We used to have "stereo mix" option that enabled streaming audio recording without having to have the audio playing through the speakers. How do I do that now? What replaces that capability? Who makes my sound card? Why is that not readily available somewhere in Dell land? I can't believe forum searching found pretty much nothing on this.
Who makes my sound card?
Hello. The audio chip manufacturer was IDT.
What replaces that capability?
IDT doesn't have "stereo mix", so I'm not sure how you used to have it on the E6530. IDT has an equivalent capability that it calls Rec.Playback. That can be found in the list of recording devices, after the IDT driver is installed.
How do I do that now?
Dell doesn't support audio on an E6530 that has had Win10 installed. The IDT company went out of the consumer audio business long before there was a Win10 OS, so there is no Win10 IDT driver for that model. Your computer is currently using the Windows native audio driver, which, as you say, does not support a stereo mix kind of feature.
You should be able to install the IDT driver for Win7 by installing with compatibility mode.
1. Download and save the audio driver to your desktop or any convenient location on the hard drive. [There are two "formats" on the driver's page. Scroll down to the 2nd one, named "Hard Drive" format, and download that one, not the 1st one named "Windows Update Package".]
2. Double click on the new folder to extract (unzip) the driver files.
3. The extractor wizard will create a new folder for the driver files. It will be at "c:\dell\drivers\xxxxxx". Write down the exact location that the wizard creates.
4. If the driver begins to install automatically, halt (cancel) the installation.
5. Browse to the driver files on the hard drive (the location you wrote down).
6. Find the "setup.exe" file.
7. Right click on setup.exe to open the context menu.
8. Select the Properties.
9. Select the Compatibility tab.
10. Check the box "run this program in compatibility mode for"... Win7.
Why is that not readily available somewhere in Dell land?
The audio chip manufacturer and exact version of the chip is on page 80 of the E6530 Owner's Manual. You can find the links to the E6530 documentation on its support page.
A quick way to find out which vendor Dell used with a given model, is to just look at the driver on the support page for that model, because the manufacturer's name is part of the driver's name. The E6530 audio driver can be found on the E6530 support page, which shows the "newest" drivers, and also on the E6530 html page which lists every driver that Dell has released for that model.
The information about installing a driver with compatibility mode is in one of the Laptop Audio FAQ's -- the Audio Driver FAQ. The FAQ's are in the sticky post at the top of the Laptop Audio discussion board.