Line-in not an option

Hi everyone, first post from new member.

I was referred to Audacity to enable me to download my vinyls onto my Acer laptop, so set up the stereo cable from my amp, which should go into my line-in jack socket.

Loading up Audacity beta [apparently, the only version for Win 7 - I have ‘Pro’] it has recognised the Realtek speakers and microphone, but nothing for line-in and nothing comes up under ‘preferences’.

Can’t find any references to this issue anywhere but, being 64 and needing to go to Specsavers, RoFL, maybe I’ve missed the vital clue?

Anyone out there help an old fart, please??

Best regards :blush:

Many laptops do not have a line-in only mic-in. A very few have a “magic” mic-in that can sense the signal level and adappt itself to line-level (which is around a 1,000 time greater signal).

If yours is not one of those then you are probably a candidate for one of the external soundcards that we know work well with Audacity - see this sticky thread:


Hi, Waxcylinder, sorry if I’m misunderstanding your kind reply - my Acer does have the stereo line-in socket, as well as the mic.

Does this mean that I need the external sound card that you refer to? My internal Realtek should be able to do this, shouldn’t it?

Best regards :blush:

Yes it certainly should, so you shouldn’t meed an external USB soundcard.

Ok so what options are available in the input drop-down (the one with the mic icon) in the Audacity Device Toolbar (see )

BTW, you might find this set of tutorials from the manual useful:,_LPs_or_minidiscs_to_CD


Hi, WC, well, knock me down with a feather, or even a 2" x 4" . . . . . if I plug in the jack to the PC line-in socket, then boot up Audacity, guess what - up comes the Realtek line-in for selection . . . . . don’t say nuffink abaht this in the ‘manual’ . . . .

Who’s a happy chappie, then . . .

Ah, but do you think I could save the stuff as an MP3 file . . . . gotta get an extra gizmo for this!! I followed the link and thought I’d downloaded it from NCH - wavepad, or something. I’m in a singing group and want to shove the stuff onto my digital Walkman for learning and practise, so I thought that the MP3 format was correct? However, it just didn’t want to know, so maybe Audacity is just too complicated to use, unless, of course, you have a PhD in Astrophysics and pure maths . . . .

Cheers, A :cry:

Yes, you need “Lame”.

You don’t need a PhD in Astrophysics and pure maths, you just need to know where to look for the instructions… which are here :stuck_out_tongue:

In 99% of cases all you need to do is to carefully follow the first 4 steps (assuming that you are on Windows), but if you get stuck just ask.

That’s odd :confused:

Normally that’s only the case with a USB device you are connecting to Audacity PC - those must be connected prior to starting Audacity.

You shouldn’t normally have to have a line-in device plugged in prior to starting Audaccty - as Windows and Audacity should be able to see that the on-board souncard has a line-in capability. This is certainly the case with my Dell Dimension 2400 desktop running XP-HE where “SoundMax Digital Audio: Line In” is one of the available options even with no line-in device connected.

That’s why the manual has never mentioned this.

But very glad that you got it working :slight_smile:


If you haven’t already found them, you may find this set of tutorials helpful:

and especially this one:


Morning chaps - wow, isn’t this fun . . . . . . as you say it does help to RTFM!!

Managed to get this borrowed vinyl onto the laptop - songs from '37 to '55, so they need a bit of tweaking, as well as the clicks and pops!

Also managed to change to an MP3 via Lame - thx Steve - so now have the figure out the best way to delineate each track. Is this best done after recording a ‘side’, or trying to record each track, stopping and starting each time? Have you guys found a best way?

A :slight_smile:

:smiley: I couldn’t have said it better.

Some people prefer to work on one “side” at a time, while others prefer to pause the recording (“Pause” button or press the “P” key) and turn the record over. Press “Pause” (or “P”) again to resume the recording.
There’s an article here about splitting the recording into separate tracks:
That tutorial was written quite a while ago and the “label” feature has been updated in recent version of Audacity 1.3.x so you may also want to have a look at this part of the manual:

Some people find the “Sound Finder” useful for placing the labels, though this only works if there are distinct silent gaps between songs, so you should remove pops and crackles before using Sound Finder

Whew - and all I wanted was a way to record my vinyls onto the confuser! Think this software was written for awfully clever fellows . . . . . . RoFL
Think I’ll give the Sound Recorder a trial, as attempting to record each track separately is not only time consuming, but could end up damaging both the disc and the stylus. Thank You-Know-Who it’s winter and the cold, dark evenings make one want to huddle round the sputtering coals, being a good time to try to go through the raft of the many aspects of the manual! Unfortunately, we don’t have any sound engineers on our Rock, so I’ll need to ask questions occasionally, but will try to keep them to a minimum. Funny, when I was in biz in the UK selling scientific instruments, I used to tell my customers to RTFM when they asked daft questions - politely, of course - and now I’m having to do it myself! What goes around, comes around . . . . .
Best to all, A :slight_smile:

You just happened to have dropped in on a discussion about some of the fine detail of Audacity’s design. Millions of people use Audacity quite happily without ever needing to consider anything that is being discussed in this topic. :wink: If all you want to do is to record your vinyl, then there is no need to get all complicated about it. Setting up Windows (or whatever your operating system) to record is by far the most complicated step in the whole process, but is required whatever software you use. After that it should just be a matter of:

  1. recording,
  2. add labels to mark the tracks,
  3. export multiple.

Audacity is a powerful tool for working with audio, so the manual is huge as it has to cover all of the advanced features as well as the simple commonly used features. Yes it’d be nice if a few more people rtfm :wink: , but for most it’s not really necessary to go much further than the Quick Help and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Well, thanx Steve for your patience and also for offering all of your advice. When I used to have my business, I would ask my Principles in Germany and Switzerland to give any new instruments to their accounts people to set up. This way, the silly little glitches were noted and put in the manual. If the bloke who designed it wrote the instructions, he always knew where the glitches were and so avoided them, so they never got recorded. They thought I was nuts at first, but then came to understand that correct instructions were vital if a scientist in another country were to set up his kit without much fuss. All helped to have confidence in the product [and bring in more sales]!
Best regards A :slight_smile:

This sub-tutorial from the set I pointed you at earlier gives a good overview of the “fancy” techiques if you want to do a bit more than Steve’s simple process (which will work fine for a lot of folk) - see:

  1. I prefer to record and work with one side of an LP at a time as this gives me a smaller working set.

  2. I prefer to use Brian Davies’s ecellent ClickRepair to remove clicks and pops (costs Aus$40 but worth every penny IMHO) - see this sticky thread: . I make the capture in Audacity set at 32-bit float 44.1 kHz and then export a 32-bit WAV file of the project, process this file through ClickRepair nad then re-import the clean copy back into Audacity for further processing.

  3. to help with keeping the tracks in the right order I label them 01 <track_name1>, 02 <track_name2> etc.

  4. I do clean up the inter-track gaps appluing fade-ins/outs where necessary and ensuring that I have proper silence between the tracks. Often I will shorten the inter-track gaps.

  5. I normally never have to bother with hiss and noise removal (my LPs date from the late 60s onwards - but as yours are earlier you may want to.

  1. And I certainly never apply any compression