erratic volume

I searched the files, but didn’t find my exact problem…I record alot of vinyl - 45s, 78s, and LPs. The 45s tend to be fine for volume, while the LPs are all over the place. Mac doesn’t allow me to fuss with input volume, so I can’t figure out how to get it to be consistent. The real problem is when I play my iTunes on random - the output for a recorded LP to a burned CD is startling. Any clues? Do I need to buy a pre-amp with gain control?

The volume level on LPs do vary a lot, particularly albums of different genre (for example, 12" singles for DJs are likely to be much louder than other 12" vinyl).

What is your current set-up?
Note that some USB turntables have a gain control hidden on the bottom of the machine.

Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB to USP input on iMac desktop running OS X10.7.5 (Lion).
Audacity v. 2.0.3 to AIFF file, converted to iTunes v 11.0.2
It’s mostly the LPs that come in quietly. I just need a way to boost occasionally, or at least control it.

If you are getting a healthy looking signal for most of your 45/78s and none of the albums are overloading (clipping/distorting) then you probably don’t need to overly concerned about the absolute level for each record. iTunes has a feature called “Sound Check” that allows the volume level to be adjusted automatically so that dissimilar tracks play with a similar loudness:

Try passing some compression over each file before you export from Audacity. It should level out the sound. I would suggest using


I’d suggest not doing that unless you like your music lifeless. (just a matter of opinion, and I’m not a fan of the loudness war)

I think if done properly it’s fine. I used to have the same issue when listening to Mp3’s in the car that I had ripped off cd’s etc. It’s more tiring on the years to have one song super loud, the next really soft, always riding the volume dial whilst driving. So adding a bit of compression and getting the output level consistent makes for (as the radio says) ‘easy listening’


I’ll try the Sound Check feature in iTunes. And hope it also is functional with iPod and iPhone.
Thanks for the info !!!