Low recording level

Audacity can only control the master recording level. It can not control the recording level of specific inputs. For example it cannot control the input level for the microphone input, or the Stereo Mix input, or the Line input - it only controls the master record level.

If the record level for the input that you are using is set too low, then even when the master record level is set to maximum, the level in Audacity will still be too low.

Also, if the sound that you are recording is very low, then even with the input level set to maximum, and the master record level set to maximum the level in Audacity can still be too low.

So what you need to do:

  1. If you are recording from an external source (such as from a cassette player connected to a “Line in” socket on your sound card) you need to make sure that the volume level coming out of the cassette player is at a reasonable level - not so high as to cause distortion, and not too quiet.

  2. Use an appropriate input. Microphones work at a MUCH lower level than “Line level” equipment such as CD/casette/video players. If you connect a line level output to a microphone level input, it will probably distort and may damage the equipment because the level is much too high. If you connect a microphone to a line level input the recording will be very quiet because the signal from a microphone is much too low for a line level input.

  3. To get control over individual inputs on your sound card you need to use either the sound card control panel, the Windows Mixer, or set it in the audio device section of the Windows Control Panel. You will find more information about this on the Audacity wiki (see “Tips and Tutorials” links at top of page). The exact method depends on what sound card you have and what operating system you are using.

    Please post your questions on the forum - I do not have time to respond to private messages. If I don’t reply to forum questions it is probably because I’m not available.


There was a response in another post. Either the sound card is overloading or it’s in Automatic Volume.