sound properly? I did some digging, but somehow most of the pages I visited either explain how to start Windows sound recorder and how to boost the recording level using control panel, which is not the path I want to follow - as it doesn't yield good results. As it was always this way for me I suppose I am making some systematic error, but I have no idea what to look for. Mic I am trying to use is a Rode VideoMic with its own fresh 9V battery, connected to my computer mic input. Mic output impedance listed as 200 Ω, ALC887 input impedance listed as 40 kΩ (unless I am misreading something - there are separate line-in and mic-in inputs, but one number listed in the chipset specification, perhaps I am looking in a wrong place, http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/datasheets/ALC887.pdf p. 68).