Help with microphone level please

I’m having a problem with getting a good microphone recording level in Audactiy. I have a Rode NT1-A mic, a Behringer UMC204HD interface and a new iMac 21.5 desktop. In the Mac, mic input is set to USB and the level is all the way up, I am getting a signal that is a little more than half way when I speak. On the Behringer I have the gain knob to to just before the clipping light flashes. In Audactiy the mic level is turned up all the way, but this is what the recording looks like:
The only way to get this louder is to use amplify from the effects menu, and I’m worried that will diminish quality of the recording. Any suggestions on what may be wrong and how to correct this?

Thank you

The 204HD doesn’t like to mount Mono. Change the Audacity settings to Stereo and the orange waves should get taller. I expect if everything is working correctly, Audacity orange waves and the red lights on the 204 should overload about the same time. I expect the lights to get there first since it’s their job to warn you before you get into trouble. Natural, normal voice work should peak occasionally to -10dB or -6dB like this.

If all that works, you can create a mono show out of your stereo show by using the drop-down menu to the left of the track > Split Stereo to Mono.

[X] delete the silent track.

Are you trying to read for audiobooks? We published a process to do that.

Quick note. My bouncing sound meters are much longer than yours (click both edges and pull), and they have -96 on the left-hand edge rather than -60. I like those settings because the bouncing lights appear about the same ease as yours, but it allows you to see noise in the -60dB range which is important for voice work.


I understand your goal is record an audiobook in perfect condition, publish, make a ton of money and move to a cottage on cote d’azur. But. It’s terrifically good to know how your equipment works.

Intentionally cause an overload. Slowly get louder and louder and get closer to the microphone until both the Behringer and Audacity go into overload. The Audacity bouncing sound meters should turn yellow and then red. The orange waves will eventually go all the way top to bottom and create distortion from overload. It’s good to know the lights on the Behringer behavior. Do they overload at the same time Audacity does? Are they ahead and by how much?

There is a very common error condition where the orange waves will not get any higher than 0.5, and the bouncing meter will not go higher than -6dB.

Write back if that happens to you.