Input Level Adjustment

Unable to adjust the Input Level, the slider is stuck on the maximum side of the scale and says: “Input Volume Unavailable, use system mixer”. I tried deleting and re-installing the latest version 2.3.0 and even tried using the 2.0.3 version but the problem persists and can not record with the level so high. Please advise ! Thank you very much. Peter

That’s normal for USB devices, as they do not generally provide programmable control of the recording gain. Are you using a USB audio device? If so, which one?

Hello Steve,

Thank you very much for your response, which already makes me feel better. I am using an Audio-Technica AT-LP 120-USB turntable, which originally came with the Audacity CD. Since that was an old version, now that I got a new iMac I downloaded the 2.3.0 version of Audacity to start converting vinyl to MP3, and then I ran into this glitch. Also FYI, I’m using the Mac OS High Sierra - Version 10.13.6 (17G5019), since had issues with Mojave…

USB turntables usually produce about the right signal level without any adjustment, though I have heard of problems with some 12" DJ mixes, which can be extremely loud and overload the USB converter. What does your signal level look like? (Look at the meters at the top of the main Audacity interface, and see what the maximum peak level is).

Hi, the maximum peak level is -3

That should be fine, so long as it doesn’t go much higher.

When recording digitally, it is essential to maintain a little “headroom”. Unlike recording to tape where it is OK to push right up to the red, digital recording has a brick wall limit at 0 dB. If the recording level hits that brick wall, the sound quality is irreparably damaged (called “clipping”, because the peaks are literally chopped off at 0 dB). Generally we recommend recording with a peak level around -6 dB, but so long as there is always some headroom, it’s not a problem.

Good morning Steve, I now feel more confident and encouraged. Thank you very much for such a professional disposition and to Audacity, for providing its clients with this Forum which turns out to be most effective and appreciated so, lots of kudos and if there’s a way I may be able to help ‘you’ via some type of service survey, please let me know !


Probably the best payback that you could give is: as your expertise develops in transferring your vinyl to digital, pop back to this forum and pass on that expertise to less experienced Audacity users that are still struggling. This forum is built entirely from the good will of Audacity users helping other Audacity users :slight_smile: