Checking input levels

I am new to this. I have watched videos and read about making sure the input levels from the microphone are -12 to -18 db when recording. In the video he clicks on the microphone in the tool bar, and gets to enable monitoring. When I go there, it asks about silent monitoring, and I cannot SEE what the input levels are. What am I doing wrong?

If you are recording from a USB interface or USB microphone you may not be able to adjust the recording level. You generally have to adjust the analog level before it’s digitized.

Are you on a Mac? There seems to be a bug in the current Mac version that’s killing the meters.

This is the meter and recording level control

For some reason, the pros do that. It might be an old “tradition” from the early digital days or maybe it’s simply to leave headroom for unexpected peaks.

The “digital maximum” is 0dB and NOTHING BAD HAPPENS if you get CLOSE to 0dB, only if you “try” to go over.

Overall, digital recording levels are not that critical. You can amplify (losslessly) after recording.

Thank you DVDdoug. I am on a Mac. I saw that link, and that is not what I am seeing. I am concerned that moving forward with my project without this is risky. Any idea if there are other good programs I can use so I don’t have to wait for Audacity to update and fix this?

I think MacOS comes with Garage Band.

Or here are older versions of Audacity

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