I can hear mic input through Realtek, but not when recording

I just plugged in my Behringer XM8500 for the first time and fired up audacity to start testing before recording some music. After playinng back my test recording (me simply saying “testing” into the mic), I found that it sounded more like a robot speaking gently and unintelligibly from about three floors down. The playback was distant and distorted. I thought maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew and would need a preamp to get things going, but the I fired up my computer’s default audio manager, which is Realtek. I un-muted the mic playback and could immediately hear myself through my headphones, loud and clear. I still think I’ll need to invest in a preamp, but I’m just not sure why I can hear myself fine through realtek audio manager, but can’t record anything usable in audacity.

I currently have my input set to “Microphone” and the input volume set all the way up. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.

How did you connect your microphone to your computer? Did you plug it into the Mic-In? What kind of computer do you have. Model number?

I understand why the first test failed. That is a three-wire broadcast microphone and your sound card is a two-wire system. Unless you lucked out, it’s actually wired wrong. I can’t explain why the second test worked. They both should have been weak and gutless.

This is the adapter you need to convert for your sound card.


That’s the wiring listing. I found one person selling that on earth and I can’t find the address any more. I made that one.

So yes, a nice USB MicPre is indicated so you can bypass the soundcard completely.

People seem to like the Art series of USB preamps. Somebody will drop in and explain. I have larger sound mixers, so mine are built-in. Before you blow $100 on a microphone preamp, that same $100 will get a four channel sound mixer and an extra $30 will get the USB digitizer.


I’d probably go with an external digitizer like the Behringer UCA202 and the cheaper analog Peavey. That will allow you to do perfect Overdubbing/Sound-On Sound in addition to straight recording.


Thanks a bunch for your reply! I’m as confused as you are as to why realtek picked up my mic okay and audacity didn’t. I figured I’d need a preamp but hoped the need wouldn’t be quite so prevalent as it’s a much larger investment than the mic itself. Ah well. Time to face the music I s’pose. Thanks for laying it out for me.