Audacity Cutting Peaks on Right Channel


In the process of digitizing a few records and I have noticed an issue where the peaks are cut along the right channel of each recording (please see attached image). It’s weird, this happens on any recording volume aswell. Subsequently leading to a lack of detail and depth when compared to the left channel. Like its clipping the right channel automatically when recording.


Audio Technica LP120USb → Behringer UFO 202 → PC/Audacity.

Cartridge & Stylus - Shure M44-7

In terms of troubleshooting, I have swapped the RCA cables around to no avail. I’ve tried resetting the tonearm, fine-tuned the azimuth as best i could and cleaned the stylus.

Any ideas? Is this something in audacity causing this? or a hidden setting buried in WIndows?

Many Thanks,

It looks like the left channel is being clipped also, but not as badly.
Most likely the input of the UFO 202 is being overloaded. (I’ve had a similar problem with the UCA 202 when using a “hot” input signal).

Given the name, I presume that the “Audio Technica LP120USb” is a USB turntable, so why not just:
Audio Technica LP120USb → PC/Audacity

Thanks for the quick response, I removed the phono preamp connected the turntable dirrectly to the PC via USB. However now both channels are clipped…But a slight improvement, as I am now not seeing the channel imbalance I had before

Does this problem only occur with some records? Pressings that are designed for club DJs (especially 12" singles) are often “extremely loud” and can overload equipment that is designed for mainstream releases.

To check if this problem has anything to do with Audacity (I doubt that it has, but we can check), try making a recording with Windows Sound Recorder. I expect that you will see the same problem.

Just tried America - Horse With No Name, and although the waveform is smaller, there is no clipping!

Thanks,you’re right about the overloading. I have a lot of dance music though…Would an upgrade in hardware solve this clipping issue? Like a new pre-amp?

This is the signal chain:
(“A/D” is the "Analog to Digital converter.)

Analog domain:
Vinyl → Stylus → Cartridge → Pre-amp (RIAA equalization) →

Digital domain:
A/D USB converter → Windows sound system → Audacity → Hard drive

When not using the UFO 202, most of this occurs within the turntable:
Vinyl → Stylus → Cartridge → Pre-amp (RIAA equalization) → A/D USB converter → (output through USB connection)

When using the UFO 202 you can either take the signal from before or after the pre-amp that is built into the turntable. The UFO 202 needs to be set to phono/line accordingly:

Cartridge → Turntable Pre-amp (RIAA equalization) → [UFO 202 Line level input → A/D USB converter] →
Cartridge → [UFO 202 phono input → Pre-amp (RIAA equalization) → A/D USB converter] →

In both cases, the clipping is most likely to be occurring at the A/D converter.
The A/D converter in the UFO 202 is only 16-bit, so to achieve the best signal to noise ratio and dynamic range, the signal going into it should peak at close to, but below 0 dB. The problem when playing very loud records is that the signal on the disk, and hence the signal from the cartridge, is likely to be over 0 dB, and so it clips when being converted to digital. This appears to be happening whether using the pre-amp/A/D in the turntable or in the UFO 202. The pre-amp can ‘probably’ handle the large signal, but A/D converters have an absolute cut-off at 0 dB.

The solution is to reduce the (analog) level, either before feeding it into pre-amp, or before feeding it into the A/D converter. Unfortunately neither the turntable or the UFO 202 provide this option.

If you have a stand-alone phono pre-amp (some hi-fi amps have phono inputs and “line-level” outputs), then it may be possible to connect the phono output from turntable, to the phono input of the amp, and it ‘may’ then be possible (depending on the amp/pre-amp) to send a reduced signal level to UFO 202 (set for “line level”), and thus avoid the clipping. If you don’t have anything like that, then we can look at other possible solutions.

I have a lot of dance music though…Would an upgrade in hardware solve this clipping issue? Like a new pre-amp?

Hopefully one of Steve’s suggestions work for you. But, you can stick an [u]in-line attenuator[/u] between the turntables analog line-level output and the Behringer (with the Behringer set to “line”).

Or, ART makes a [u]USB-Turntable Interface[/u] with an analog level control. Or, there are LOTs of higher-end audio USB interfaces with line-inputs and gain controls.


Thanks for the replies guys, they have been very helpful. Steve your response was great. Apologies for the delayed response. If the integrated preamp in the turntable can handle the large signal, then I am considering replacing my current Behringer UFO 202 with something better…

Would the Steinberg UR22 MK2 or the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or anything else be a better option?

Sorry if I’m still not understanding it…

Many Thanks,

Would the Steinberg UR22 MK2 or the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or anything else be a better option?

Maybe… The line-inputs should work fine since your turntable has a built-in phono preamp. Of course, you would need different adapter-cables.

Both of those interfaces have higher digital resolution than the other interfaces, but you’d be using the phono preamp built into the turntable. What we don’t know is if there’s any difference between the turntable’s built-in preamp and the external interface’s phono preamp (for the interfaces that have phono inputs).

I wouldn’t expect any significant difference. You don’t need high resolution for analog vinyl and the record itself is always the weak link (unless you’ve got clipping or some other specific problem).

The BIG difference is you can use those interfaces if you ever want to record with microphones. (The microphone input on a computer is only for a “computer microphone” so you need an external interface if you want to use studio/stage mics.)


I have found a similar thread from last year relating to this →

The solution in the end was to buy a new phono-preamp.

I have settled on the ART USB Phono Plus V2 Phono Preamp with USB (Thanks DVDdoug!). This seems like a suffice enough bit of kit, and i didn’t want to go through with the mentioned adaptor-cable issue with the phono-preamps I mentioned before.

If all is well, I don’t mind purchasing this, and will get back to you if this has fixed the problem.

Many Thanks,

I bought one of those for my vinyl conversions and found an excellent well-built piece of kit.