Different recording levels between Vista & XP

This post concerns Audacity 2.0.5 installed from the .exe file and running on Windows XP/SP3 and Vista/SP2, both op. systems at latest update level.

The issue is that the recording level when running my dual-boot system under Vista is about 65% of that when running under XP - obviously with the same hardware. Under XP the peak ‘VU’ meter gets to about -1 dB with orchestral crescendos; on Vista, playing the same piece (e.g. from CD) the peak level is about -8 dB.

The effect is noticeable on playback too, with the XP version sounding ‘better’ (whatever that means!).

Why are there differences and how do I set Vista to record at a higher level? That’s probably a hardware question: it’s M-Audio Audiophile 2496 installed in an Asus A8v mobo with Athlon X2 3800+ processor and 2 GB of dual channel memory. In both boot configurations the system volume and the M-Audio Delta control panel have the volume set to maximum.

As an ancillary question I have to ask advice on how to use the Delta control panel: I really have no idea what the ‘mixer’ control is. or what the purpose of the ‘return’ channels are. Can somebody explain how I should be setting this card up for optimum line-level recording and playback, please?

Vista has a completely different sound system to XP. You probably need to look in the Windows Sound Control Panel to find all the settings.

Yes, hardware, drivers and the Windows Sound system. Unless a visitor to this forum happens to have the same hardware and happens to read this topic we are probably not able to answer questions about specific hardware issues. You may be better to ask M-Audio about issues with their product.