audioinputlevel controle

Why is it that a recording device doesn’t have an audio inputlevelcontrole?

This depends on what the operating system allows. On Mac, you will notice that when there is no input volume control in the System Preferences Audio pane, then in Audacity the Recording Slider is disabled.

– Bill

Yes, Bill, as I have a Mac I’ve run into the same frustrating problem. If you can’t control the input volume with either Audacity or my OS (10.6.8), then HOW are we supposed to get any kind of reasonable sound level recorded? I spent hours last night attempting to record some saxophone on some tracks, and despite the waveforms being smaller and smaller (about 1/10th as wide as the music already on the tracks), I could not get rid of the distortion! I was using simple Tascam iUR2 interface, and the Audacity input level & my OS input level controllers were disabled, so how is one to record, with no input level control? The Audacity manual & tutorial were of no help…
Screen shot 2014-08-05 at 11.47.57 AM.jpg

It’s “supposed” to be done using the input level controls on the Tascam.
Those control the analog gain before the signal is converted to digital, so (in theory) that should provide the best signal to noise ratio.
If it were controlled by a software slider, then you would only be able to scale (resize) the digital signal - you would not be able to stop the audio from clipping, just make it a smaller clipped signal (a common and confusing problem for many Windows users).

I mentioned that even when I had the signal greatly reduced, as seen by the waveforms, it’s still distorting. So, if turning it way down on the Tascam won’t work, what else can I do? I tried it with both a condenser and then just an SM58 with no phantom power, and it didn’t make a difference. Does this mean something could be wrong with the Tascam, or what? Also, I’m on a Mac, not a PC…

What are you trying to record?


Close mic’d? That’s going to be pretty loud.
Using the SM58, set the input level on the Tascam at minimum and record a few seconds. Export as a WAV file and attach the exported file to your reply (use the “upload attachment” option below the message composing box.

That’s not a full mixer with all the fancy tools to prevent overload. The SM-58 will happily just keep getting louder and louder until your hand melts, but the sensitive, delicate microphone preamplifier inside the Tascam is not going to put up with that. See if you can get a good, clean recording by just backing away from the mic a little. Or even if you can get it to change.

The Tascam iUR2 is an abbreviation of a much larger console and they did have to leave some parts out.