Having problems

hi, iv just recorded a copy of Blaydon Races by Alan Price onto my computer using audacity. When i play it back its got some major distortion, iv tried lowering the volume at which it is recorded, tried some editing etc, but still never sounds any different. it sounds fine when you play the normal record, crystal clear but on here its distorted, you can hear it but just sounds like it was recorded at a concert.

can anyone help me here? maybe remove the noise if i sent the file?


That’s usually due to using the mic input on the computer instead of the line-in … http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/How_to_connect_your_equipment

the turntable we have only has 2 forms of audio output, it has USB for computers and the red and white connection as if you were connecting to a tv. my dad ripped a record the other day and it was clear quality so i dont know what im doing wrong :S

Ahh it’s a USB turntable … http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=Transferring_tapes_and_records_to_computer_or_CD#Special_note_on_connecting_a_USB_turntable

If that’s the case the record level in Audacity being set to high seems the most likely reason for the distortion:
try turning the record level slider (yellow) down …
try turning down the record level slider i've coloured yellow.png
Turn the record level slider down to the level where the red VU meter bars never reach zero during the entire recording of the track,
(if they exceed zero that’s when the signal is too loud and distortion occurs).

ok thanks, iv tried turning it down, pretty much to zero, and the red indicator still hits a stupidly high level, anything else i can do? the song iv had trouble with is this one :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkb-FBcweko im gonna keep trying, but if you know away to clean it up maybe i could send you it? many thanks this is all appreciated :smiley:

ok iv had a play around, tried abit of noise removal which to be honest it sounds better but i still get either a version with distortion or a version which sounds like its underwater slightly, can get it right :confused:


I assume that you are the peggbegg on Youtube - that posted that clip. That recording will never be rescued or cleaned - you had a massively overhot signal when you recorded it (I was jolly glad I didn’t have my headphones on when I played it!)- you need to turn the wick down, the recording meters should never get to the far end otherwis you will get clipping - and you have got massive clipping - a good target to aim for is a max of -6dB while recording (you can amplify it later if you need too - I normally amp up to -2.0dB).

Have a look at this set of tutorials: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Tutorial_-_Copying_tapes,_LPs_or_minidiscs_to_CD

and particularly this one: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Recording_with_USB_turntables

If you’re lucky tou may find a gain/volume control on your USB TT - but the cheaper ones tend not to have one. Otherwise it’s down to fiddly software settings.


yea my dads got a shitty cheap TT, nothing on it what so ever except play stop and something else that makes the needle go back home.

my last recording i had the recording levels on “0.1db” and it came out exactly the same, bloody horrible, so i tried noise removal on a silent clip. and like i said its slightly better but now sounds like someones playing it underwater or something so still not good but not distorted. i need an expert lol. wheres these music boffins who can get any mp3 and tidy it up lol

#1. You may have to install driver software for the “shitty cheap TT” … https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/waveform-clipping/17900/1

#2. if #1 doesn’t fix the clipping problem look at the “properties” of the USB device in Windows recording devices* to see if there is a level slider you can turn down.
(* or equivalent mixer in other OS). If in the USB device properties you are given the option to set “bit depth” and “sample rate” try 16-bit depth and 44100Hz sample rate.

#3 Maybe try recording in 16 bit depth, (i.e. change the default bit depth to “16-bit” in Audacity “preferences” “quality”).

[If the USB TT A-D converter only produced a 16-bit binary number which was being misread as part of a larger binary number, that could multiply the digital representation of the signal hugely, causing clipping even with all the levels turned down to near zero. ]

oh never thought of that, thanks i will give that a go!