Low input volume when recording from USB?

Hi Geniuses (Genii?)

I play in a band and we want to record our gigs by taking the main mix from the desk - all the instruments and backing trax are going through the PA.

So I have my Behringer X1832USB desk connected via USB to my Win XP Laptop. I have the correct Behringer ASIO driver installed. All is working as it should except for one thing. There is no control over the input level on the laptop, either in the standard Win mixer, Realtek mixer or Audacity itself. The Behringer driver seems to offer no control window at all.

The sound quality is fine with no noise as far as I can tell if I use Normalise to increase the level of the recording, but shouldn’t I be able to record at a proper level in the first place? Do I need an additional piece of software or is there some setup step I have unwittingly missed? Or is it just like this and I must accept it is so?

I have been hunting around but have found no apparent solution to this thus far. So help would be much appreciated.


Audacity 2.0.2. Win XP SP2. Used installer provided by Behringer.

Due to licensing restrictions, Audacity cannot be distributed with ASIO support, so Audacity will be using standard Windows drivers rather than the ASIO drivers. That is unlikely to be a problem for your purposes.

That is normal for USB devices, although later versions of Windows “fake” input level control by scaling the digital data. The correct procedure is to adjust the recording level on the input side of the the Analog/Digital converter. In your case, that means adjusting the level on the mixer.

Note that you do not need to (and should not) aim for a really big waveform in the recorded track - an ideal level is peaks that are up to about half the track height (peak level around -6 dB).

Slightly low is far preferable to overloading. Overloading is obvious, destructive and permanent. If you have viewable blue waves that’s not dreadful since the waveform view (assuming you didn’t change it) only looks at the loudest 24dB (or so) of the full range of 60dB or, given 16-bit sound, 96dB.

Audacity doesn’t directly support ASIO. So if you’re looking forward to using all of ASIO’s tricks and services you may have a long wait. I’m surprised that Windows’ services won’t let you change volume. That’s a major difference between Windows and Macs. Macs don’t let you change digital volume and Windows generally does.

What happens if you make up the gain in the mixer output? Does the mixing board overload? I’m guessing it shouldn’t and that’s one way to make up the difference. You can also split the difference. Run there mixer a little hotter and Normalize a little less. This is a lot more of a problem with analog mixers since it very important to maintain the relationship between noise and overload. That’s established in your mixer and in general is constant from then on.

You can also create a version of Audacity that “knows” what ASIO is. Ever compile a program?



You shouldn’t be using an internet connection with your WinXP laptop.



Thank you Gentlemen!

I guess that’s about what I was expecting to hear. I am getting about 0.2 rather than 0.5, and I have been normalising up to around 5.5, with a couple of peaks a little higher than that before tweaking. I am actually ending up with a really nice sound straight off and its just an old laptop stripped to almost nothingness exclusively for this purpose and maxed on memory. So no internet connection or wifi or anything.

I don’t want to run levels any hotter than 0 as I am mixing for the PA (I have bought a really nice one) simultaneously.

Interestingly, I am running a Samsung notebook with our orchestrations on it for the backing material going into the desk in stereo which, with my Roland Guitar Synth in stereo as well which sounds amazing.

Its all sounding increasingly like I want it to which is great! Might tackle some Floyd soon…

Thank you for your input and for a nicely run forum! Big high five!

…of course only interesting if I clarify - the laptop is recording, the notebook is playing BT’s - two machines… :exclamation: