Audacity not consistent with preamp

Cannot figure out what is going wrong! I just got the Audient id4. When plugged into my Mac laptop to test, everything is fine on Audacity, other than there is white noise in my headphones underlying everything - Not sure if that is normal. When I move to my Windows 10 PC/monitor setup in my new booth (also using audacity), vocals are distorted and no matter how loud I yell, nothing on the DAW will spike or go over -6db. Could it be a setting in Audacity doing this? Gain on both also has to be turned to the max. Using an AKG C214. Thanks in advance for the help!

What is the ID4 doing? Do you have the +48v Phantom Power and STATUS lights?

Does the 214 microphone have status lights? The 414 does.

Can you get the full range of ID4 volume lights all the way up to the red ones? You should never get the red lights for a show, but we’re not doing a show. We’re troubleshooting.

Go into the Windows Control Panels (microphone or speaker in lower right??) Make sure it’s set for stereo and the little bouncing sound meter has full range.

Open Audacity and set it to capture from the ID4 in stereo. Right-click on the Audacity recording meters > Start Monitoring.

The sound meters should wake up and all meters should more or less match. You should have full range of Audacity meters, not stopping at -6dB (50%).

If you listen to the computer now, you should have perfect sound, but maybe only on Stereo Left and not Right. That’s OK. That’s easy to fix.

Have it that far? If you have full meter range but distorted sound, then we will need to go into Windows settings. There’s a pile of them available to “help you” and may not be needed.

Audacity does not apply effects, filters or corrections on recording.


nothing on the DAW will spike or go over -6db.

That can happen if you record in mono, from one only input, using a stereo interface. That allows both inputs to get near clipping (0dB) without clipping the mixed-mono signal. But if one channel is silent you’ll only hit -6dB (50%). You can switch to stereo to “fix” that, but then you’ve got stereo with one silent channel and you’ll have to convert to mono.