Having issues with low volume on Blue Yeti mic. on Mac - volume doesn't go above -35db even though set at -12

I see a mixer option under View - no mixer toolbar. Twiddling with settings on that didn’t affect anything - no changes.

My test Audacity is 3.1.3. Tomorrow, I’ll install the latest one and see if I can get the same settings you have.


OK. Got it. Audacity 3.3.2 (Intel) doesn’t have stand-alone volume controls any more. The little squares inside the bouncing sound meter are doing that job now. This is confirmed because I changed a recording volume setting in Audacity, and … eventually … Apple > System Preferences > Sound > volume control followed me. It works the other way, too. I can change the one inside the Mac and … eventually … the little square in the Audacity meter will follow me.

I can think of one really serious shortcoming of this system. New Users are going to freak when the bouncing sound meter audio doesn’t match the slider setting. Further, the slider is in percent and the sound is in Decibels (dB). What short of witchcraft is this?

Anyway, you should crank your Audacity volume slider all the way up, and then crank the volume setting on the Yeti all the way up. Closer? Can you yell and make it overload?


Can’t make it overload. In an earlier screenshot - I had arrows pointing to location on recording meter over which the sound doesn’t seem to exceed. I’m not sure HOW that level is set.

See those little upright rectangles in the sound meters?

Those are not indicators. Those are actually controls. Click on one of them and push. I moved the microphone one all the way to the right.

That moves the microphone volume as loud as it will go. Maybe count to ten after you do that to give the Mac a chance to catch up.

Also run the GAIN knob on the back of the Yeti all the way up.

Do the yelling test.


I did do both those things. Volume level stays the same. However today I recorded with those settings and my whole 1+ hour recording sounds distorted! Frustrating. So I’m going to have to repeat the whole thing. Yuk!

On that very same meter, what is the BLUE mark - (see my earlier screenshot with orange arrows)? I noticed the volume NEVER goes beyond that setting inspite of recording level being all the way to the right.

OK. One other possibility.

The other Mac users can drop in here any time…

As we go.


Which 3.3.3 installer did you use? “Universal” or X86-Intel?

I’m doing this on two different machines, so everything has to work, and errors ripple.

You may be reading those little marks wrong. They’re not causing the sound to misbehave. They’re reporting where Something Else is damaging the sound.


More than I ever wanted to know…

Yes, that tiny blue line is reporting Maximum Sound Wave Excursion. Open this file in Audacity and watch the tiny blue line jump as I get louder and louder. The same thing happens on recording.

I did that test in a quiet room on my Macbook Air. It’s perfectly happy letting me overload the sound channel.

Note up in the sound meter, the little rectangle has two lines behind it. The red one signifying sound damage because I got the volume too high, and the blue one confirming that the sound level is too high.

Those vertical red lines in the blue waves are visible if you set View > Show Clipping. They confirm, as if we needed it, that I got the sound level too high.

So your computer is broken. It’s possible there is a USB problem or a microphone fault.


What could make your machine unique? There are no other complaints like this on the forum that I know of, so it’s a special failure or, as in one other forum post, a magic software package that got misadjusted.


I would not record any new work until you resolve this.

Do you remember where the GAIN knob on the back of the Yeti was before you changed it? Put it back and see if enough of the distortion clears up.

Aren’t you plugging headphones into the Yeti for recording? Can’t you hear the distortion?

See what I mean? Nothing about this works right. I can’t tell you what to do until we figure out what’s wrong.


Great News! I think there’s someone else on the forum with the exact same problem. Very low voice volume in spite of doing everything perfectly correctly.


I may have a clue from the other, similar posting.

Go into the preferences.

Audacity > Preferences > Recording. How are your top four options (overdub, etc) set?


FWIW, this is a known bug with Audacity: Overdub Monitoring Not Working · Issue #3964 · audacity/audacity · GitHub

What is set at -12 ?

Which Yeti microphones are you using ?

The microphone volume control slider inside the sound meter. It’s visible in the illustration at the top of this post.

That brings up a different problem. While I agree that combination of metering and control makes perfect sense to a programmer/developer/designer, it’s nothing but confusing to a New User. If I set the slider to -12, it should give me -12 sound, right? Right?

Anyway, I’m reading through that bug report and I can see echoes of the posted problem. The sound pathways have become scrambled, and it’s not just Macs.

I would give significant chocolate to have a series of settings that always clears this problem for simple recording, whether or not fancy recordng techniques survive.

As we go.


My mouth keeps wanting to form the words: Stop Recording On The Computer!!!


:grinning: I’ll get to work on this right away! :grinning:

What are those settings on your machine? That may give us a significant clue what’s happening.