Can't adjust input levels. Playback is distorted

Hi Forum
I’m trying to digitize LPs from my Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB-enabled TT to my Mac laptop running MacOS 10.14.3. I’m using Audacity 2.3.0.

My Mac doesn’t allow the input levels to be adjusted regardless of whether I’m using the Phono or Line output from the turntable. As a result, the LPs record with lots of clipping and distort in playback, including sounding like some track are speeded up! Is there anything I can do to rectify or override the presets? Any help will be much appreciated.

How are you connecting the turntable to the Mac? USB? If so, it is normal for the input level to not be adjustable. The audio-to-USB converter in the turntable sets the level. I have never heard of clipping occurring when using a USB connection.
– Bill

Thanks Bill. No, I haven’t seen anything addressing this issue either.

sounding like some track are speeded up!

That’s the phrase that pays. You don’t have a normal volume problem. Something is standing in the middle of your music process and messing with it.

Speeded up sound many times means the data transfer is going too slow or has missing pieces. You make a speeded up movie by running the movie camera too slow.

Not a clue what could do that on a Mac. Did you get the turntable new? Do they have a manual or questions page?

Google what you have. Something like "Audio Technica AT-LP120 sound too fast."


Thanks Koz. got me stumped.

I’ll google as you recommended.

The thing is that that records play OK at normal speed, it’s just in playback that the records are speeded up.

in playback that the records are speeded up

During digital capture, the computer assigns digital numbers to each sound. If some of them are malformed or missing, the three minute sound file playback may make it to the end in two minutes and change.

The most likely place to get damaged is the USB connection. Can you try a different one?

Another possibility is the computer is too busy doing other jobs to worry about the sound. Restart the machine and see if that helps.

High volume is also suspicious. Home sound equipment typically plays low volume to avoid distortion problems. You may be talking yourself into a damaged turntable.

There’s a philosophical problem here, too. You’re not going to leave this turntable to your children, right? You’re going to get to the last record and put it in the trash. Many of the makers know this and take shortcuts in construction.

Do you have a much higher quality turntable in your music system? You may be able to adapt that to digital recording.