Does anyone use the behringer uca202 sound card?

HI all,

I have previously been doing all my recording through the sound card that came with my PC but it has bad latency problems so i bought the behringer uca202 as i had heard favourable reports about it.

So far i have been dissapointed as it seems to have numerous flaws, The biggest being that it sucks the volume out of everything.
(Im using Audacity 1.2.6 with windows XP and im using a yamaha mds4 4 track as a mixing desk, which has worked fine in the past when recording through the computers soundcard).

When i record with the behringer uca202 i have to crank the volume of the mixing desk all the way to get a decent signal level into audacity. This in itself is no real problem. The biggest problem comes when i try to record the second track. The playback volume of the behringer uca202 is so quiet even with the volume up full on the behringer uca202 or on the external speaker if i have them plugged in. Does anyone know why this product acts like a black hole and sucks out so much volume? As the playback volume of the behringer uca202 is so quiet yet i need to crank the mixing desk (input volume) so loud it makes it impossible to record the second track as the ingoing volume overwhelms the outgoing volume so i cant here what im supposed to be playing to/along with.

I have played around with the computer setting and increased the volumes of the recording and playback settings in windows (ie the little speaker icon next to the clock, bottom right of screen)

I have also played around with the preferences in audacity and changed from sound mapper to USB Codec.

Both of these have not yeilded much improvement. Can anybody tell me what my settings should be in audacity for using a usb sound card so i can check i have it set up correctly? At present, the behringer uca202 is pretty much useless.

Also there is a high pitched buzzing that occurs if i try to increase the volume in audacity which i can only assume is from the behringer uca202 as ive never had this problem before.

Any help would be great


Hi meaksy,
I have a UCA202 and find it very good for my needs.

I presume you are using Windows? XP?

Firstly, I would not recommend the UCA202 for achieving “low latency” - it doesn’t - however this should not be a problem, even when recording multiple tracks as the “Latency Correction” in Audacity 1.3.4 should take care of this.

I’m not on my Windows machine at the moments, but I’ll try to address some of your issues from memory to get us started.

Also I recommend using Audacity 1.3.4 - unless you are one of a very small minority of users, it will be perfectly stable, and offers many advantages over 1.2.6.

The Behringer UCA202 is designed to operate at “Line Level” (full scale at 1 mW into 1 kOhm). This is likely to be roughly equivalent to “full volume” on your minidisk recorder.

My usage of the UCA202 is a little different from how you are using it as I just use it for transferring tapes onto my computer. The output of a ape deck is also roughly “line level”, so I just plug the outputs of the tape deck into the inputs of the UCA202. For monitoring I use my soundcard as that is already wired up to my speakers.

The output on many soundcards is quite a bit higher than line level - enough to drive headphones or small passive speakers directly, whereas the output from the UCA202 is roughly line level - perfect for connecting to the “line input” of a tape recorder, but may be a bit low for driving some computer speakers. I have used the output from the UCA202 with a pair of powered Yamaha computer speakers, and that works fine. I have also used the output plugged into a power amp to drive a pair of passive studio monitors and that worked fine as well, as does connecting the output of the UCA202 into the line input of a mixing desk.

I’m not sure how you have the UCA202, your mds4, and your speakers connected (what inputs to what outputs) - could you clarify this.

I’ll have to come back to this when I’m on my Windows computer.

The recording input should certainly be set like this. The output could be either the USV Codec, or your old sound card, depending on which you want to use for monitoring.

At this stage I’m not sure why this is, but I suspect it is a set-up problem rather than hardware. Certainly the recording quality for me is very good, so hopefully we will be able to do the same for you.

Thanks Steve,

Yes this is correct,

Ok, i have further had a play around and there are 3 ways i can output from my 4track to the UCA 202

Monitor out (2 plug RCA to 2plug RCA)
Stereo out (2 plug RCA to 2 plug RCA
Via the headphone out (3.5mm stereo to t plug RCA)

I did a little experiment and tested all these output with my 4 track set up identically each time

recording through the monitor out the recorded meter in audacity showed a record level of -24 to -18db (this would mean i would have to crank the 4 track to get a decent level in audacity)

Recording through the Stereo out was slightly better and the record meter showed -18 to -12 db

Recording through the headphone out was the best and the record meter showed -12 to -6db which is pretty good.

So in summary, the low input volumes i was experiencing is likely due to the 4 track and which output i use. Seems strange to me as i thought that they should be the same.

I still have the problem that playback through the UCA is very quiet and the output volume (track 1) is drowned out by the input volume (track 2) when trying to record multiple tracks. I have a pair of headphones (Sennheiser HD 202) plugged into the UCA 202 when i am doing this. Alternatively i have plugged the UCA 202 (via RCA cables) into a panosonic stereo which i use as monitors. This has the same problem although at least i can crank up the sound to a more audible level.

The only other alternative i can think of is to somehow use the output on the UCA 202 and feed it back into the 4track so i can control the output volume from there. Then i will need to somehow stop the sound (ie track 1) being fed from the UCA 202 from being re-sent into the next track (ie track 2)

Does this sound right?

I have not had opportunity to try this yet and im not sure if my machine can even do this.

Any advice would be apreciated.

Oh, i found where the high pitched buzzing was comming from. If i have headphones plugged into the pc (ie listening to track one) and press record in audacity to record the next track then the high pitch sound occurs, this sound actually does come out on the recording. If i dont plug the headphones into the pc then i dont get this noise. Any ideas why this would happen.


Seems that Behringer updated the UCA - mine does not have a headphone socket (the one I have was a very early model when they first brought it out).

The output you should use from the 4 track is the “stereo out”. As said before, the output volume from the 4 track should be set high. Cranking the volumes on the 4 track will improve signal:noise ratio providing you don’t crank it so high that it starts to distort.

When I plug in the UCA, the output volume defaults to max, but the input level is not adjustable. To get a ballance, you need to turn down the output volume. There are two places to get at this on Windows XP:

  1. double click on the speaker icon near the clock (bottom right corner of the screen) and the Windows Mixer will pop up. Click on “Options > Properties” and select “USB Audio Codec” with “Playback” selected, and all items in the window selected, then click on OK. You can now adjust the output volume from your computer for sounds being sent to the UCA.

  2. The other place to access the “Windows Mixer” is through the Windows Control Panel (Sounds and Audio Devoces).

When you plug your headphones into the PC, I’m guessing that it is an “on board” sound card. These are rarely satisfactory, and I think that your headphones are acting as an ariel and picking up interference. If you do not need to use the on-board sound card, the best thing is to disable it in BIOS. Failing that, the second best thing is to disable it in the Device Manager (Control Panel {Classic View} > System > Hardware > Device Manager).