Audacity LINE IN not recording . . .?


When I try to record from my digital recorder workstation
to the LINE IN jack on my DELL Lattitude 620 laptop,
Audacity makes this extremely loud distorted screeching
sound with heavy reverb.
I have Audacity all set up to receive LINE IN signal.
Could be this be a conflict between Audacity and my sound card?

THanks for your help!

DELL Lattitude 620

This will be painful because it’s apparently a discontinued laptop. That and the only description I was able to find wasn’t detailed at all.

Two problems. This is billed as a “Business Computer” and those rarely come with high-level stereo inputs. What is the audio connection on the side? What is the icon or English words? Do you have three? Pink, Blue and Green or Black?

If you enjoy recording internet audio, you may actually be recording Stereo-Mix or one of those variations instead of real Line-In. This may easily give you screaming feedback or other instabilties.

Dig into the Windows Control Panels and make sure your connections are set correctly there before you start Audacity.

If you only have Mic-In…

Then that’s where the distortion is coming from. You can, if you need to transfer stereo analog, use a stereo digitizer similar to the UCA-202 shown here.


Ensure that “Software Playthrough” is off (Transport menu).

You have that set where?
Which version of Windows?

THanks for your response.

I used a different sound recorder previously
and had no problems and didn’t need a
stereo digitizer.

My DELL has the settings shown in the pic.

I guess I’ll have to get the digitizer.

I have XP

Under the INPUT DEVICE window
I have it set to LINE IN.

I previously had the SOFTWARE PLAYTHROUGH ON
and now I have switched it off.

Has that stopped the screeching?

What’s happening now?

Check in the Windows Mixer that only the Line In is enabled and not the microphone or Stereo Mix.

I have it set up for only LINE IN in the WIN Mixer,
however there is NO Signal being shown on the Meter
of Audacity.
Also I’m plugging in to the headphones input not the mic

? You’re plugging what into the headphone socket of what?

the headphone jack as shown
in this pic:

The headphone jack is an output. You can’t record “into” a headphone connection.

is the mic input the input ?

The Mic input is an input, however it may be too sensitive for plugging a digital recorder workstation into it.
Some laptops have “mic inputs” that are actually combined “mic” or “stereo line” inputs. If the laptop has one of those then that will work.
Some laptops have “mic” inputs that are only for microphones. If your laptop has one of these then the sound will distort and only be in mono, in which case you will need to buy an external “line in” device (such as a Behringer UCA 202 which was suggested earlier).