How do I control recording volume?

Some how my recording volume changed and now all my recordings are distorted. I cannot find any instructions in the manual.

Starting with the pink panel above, we need the version information, then reformat the question to tell us what you’re doing and with what.


I am using 2.0.6

And the rest of it? We have to build your system in our heads and that’s rough when you didn’t tell us anything.


You can use the input slider (by the mic symbol) in Audacity’s Mixer Toolbar:

to regulate recording volume (if that slider is not greyed out).

It probably will be greyed out if you are using a USB recording device - Mac’s do not normally allow you to control input volume of USB recording devices.

Like Koz said, we can’t give you a proper answer without information to go on.


When I first opened the app I had no problem with the sound. I then added another app, WavePad, that had additional sound effects. However, it recorded too loudly for my needs and I turned down the volume. When I used Audacity again, it seemed as if the volume in it had been effected as well. Now when I record the volume is ‘crunched’ so the sound is affected. I have tried throwing away the Audacity program that I had and putting on a new one but it maintained the volume problem; probably something in the Preferences. When I have looked all over the program NOWHERE could I find a volume control. That is all I need is a way to turn the recording volume down.

And we don’t know any more about your microphone now than we did at the beginning. Which microphone are you using and how is it connected? Our response is going to change depending on your hardware and technique.

Please don’t become a difficult poster. That just wastes everyone’s time.


Please read the responses you have received.

The volume control for an input is in Audacity’s Mixer Toolbar:

Do you see that or not?

If you do not see it, take your computer mouse and click on “View” in the Audacity Menu Bar at the top, then click on “Toolbars” then on “Reset Toolbars”.

Is the mic slider in Mixer Toolbar greyed out?

If yes, open System Preferences then Sound, then click the Input tab, select the device you are recording then see if it has an input volume control.

If that does not help, tell us what you are recording and how. If you refuse to tell us then you’ll probably just be ignored.


I did a “reset tool bars” and the volume indicators stayed the same
I then went into the ‘Preferences’ panel. My selections are ‘devices’, ‘playback’, ‘recording’, ‘quality’, ‘interface’, ‘tracks’, ‘import/export’, ‘extended import’, ‘projects’, ‘libraries’, ‘spectrograms’, ‘directories’, ‘warnings’, ‘effects’, ‘keyboard’, and ‘mouse’. No where is there one called ‘sound’.
Do i have a defective program?

Is the input slider in Audacity’s Mixer Toolbar greyed out, or not?

Why won’t you tell us what you are recording, and with what equipment? :confused: It makes it hard or impossible to help you.

Sound is the Mac system Preferences for Sound. To find System Preferences, try the Apple menu top left of your computer. Click this link (blue text) with your mouse


The entire Mixer panel is fine. Nothing is grayed out.
There is also a ‘preferences’ on the Audacity program. That was the one I had assumed you meant as that is the one I am using to record. It makes me think that there is no volume control for recording within the system.
I am recording my voice simply speaking. I am using a microphone listed as a ‘C-Media USB Audio Device’

Like this?

My Audacity recording sliders do work with this device, but it’s not the latest Audacity. I may have to come back to this. I have to leave for a while.


Nope. Not quite the same thing. Mine is a C-Media USB Headphone Set. But. It does have a working volume control in Audacity 2.1.0. Attached. The Audacity volume control slider does what it says and Apple (upper left desktop) > System Preferences > Sound > Input also shows the C-Media device. The System Preferences volume slider follows the recording volume control in Audacity.

Does yours work that way?

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 16.04.31.png
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 16.03.32.png

Thanks, however that listing may appear the same for a large number of different products (it’s just the name of the manufacturer whose “USB chip” is being used in the device).

Are you able to state what the make and model number of the mic is, or give a web address where we would buy it we wanted to? The mic itself, or the box or manual that came with it should state the make and model number of your mic.


Sorry it took so long for me to answer. I am using a CAD Audio U1 Handheld USB Recording Microphone with a sleeve on it to avoid hissing.
I also just downloaded the most current Audacity program. I went from the 2.0.6 to the newest 2.1.0.

Have you looked at the U1 USB Recording Microphone - CAD Audio Manual? That shows clearly that your mic should have an input volume control in “Sound” in system preferences (click the “Input” tab). Do you see this?
Can you turn the volume down there?

How tall are the blue waves in the problem recording? If the waves are normal height (up to about +/- 0.5 to 0.8) then the “crunchy” problem may not be excessive volume but something else.

You can attach a sample file of the bad recording if you like. See How to post an audio sample.


There are two copied .wav files and the YouTude of the final product. Do you have Flash? There is also the working file which is where the problem begin

The attached files are not too loud, so what is the relevance of turning the volume down? The “h” is intrusive, otherwise they are reasonable in my opinion. Have you changed your position at the mic?

When I listened to the video last night I thought the words but not the background were “hissy”. You’ve removed the video now so we can’t listen again.

What compressed audio format did you export to for the video? What bit rate did you use? Did you choose a lower bit rate by accident? What application makes the video? Did you change its settings?


Sorry. I did replace the video. It can now be located here:

The sound still ‘crunches’.

Of the two words we can compare with the video, only the “intoxicating” word is much worse in the video.

if you made the video from samples of the same quality as the WAV’s you posted, then the problem lies in the export format you used and how you made the video, which has resulted in degraded quality. We cannot see your computer and you have not answered our questions about how you exported and made the video.