iRig Mic HD Settings for Audacity on a MacBook Pro

I have a MacBook Pro using OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.

My Audacity is 2.1.1 and was downloaded via the .dmg installer.

I’ve tried recording audio for my websites and podcasts using my iRig Mic HD which is brand new.

I am a novice using not only the mic, but Audacity and need all the help I can get.

Even though the settings show that the volume is up all the way when I record, I can barely hear the track when I play it. The iRig Mic HD shows up in the toolbar as my microphone. I don’t know what the other settings should be set to.

Also, when I am recording, the visible recording line that goes across the screen is tiny.

What can I do to correct this and start recording?

I can send a screenshot if that would help.


Dawn Ireland

I can barely hear the track when I play it.

You shouldn’t need to wait that long. Audacity has recording meters and will display the blue waves as you perform. You’ll know there’s something wrong at about the first two or three words.

The illustration is a playback panel, but the blue waves and the bouncing sound meter should be very similar on recording. The upper sound meter should bounce with the peaks around -6 and the blue waves at about 50% (.5).

Typically, a USB microphone is not adjustable in Audacity or in the Mac. You plug one in and the volume controls go all the way up and turn gray. Is that what you have? It’s an unfortunate fact of microphone life that USB microphones record low. Having a loud microphone will create harsh, crunchy sound damage and makes you want to send the microphone back. Having a quiet microphone makes you post on the Audacity Help Forum.

As a test, start recording and get closer and closer to the microphone and louder as you announce. T…o…t…, testing one two three, TESTING ONE TWO THREE! See how close and loud you have to get to make the Audacity meters bounce the right way.

Can you ever get there?

Did the microphone come with a software driver package?

Are you sure you’re not recording from the laptop built-in microphone? Do the scratch test. Start a recording and scratch the front of the microphone. Announce what you’re doing. Then scratch the laptop just to the left of the left-hand shift key. Only one of those will be explosively loud. That’s the one you’re actually recording.