Audacity works different on 2nd PC

Hello, I have the same version (2.05) on 2 different PCs - a laptop and a desktop - I have chosen the same preferences on both (using the WASAP option) so I can play/record through my soundcard using the on-board sound card. On the laptop, I have no problems controlling the record sound levels (through the laptop’s sound mixer), but on the desktop, the same arrangement/setup does not allow me to control the recording levels at all. The monitored waveform seems to not change, regardless the setting of the sound mixer control setting, and the recording waveform always looks like it’s “flattening” out anything above and below +0.5 and -).5 db. The only difference is that on the laptop (HP Pavilion G Series), I use the PCs sound card, but on the desktop, I have a M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard.

Self-Recording is a dance between the operating system, the soundcard and the recording software. Everyone has to play nice. Nobody is shocked if you line up four different computers and one fails completely, one is distorted and the other two work fine. Self-recording is not a guaranteed service.

Does the desktop still have its original soundcard; is it on the mother board? Can you turn it back on just for these sessions? I bet it works.

If you’re “stuck” with the high quality soundcard, this is when you ask in M-Audio forums about how to deal with this. If you can’t get the sound into the computer for whatever reason, then Audacity isn’t going to work.

It seems that the computer has crossed the high quality, high volume show to the soundcard Microphone-In. That’s what usually causes +0.5 to -0.5 distorted blue waves.


So where are you playing the song you want to record - Windows Media Player? YouTube?

Have you tried turning the volume of the song down in the player?

The WASAPI recording level is fixed on the input side, so adjusting the Audacity input slider won’t help.


Hi again, thank you for your efforts to help me. On both computers, I’m using Youtube as the recording signal source - My desktop has an on-board sound card, which I’ve disabled, and all of the sound processes shown by my Windows (7/64 edition) shows it is using the M-Audio card. This may be a good time to ask the following: I acquired the higher quality M-Audio card because I believe it will help me get me better quality recordings… Am I right on this, or have I wasted time/money there?

As I said, if you use WASAPI, you can only affect the input level by changing the output level of the song you are playing.

Have you followed to see if the M-Audio has an input source you can enable for recording playback? You may be able to control the input level of that directly.

A PCI or USB audio card will almost certainly have less noisy sound than a motherboard audio device, simply because it is less close to noisy parts of the computer.

16-bit 44100 Hz (CD quality, supported by any motherboard audio) is already superior to what most humans can hear, so it comes down to discussing whether recording at higher sample rates or bit depths gives better results at the analogue to digital conversion or digital processing steps:

Are you recording with mics and guitars and so on or only recording YouTube songs? YouTube songs are always lossy audio - they could not be streamed otherwise.

If you are still concerned please attach a sample of the recorded audio that clips at +/- 0.5: How to post an audio sample.