Low guitar recording volume

Hello, I’m new here. I’ve searched far and wide for an answer to this question, but I’m coming up dry. I’m recording guitar over a backing track in Audacity, but the guitar volume is very low. My set up is a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 into a Yamaha MG10XU USB mixer. I can listen to the backing track from Audacity and the guitar through the mixer with headphones and everything sounds great, but when I listen to a recording, the volume is low. Is this some sort of gain-related issue? Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks.

Usually with a USB mixer, the USB is an “exact” digital version of the main outputs… But maybe there is some setting on your mixer?

Let’s find out what the levels are - Here is a quick way to check -

  • Run the Amplify effect. Audacity has pre-scanned your file and Amplify will default to whatever gain is needed for normalized/maximized 0dB peaks.

  • Make a note of the default amplification. For example, if Amplify defaults to +6dB, your peaks are -6dB (and that would be OK).

  • If you wish, you can go-ahead and apply the Amplify effect and if it sounds OK, you’re good-to-go.

  • If you are getting peaks less than -12dB, that could be an indication of a problem but the recording still may be useful.

Note that undistorted guitar is very dynamic so a clean and uncompressed guitar recording that peaks at 0dB will usually sound quieter than a commercial recording with the same 0dB peak level.

Thanks for the reply. I’ll give it a shot.