listening to what im recording

i am using win 8.1
audacity 2.1.1
how do i listen to the music i am about to record without having to record it and play it back or even listen to it as i am recording so i can set the rec levels?

If you’re using a USB sound card, plug your headphones into the sound card headphone socket.
If you are using a USB mic that that has a headphone socket, plug your headphones into the headphone socket on the mic.

If this is still referring to your prolectrix usb turntable, enable Transport > Software Playthrough in the Audacity menu bar at the top of the screen, then click in the Recording Meter (where it says “Click to Start Monitoring”). This enables you set the levels, though if you have clicked in the Recording Meter you can set the levels just by sight in the meter without enabling Software Playthrough.

Just enable Software Playthrough as above. But it is better to set the levels before you record.

Have a read of