If you’re hitting 0dB you’re probably clipping. It’s very unlikely that you’re hitting 0dB without “trying” to go over. And, it will depend on the record. Some records are cut louder than others.
FYI, here’s how I arrived I my “optimal” of 0.8 to 0.9. Starting at the pre-amp LED, I ride the level so there is some flicker but no clipping (red).
It would be “optimal” to leave some headroom. You can amplify later (digitally).
If you run the Amplify effect (after recording) it will indirectly tell you how much headroom you have. For example, if it defaults to +3dB, your current peaks are -3dB (and you have 3dB of headroom). If it defaults to 0dB (before Normalizing or Amplifying, you’re (probably) clipping.
…I thought you said the slider wasn’t working. (That wouldn’t be unusual for a USB device.)
I’m not clear if you can adjust the levels down lower or not. If you can’t get the levels down far enough you may need an inline attenuator like [u]this[/u] or [u]this[/u].
The Roxio device has red & white RCA audio jacks (plus yellow video and a composite, I’m guessing). It was part of a Roxio’s VHS transfer package. So, the device seems to have the basics, although I sometimes wonder if it’s only a cheap consumer product.
OK, good. Those are line level inputs. But, “line-level” is loosely defined and you might be getting a hot signal out of the preamp or the Roxio inputs might be unusually sensitive. And like I said records will vary, and phono cartridges will vary, so it’s too bad you don’t have a wider analog adjustment range.
I think a lot of those audio/video capture devices only work with the supplied software so I’m surprised it works, but it does!
May I add an element that may be unrelated? With every recording I must use Effect > Normalize > Remove DC offset. Is that typical? If I don’t any edits I make - eg to trim front and back ends of a track or to remove a vinyl pop - leads to an audible pop and a small spike in the wave form.
That’s a “defect” or “weakness” in the Roxio device. Since it adds to the positive or negative half of the waveform, you have to record at a lower level to avoid clipping. Depending on how bad the DC offset is, that could be significant.
Once you get these issues ironed-out…
Audacity has Click Removal (automatic) and Repair (manual) “effects” that help to remove vinyl clicks & pops. The regular Noise Reduction effect can remove low-level hiss & hum.
Or, [u]Wave Corrector[/u] is a (now FREE) specialized application for vinyl clean-up. I also use [u]Wave Repair[/u] ($30 USD). Wave Repair can do audibly perfect repairs on most (but not all) clicks & pops. The advantage & disadvantage is that it’s manual. It only “touches” the audio where you identify a defect, but it can take me a whole weekend to fix-up a digitized LP.
[u]This page[/u] (by the developer of Wave Repair) lists some other software options and it has tons of information about digizing LPs.
On older “dull sounding” records, I’ll use the Equalization effect to boost the highs.
Personally, I ONLY digitize records when I can’t get the CD or MP3 because even after click removal and EQ, etc. you almost never get “CD quality” sound.