Audio input too loud

Is it possible too reduce the microphone levels below the minimum on the slider in the toolbar? I’m trying to convert vinyl into digital and the input volume is too loud even with everything else minimized.

Let me predict the past. You’re on a PC laptop and you’re trying to feed it high-level vinyl performances from a pre-amp or other amplifier.

In a word, no. Deskside PCs and most modern Macs have high-level stereo inputs as a matter of course. PC Laptops in a majority of cases only have Microphone Level connections. In order to do a good job, Microphone amplifiers have a sensitive fixed level amplifier right at the beginning and it can’t be changed. Once you overload that, it’s all over.

If you root around in the instructions for your notebook, some of them will admit that there are techniques to convert from one level to the other. If that’s not true, then your only hope is one of the many fine USB audio converters out there. Don’t go under about $50 unless you get something guaranteed to work from eBay. Really cheap USB devices contribute more problems than they cure. The original iMic ($29-US) was awful.

And yes, if you’re handy with tools and a soldering iron and have a Radio Shack nearby, I can give you the specifications for a signal reducer to make what you already have match.

Just to cover the bases, do you have a “Line-In” on your computer? On some of them it’s blue.


Or, maybe you are using a USB turntable - in which case Audacity hands control of the sound services including the control of gain/volume to the USB device and the mic slider becomes inoperable. If that is the case then you need to control the signel level at the USB deck - some of them have gain controls and some don’t (I used to use an ION iTTUSB where there was a fiddly little knurled knob onderneath at the back).


Try the line in (blue) and turn the vinyl down, if you can… if you can’t then run it through a mixer or pa system (and turn it down on there) which is then plugged into the “line in” on your soundcard