In total recorder, there are two ways to record audio.One is software mode, where whatever your sound card captures will be captured by total recorder's virtual driver and then recorded by total recorder. The other mode is called sound board where recordings from your sound card inputs such as microphone can be recorded. When you bring up total recorder, click the recording source and parameters button. If you're using total recorder 6.1, you'll want to tab a couple times to the recording source set of radio buttons and be sure sound board is selected, since you want to record from your microphone input. If desired you can also tell total recorder which input to use, without disturbing your windows mixer settings by selecting use this line and selecting the input you wish to use. Hope that helped a little and if you need more help, just let me know. I've been using total recorder since version 2.2 way back in 2000 and even did a very well done main menu review of that version, so I can try to help wherever possible.